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This bill funded the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2014. It spends $45 billion more than the budget caps established in 2011, and perpetuates a vast amount of wasteful spending from previous years. Lawmakers were also given almost no time to read this 1,500 page spending bill.
This final version of the Farm Bill, reconciled between the House and Senate, actually undoes some of the already modest reforms to crop insurance and food stamps that were previously in the bill. This five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill will spend nearly a trillion dollars over ten years, and remains loaded with corporate welfare and special carve-outs for well-connected agricultural corporations.
This bill suspends the debt limit until March 15th of 2015, allowing the president to potentially run up as much debt as he pleases during that time period. The debt is already projected to increase by about $1 trillion over that period, to over $18 trillion. Meanwhile, this debt ceiling suspension contains no reforms to curb spending whatsoever.
This bill would stop the IRS for one year from finalizing a proposed regulation that would stop grassroots non-profit groups from engaging in political free speech. On the heels of the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the regulation that this bill would delay would seemingly finish their job by excluding tea parties and other grassroots groups from any role in the political process.
This bill would delay a major reform to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that would have returned some semblance of market rates to flood insurance premiums. Currently, NFIP is over $25 billion in debt because homeowners in frequently flooded areas do not have to pay an amount that is equal to the risk they incur, meaning that the government takes a loss when the inevitable floods occur. By delaying the scheduled reforms, the NFIP will require a taxpayer bailout for billions of dollars.
Delaying Obamacare's unconstitutional individual insurance mandate extends the same exception to the law that was extended to businesses with the delay of the employer mandate. This delay would also prevent Obamacare from taking full effect, and provides an extended window to work on defunding, delaying, or dismantling the entire law.
This bill would stop the EPA from imposing proposed regulations that would effectively ban new coal-fired power plants from ever being constructed. It would require the EPA to take into account current achievable technologies from existing plants when setting future emission reductions, stopping them from promulgating impossible regulations that would kill the coal industry.
The funding for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts was appropriated as "emergency" funding, meaning that it was above and beyond the amount of spending allowed by existing budget caps. This amendment by Rep. Mulvaney would simply offset a large portion of this emergency spending by making a slight, across-the-board reduction in discretionary spending.
This amendment, sponsored by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), would add another $33 billion to the Disaster Relief Act, bringing the total spending in the bill to over $50 billion. Although the bill is supposedly to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, the better portion of this amendment funds unrelated programs such as community development block grants. The "emergency" spending is also not offset, meaning that it will add to the federal deficit.
This bill is an "emergency" appropriations bill that contains $50.1 billion in spending that is supposed to aid those affected by Hurricane Sandy. In reality, however, most of the spending will not provide acute disaster relief, and much of it is not even scheduled to be spent until 2014 or later. Thus, the bill functions more like a stimulus than true disaster relief and its spending should be appropriated through the budget process instead of as emergency spending that adds to the federal deficit.
This bill raises the statutory limit on the public debt (the "debt ceiling") by whatever amount is necessary to reach May 19th, 2013. Although the bill theoretically contains a "no budget, no pay" provision conditional upon the Senate passing a budget resolution, in reality the provision has no teeth. FreedomWorks insists that further increases in the debt ceiling by accompanied by proportional decreases in federal spending in order to address the ever-increasing federal debt, which at the time of this bill stood at $16.4 trillion. Instead, this bill amounts to a "clean" debt ceiling hike, accompanied by the unenforceable promise of spending reforms at a later date.
This closed rule does allow for any extended debate or amendments to the Continuing Resolution, thus allowing a bill that spends at the rate of over $1 trillion per year to be passed without any input from individual Members of Congress on the floor of the House.
This bill would repeal ObamaCare entirely, stopping the government takeover of our health care. If allowed to take effect, ObamaCare will greatly increase health insurance costs, reduce the quality of care, and eventually lead to direct rationing of care. It also contains unconstitutional mandates that attempt to force people to buy health insurance, an unprecedented use of federal power.
The so-called "Farm Bill" is actually a combination of agricultural policy and welfare, with food stamps accounting for 80 percent of the bill's nearly trillion dollars in projected spending. Aside from failing to contain the multitude of faults within the rapidly-expanding food welfare programs, the agricultural portion of the bill is an amalgam of direct corporate welfare for insurance companies and farm corporations and special carve-outs and price supports for the specific industries with the best lobbyists.
