Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Morgan Griffith on Omnibus Spending

From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9):

Must Do More to Rein In Spending and Overreach

Last week, Congress passed comprehensive “omnibus” spending legislation that will fund the government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2016. Meaning “for everything,” omnibus legislation is a vehicle for combining appropriations funding bills with other items commonly known as “riders,” which make the underlying legislation more palatable.

Because omnibus bills are large in size and scope, last week’s legislation included both good and bad. If we were going to pass the bad, there ought to have been more good riders for balance. I could not vote for it, believing it left out certain items of importance to me and residents of the Ninth District.

In an effort to try and improve the bill, I worked with Congressmen Jim Jordan (R-OH), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Justin Amash (R-MI), Alex Mooney (R-WV), and others on a proposal that, if it had been adopted, would have added in a number of conservative riders.

One of our provisions, for example, would have helped industries including the coal industry by putting a one-year moratorium on the Obama Administration’s Stream Buffer Zone Rule. I and others were of the belief that the underlying bill would include pro-coal language to stop the implementation of this rule. I was frustrated to learn that despite these assurances, that language was not included.

Others would have protected health care providers who do not wish to provide abortions. A nurse should have a choice, and should not be forced to participate in performing an abortion he or she find is in violation of their moral beliefs. Another item we proposed dealt with cyber security.

Unfortunately, our proposals were not ultimately included in the omnibus bill. Accordingly, I voted no.