December 16, 2009
Lewis: Democrat’s Fumbling Leads to Last Minute Legislative Jumble
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Democrat leaders today will rush to the House floor a last minute package of several outstanding legislative issues in order to force a vote on the legislation before the end of the week.
The package includes four separate pieces of legislation, including a critical troop funding bill that will also carry several unrelated legislative riders added by House Democrats, a bill to temporarily increase the national debt limit, a stop-gap funding measure to keep the Defense Department operating while the Senate finishes its work for the year, and yet another massive and ill-conceived “stimulus” bill that will have little chance of clearing the Senate.
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis criticized the Democrats’ four bill plan, stating that it shows a lack of commitment by Democrat leaders to national security interests.
“Week after week the House has done little besides vote on routine bills naming post-offices and honoring sports teams. All the while, the most important piece of legislation being considered today – the bill that funds our national defense - could and should have been approved months ago. Instead of putting the interests of our troops first, the Democrat leadership held this legislation hostage until the last days of the year and used it as a bargaining chip for totally unrelated provisions,” Lewis said.
While Lewis expressed his disappointment with the Democrats’ handling of the Defense bill, he noted that providing funding for the troops is more important than his objections to the extraneous items in the bill, and indicated his support for the legislation.
However, Lewis stated that he will not support the debt limit increase bill or the “stimulus” bill today, indicating that Democrat leaders are attempting to force legislative action on contentious and costly provisions that would not have been approved under a normal legislative process.
“This last minute jumble of bills represents all the leftovers that the Democrat majority could not pass on their own. On top of this, these bills spend billions on ‘stimulus’ programs that have proven to do little in the way of creating or sustaining jobs and improving our economy,” Lewis continued.
In addition, Lewis stated that the increase to the debt limit is the result of irresponsible spending by the Democrats this year and could have disastrous economic results.
“Raising the debt limit would have been avoidable had the Democrats simply spent less money. This kind of excessive deficit spending and debt will have devastating long term consequences by crowding the private sector out of the credit market, leading to less private investment, lower productivity, lower wages and lower economic growth,” Lewis said.
“It is unfortunate that we have to end this challenging year on such a low note, but at least we can rest assured that our troops and their families will have the resources they need, regardless of the irresponsible process by which we provided it to them,” Lewis concluded.