This amendment by Rep. McClintock would cut $1.544 billion from various research and development programs for alternative energy. The free market can take care of researching and development the next generation of energy technologies far more efficiently than the federal government can, without the distorting effect of the government picking winners and losers.
This version of the Farm Bill contains only the actual agricultural side of the earlier bill, leaving food stamps to be considered as their own bill. Unfortunately, this bill actually makes the Farm Bill worse by making the billions in subsidies to farm corporations and dozens of special hand-outs to favored industries permanent, instead of making free market reforms. The bill also still contains the brand new, unnecessary "shallow-loss" crop insurance entitlement, which will actually increase the Farm Bill's cost.
This bill would simply delay the enactment of ObamaCare's "individual mandate" for one year, extending the same temporary reprieve for individuals that was granted to businesses when the administration delayed the employer mandate. Delaying the individual mandate effectively forces a delay of the entire law, and buys time to work to defund and dismantle ObamaCare entirely.
This amendment to the DoD Appropriations Act, by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), protects a basic 4th Amendment right by requiring that the NSA can only gather electronic data from people who are actively under an investigation with approval of the FISA court. This is basic due process under the law - you need a specific warrant to search and seize an individual's physical property; the same should apply to that individual's communications and digital property.
This amendment to the T-HUD Appropriations bill would eliminate the Essential Air Service program, a wasteful federal subsidy that supports seldom-used rural airfields. This would save taxpayers $100 million.
This amendment by Rep. Scalise (R-LA) effectively prevents the executive branch from levying any form of carbon tax without Congressional approval. Since a carbon tax would be tremendously destructive to the economy as a whole, this measure would hopefully make such a tax far less likely to pass.
This bill, entitled the “REINS Act”, would require a vote in Congress on any “major” regulations issued by the executive branch before it could be enforced on the American people. The REINS Act would thus restore accountability and protect citizens’ rights by giving elected officials a voice in all major regulations issued.
This bill would prevent the IRS from implementing or enforcing any aspect of ObamaCare. Under the law as written, the IRS would have access to a massive new data source called the "Federal Data Services Hub", which would give the IRS employees charged with enforcing ObamaCare's mandates unprecedented access to information about each and every taxpayer. In the wake of multiple scandals in which IRS employees deliberately leaked sensitive personal information on political candidates and groups, it makes little sense to put them in charge or our health care.
Congressman Mark Meadows solicited signatures for a letter to Speaker Boehner, asking that the House Republicans stand firm in their commitment to defund ObamaCare through the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government. Members who signed the letter affirmed their commitment to resist ObamaCare using a must-pass bill (the CR), rather than continuing to take ineffectual, symbolic votes to that effect.
This initial Continuing Resolution offered by the House during the debate over the funding for ObamaCare fully funds the entire federal government except for any further implementation or operation of ObamaCare. The premium increases, dropped insurance policies, and delays of major portions of ObamaCare made clear that this poorly-written law could not succeed, and this Continuing Resolution was the last chance to stop ObamaCare's harmful policies before they took full effect.
H.R. 2775 was used as the vehicle for the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government. This bill funds the government fully (including ObamaCare) through January 15th of 2014, suspends the debt ceiling completely until February of 2014, and obliges both chambers of Congress to go to conference on a full-year budget. In other words, this CR allows for more uncontrolled spending and debt, with no reforms to either, does nothing to address ObamaCare, and potentially promises more future spending if a budget agreement is reached.
This bill would protect individual states' rights to develop energy resources within their borders by declaring state regulations on hydraulic fracturing to have supremacy over those issued by the federal EPA. Hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") has proven to be a safe and economical way to develop America's vast natural gas resources, and in those state which choose to allow fracking thousands of new jobs will be created as a result.
This bill simply expedites the permitting process for establishing natural gas pipelines. Currently the federal government has slowed down pipeline construction by as much as several years in many instances, and this bill would require that the permitting process be finished within one year of a permit request being filed.
This is the final House vote to pass the budget deal negotiated by Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray. The deal breaks the budget caps established in 2011 by $63 billion over two years, while claiming to contain a net deficit reduction over ten years by raising fees and making other minor cuts. With no guarantee that future congresses will obey the scheduled spending cuts, this bill delivers increases in both spending and taxes in exchange for no meaningful reforms.