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.
Appropriations bills continue to be misused to undermine essential safeguards through poison pill “policy riders” – provisions that address extraneous and unpopular policy issues. Slipping unrelated and damaging issues into must-pass appropriations bills as a means to win approval is a dangerous strategy for the public.