Huffman Statement Opposing Omnibus Spending Bill
WASHINGTON—Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) released the following statement after voting against the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, H.R. 83:
“I could not in good conscience vote for this special interest Christmas tree masquerading as a government funding bill. And I’m deeply disappointed that 57 Democrats joined the House Republican majority in passing it.
“What we learned through this disgraceful ‘CRomnibus’ episode is that House Republicans will seize every opportunity to legislate special favors for Wall Street, mega-rich campaign contributors, and big polluters. American taxpayers are once again exposed to potential bailouts of Wall Street banks who can now resume risky derivative trading with other peoples’ money, backed by FDIC insurance when the next financial bubble bursts. Mega-donors can now write obscenely large checks to political parties, further expanding their outsized political influence. And Big Coal can continue its devastating mountaintop removal mining with less onerous stream protection rules – and with a special provision to support the coal export boom by continuing taxpayer investments in dirty energy projects abroad.
“We see the GOP’s true priorities by the many special interest giveaways in this bill – and also by what was deliberately left out of the bill. The Secure Rural Schools program is set to expire, leaving education systems in much of my North Coast district and many rural areas around the country in financial limbo. Instead of heeding the bipartisan calls to extend the program, House Republicans left it out of the Omnibus so that they could use it as a partisan political football next year. They essentially admitted as much in floor debates. House Republicans have been relentlessly attacking our environmental laws and we know that will continue next year. But using struggling rural schools as hostages to advance their anti-environment partisan agenda is a cynical political move even by the low standards of this Congress.
“Democrats could and should have leveraged our votes for a better government funding bill. I'm also disappointed that instead of drawing a firm line on policy priorities, the Obama administration capitulated and actually whipped the bill.
“We have now given a bully our lunch money. He will be back in January, bigger, stronger, and asking for more.”