Roe Rejects $410 Billion in Government Spending
The FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-1) voted against H.R. 1105, the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act – that holds a price tag of $410 billion in government spending. H.R. 1105 passed through the House by a vote of 254 to 178.
This spending bill is made up of nine other spending bills that were not passed by Congress last year (Agriculture, Commerce/State/Justice, Energy and Water, Financial Services, Department of Interior, Labor/HHS, Legislative Branch, Department of State/Foreign Ops, Transportation/HUD). Funding for these government agencies and programs would increase by $32 billion, or 8.3%, over Fiscal Year 2008 (not including the funds appropriated by the recent “stimulus”). In addition to funding for these nine remaining appropriations bills, the bill also includes $100 million for salaries and expenses at the Department of Homeland Security, designated as an “emergency” to avoid budget restraints. Three appropriations bills—Defense, Homeland Security, and Military Construction-VA—were passed and signed into law last year.
“This bill is going to spend an additional $410 billion after the government has already spent $700 billion to bail out Wall Street and another $787 billion for a ‘stimulus’ package,” said Roe. “And that doesn’t even include funding for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Homeland Security or National Defense. Everybody understands the government needs money to operate, but at a time when we should be looking to tighten our belts, why are we increasing government spending at a rate that is two or three times the rate of inflation? The reality is, we’re writing checks for spending we can’t afford without setting any priorities, and our grandchildren will get stuck with the tab. This is wrong.
“I agree with the President’s words that it is time we get our country’s financial house in order. If we’re actually going to restore fiscal responsibility, we should re-examine this package and eliminate excessive spending.”
The Omnibus Appropriations bill contains funding for many of the same agencies and programs that received funds in the “stimulus” bill. Therefore, to uncover the true level of spending for these programs this year, the funding levels of both bills must be combined. It is also important to remember that many of these increases will carry forward into years to come, regardless of economic necessity or damage to our nation’s finances.
In fact, the combined FY 2009 funding for agencies included in both bills are $680 billion – $301 billion more than these programs received in 2008, for an 80% increase in spending this year for these “doubled-dipped” programs.