In the next few weeks, the U.S. Congress must pass either appropriations legislation funding our government for the year ahead or a short-term continuing resolution allowing lawmakers more time to reach an agreement. If Congress fails to act before midnight Sept. 30, the government will shut down. One of the main obstacles standing in the way of a deal is the proposed inclusion of hundreds of policy riders – extraneous measures that do not belong in funding legislation. These special favors for corporations and ideological extremists should be removed from any final or short-term budget agreement.
The ‘minibus’ appropriations package should contain no poison pill policy riders, the Clean Budget Coalition insisted in a letter sent to all 535 members of Congress today. The letter also urges Congress to pass legislation that does not unilaterally violate the Budget Control Act, which requires commensurate increases for defense and non-defense funding. Congress should pass clean funding bills in a timely manner under regular order.
The Clean Budget Coalition today launched a new website – CleanBudget.org – to shine a spotlight on poison pill policy riders that must be taken out of appropriations legislation. This comes as committees in the U.S. House of Representatives have begun passing appropriations bills, many of which contain dozens of inappropriate riders that risk a costly and disruptive government shutdown on Sept. 30.