Congress Must Pass a Clean Budget With No Poison Pill Riders
More Than 265 Organizations Are Calling for Clean Spending Bills With No Poison Pills
Every year, Congress must pass a series of budget and spending bills to fund the services and safeguards that protect our families and communities. In recent years, lawmakers have threatened to attach hundreds of harmful policy riders to this legislation that would weaken, repeal or block essential public protections. Most of these measures are special favors for big corporations and ideological extremists that have nothing to do with funding our government and could not become law on their own merits. More than 265 organizations have joined together to form the Clean Budget Coalition in opposition to these poison pills. We’re calling on federal lawmakers to pass a clean budget with no harmful riders. Follow us @ShutdownPatrol.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday that President Trump will not sign a stopgap spending bill over concerns about border security, a decision that significantly increases the risk of a government shutdown. “The president informed us that he will not sign the bill,” Ryan told reporters at the White House after meeting with Trump. Trump’s choice effectively torpedoes a spending bill that would fund the government through Feb. 8, but does not provide additional funding for his long-desired wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Lawmakers have until the end of Friday to reach a new agreement or funding will lapse for the Department of Homeland Security and six other government agencies.
The Senate approved a seven-week funding bill on Wednesday, preventing a partial government shutdown that was expected to begin on Saturday. Senators passed the legislation by voice vote, which represented the final item on the Senate's to-do list as they wrap up their work for the year this week. It still needs to pass the House, which returned to Washington on Wednesday night, and be signed by President Trump. Republican senators say that while they believe Trump is unhappy with Congress passing a short-term fix, they believe he will sign it because they were able to keep other controversial policy riders off of it. "I think the message is don't add anything else to it," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican. "He's not happy about that [a continuing resolution] but he understands the reality." The stopgap bill, which will fund roughly 25 percent of the federal government, kicks the funding deadline from Dec. 21 to Feb. 8, avoiding dragging a partial shutdown fight into the Christmas holiday. A vote on the bill was temporarily held up Wednesday over a fight on whether or not to include a land and water measure, which has been stalled amid negotiations for months. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is also pushing for legislation benefiting miners to be attached to the short-term spending package.
McConnnell’s CR at this point doesn’t include any other riders, amendments or anomalies, making it easier to clear the Senate and likely the House. But it’s unclear what other amendments or anomalies members will try to attach to the CR over the next two days.
Two leading US senators on Wednesday urged Senate leaders not to include controversial legislation targeting boycotters of Israel in an end-of-year spending bill that must pass to keep the government running. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Bernie Sanders, both Jewish, warned that including the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” in the bill would infringe upon free speech and violate Senate officials’ commitment to “oppose controversial riders on appropriations bills.”
Americans have a clear message to Washington as the government hurtles toward a partial shutdown on Friday: Don't. By a double-digit margin, 54 percent to 29 percent, those surveyed in a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll say they oppose the shutdown that President Trump has threatened if Congress doesn't agree to his demand for $5 billion in funding for a border wall. Who would bear the blame? By nearly 2-1, Americans would blame Trump and the Republicans, not congressional Democrats. Forty-three percent would blame the president and the GOP, while 24 percent would hold congressional Democrats responsible. Thirty percent would blame both sides equally responsible.