July 16, 2009
Flawed Financial Services Appropriations Bill Passes House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House today approved the Fiscal year 2010 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. The legislation contains $24.2 billion in total spending, which is a 7.1% increase over last year’s funding levels for the Treasury Department, the Executive Office of the President, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia and other related agencies.
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis opposed the large spending increase in this legislation, and noted that these same agencies and programs have received a massive, 52% increase in total spending over the last two fiscal years - since the Democrats took control of Congress.
“This is yet another huge spending bill being pushed through Congress by the Democrat Majority without regard for the taxpayers who are footing the bill. A 7% increase in spending on bureaucratic government agencies will do little to help struggling families, improve the economy, or promote safety and security, but will further contribute to the current financial crisis and our mountain of debt,” Lewis said.
In addition to the large spending increases, Lewis and his Republican colleagues opposed controversial policy changes contained in the legislation related to the District of Columbia, including those that allow publicly funded abortions and needle exchanges, the legalization of medical marijuana, and the effective termination of private and parochial school vouchers for students in the District’s failing public school system. Lewis and House Republicans were prohibited from offering amendments to change these objectionable provisions on the House floor, due to an unprecedented close rule imposed by House Democrats to stifle opposition to the legislation.
“On top of this massive spending, we’re changing decades of sensitive policies without full debate or the opportunity to offer amendments on the House Floor. In imposing this gag-order on all Members of Congress, the Democrat leadership is ostracizing the tens of millions of Americans we are sent here to represent,” Lewis said.
Despite the restrictive rule, House Republicans were able to force a vote to restore the abortion restrictions in the bill, but House Democrats used a procedural maneuver to vote it down.