Sep 28, 2016

Freedom Partners Statement on Short-Term Continuing Resolution

Post by Derek Yale

Arlington, VA – The U.S. Senate today agreed to advance a short-term continuing resolution, which funds the government until December 9 and sets Congress up to consider a massive 2017 spending bill during a lame-duck session.

Freedom Partners Senior Policy Advisor Andy Koenig released the following statement:

“Congress may be patting itself on the back for averting a shutdown, but it has simply postponed the budget crisis until yet another lame duck. Freedom Partners and our allies will remain vigilant, watching for any attempts to load up a year-end spending package with pork projects, corporate welfare, and special-interest giveaways. We will stand with lawmakers who fight to ensure a lame-duck appropriations bill doesn’t again become a ‘Trojan horse’ for some of President Obama and Harry Reid’s top priorities such as providing billions in tax carve outs for special interests, bailing out Obamacare on behalf of insurance company lobbyists, reviving corporate welfare at the Export-Import Bank, and saddling taxpayers with higher spending.”

Freedom Partners has joined in an effort with over 30 free-market groups focused on stopping corporate welfare and higher spending in the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress. Read the coalition’s letter here.

Lame-duck spending has increased by trillions of dollars since 2010—view the list of lame-duck threats here.

Watch Freedom Partners’ new Web video on busting the Obamacare bailouts here.

No Lame-Duck Spending

A lame-duck spending bill may become a Trojan horse for renewing billions of dollars in special tax giveaways set to expire on December 31. These include some of the most odious forms of corporate welfare in existence today, which explains why lame-ducks Obama and Reid want to pass them under the threat of end-of-year, “must-pass” legislation. Examples include:

  • Tax credits for maintaining private railroad tracks. Cost to taxpayers: $428 million
  • Tax credits for NASCAR and Hollywood movie studios. Cost to taxpayers: $26 million
  • Rum subsidies and excise tax cover over. Cost to taxpayers: $336 million
  • Renewable energy subsidies. Cost to taxpayers: at least cost $7 billion

It could also serve as a Trojan horse for new and higher spending. Recent history of lame-duck spending bills is a valuable guide:

  • 2010 Lame Duck: Congress passed $1.6 trillion in new spending, including billions more in corporate welfare and green energy handouts.
  • 2012 Lame Duck: Congress passed $4.6 trillion in new spending, busting by $24 billion the bipartisan spending caps established in the Budget Control Act of 2011.
  • 2014 Lame Duck: Congress passed $1.8 trillion in new spending, including nearly 50 special tax breaks costing taxpayers $42 billion. The 2014 “CROmnibus” was the most heavily-lobbied bill of the year, with hundreds of lobbying firms representing over 650 individual clients descending upon Capitol Hill.

A lame-duck spending bill could also grease the wheels for a taxpayer bailout of Obamacare. Large private health insurers have been calling for billions of additional tax dollars, unable to afford the crushing costs of the very same law they helped the Obama administration pass in 2010. Bailing out Obamacare would only continue propping up a failed health care law that is raising health insurance prices and limiting choices for hardworking American families.

Finally, a lame-duck spending bill could serve as a legislative vehicle for amending the quorum requirements for the U.S. Export-Import Bank. This would open the floodgates to more corporate welfare by allowing the bank to approve financing deals worth more than $10 million, and confirm Americans’ worst suspicions of Washington: that those with the right connections get ahead, while everyone else falls further behind.

Determining how to fund the government beyond the end of the fiscal year on September 30 will reveal how serious lawmakers are about addressing our nation’s fiscal problems. They should reject any attempt by President Obama and Harry Reid to punt a trillion-dollar spending bill into the lame-duck session, and instead extend funding beyond January 20, 2017.