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Fiscal Responsibility
Expect Nothing Less!
GalvDailyNewsMastheadThree Musketeers - Bill Sargent, Mark Mansius, and John Gay
Bill Sargent, Mark Mansius, and John Gay all ran for Congress in the 2012 Republican Primary. They became friends and have been writing weekly columns for the Galveston County Daily News since May 2013.

May 16, 2016

In 2016 with a new Speaker (Paul Ryan) and Senate Majority Leader (Mitch McConnell) Congress promised to return to “Regular Order.”  That meant they were going to pass a budget on time and start passing the twelve appropriation bills (instead of an omnibus spending bill/continuing resolution at the last minute at the end of the fiscal year – in order to avoid the annual threat of government shut downs)!

But four months into 2016 the House leadership has missed the April 15 deadline to produce a budget and their counterparts in the Senate haven’t passed any spending bills.  This lack of progress flies in the face of what Americans across the country are rejecting – the status quo.  Worse, in an effort to avoid substantive policy fights, the Republican “Establishment” is proposing to spend more, not less, much to the chagrin of conservative members.

Why is this happening when it’s clear this approach has been rejected by the Republican base?  The establishment is not listening to the voters.  It isn’t confronting the issues head on.   Ted Cruz has been the exception.  He made promises and then worked hard to live up to them much to the ire of his Senate colleagues!

Conservatives in the House want to cut the rate of increased spending and, in some cases, to reduce overall spending below the limits set by former Speaker John Boehner. But in order to do this they need to fight not only the Democrats and the Administration, but also members of their own party, those who control committee and chairmanship assignments!

The House leadership has proposed a $1.07 Trillion budget but they don’t have the votes to pass it. ($1.07 trillion is the equivalent of placing dollar bills end-to-end and circling the earth at the equator 406 times!)  The leadership is proposing a second bill that would impose cuts after the Trillion dollar budget is passed.  But don’t be fooled, even if the additional cuts were passed, the President would veto them making the effort meaningless. 

Meanwhile in the Senate, they’re charging ahead with appropriation bills that adopt higher spending levels.  For example, the Senate’s energy and water spending bill spends $355 million more than last year and clocks in at $261 million more than the President requested.   

Senate Democrats, using the chamber’s rules, outmaneuvered their GOP counterparts.  On a measure to block funding for the EPA’s controversial “Waters of the United States” rule they demanded a 60-vote threshold because they claimed the amendment was not germane to the bill.  The amendment got 54 votes (including four Democrats) but failed.  One conservative Senator’s aid commented on this charade saying “The strategy is designed to let moderate Republicans get on record voting for nominally good conservative policy while still allowing bad liberal policy to move forward.”

Stop the games!  It is time the American voters show the door to those who are not listening. We want true spending cuts. We want laws that reduce government’s encroachment on our lives! We should accept nothing less!

Bill, Mark, and John

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