Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Democrats Spend American Taxpayer Money, Unchecked, Without Debate…

Democrats have proposed spending $1.089 trillion in American taxpayer money for discretionary government programs in the 2010 fiscal year. Last night, debate began on the first of 12 bills which make up the Democrats’ staggering $1.089 trillion spending proposal. Before the House was the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, $64.31 billion in taxpayer money. And while the economy contracts, family budgets shrink, and unemployment rises, Democrats put forward a plan to increase spending on this portion of the government by 12%. Justified? Republicans didn’t think so. And most Americans agree—government spending is out of control.

That debate deserves to be heard. Yet, instead of defending their spending, or allowing it to be curtailed or re-directed, Democrats shut down the U.S. House of Representatives after just 22 minutes of amendment debate on this massive spending bill, preventing any Republican from debating its merits or limiting its spending.

$64.31 billion in American taxpayer money before Congress and Democrats allowed only 22 minutes of debate. Just three years ago, Congress took three days to debate this bill. Rather than allowing for an open debate as decades of precedence suggest they should, Democrats took their bloated spending bill to the heavy-handed Rules Committee in the dark of night for a secret and un-televised session to limit further transparency of their spending habits.

While they try to avoid the cameras to protect their spending, some facts have already emerged. Here’s a quick timeline and summary of their strategy to ram massive spending through Congress without taxpayers’ knowledge…

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

7:51 PM: Debate begins on the merits of the Democrats’ $64.31 billion spending bill.

8:13 PM: Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) cuts off all debate over whether to spend $64.31 billion in taxpayer money. Video:

Two years ago, Rep. Mollohan recused himself from debating portions of this spending bill, citing a personal conflict of interest. By ending debate prematurely, Rep. Mollohan will not have to recuse himself this year.

9:20 PM: Democrats close down the U.S. House of Representatives to begin an un-televised hearing on their $64.31 billion spending bill. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) demands to know why. Video:

10:45 PM: Democrats convene their secret and un-televised session, summarily deciding which portions of their spending will be made subject to amendment the following day.

Without the benefit of C-SPAN cameras and the transparency they bring, Republicans show up at the closed-door session to debate the Democrats’ massive spending spree.

11:22 PM: Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) expresses reservations about his Democrat colleagues’ attempt to quash debate and asks his fellow Democrats to return to an open process the next day.

11:50 PM: Rep. Perlmutter is summoned to the office of the Chairwoman of the Rules Committee, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

12:22 AM: Rep. Perlmutter and Rep. Slaughter reemerge from their closed-door meeting.

1:12 AM: Rep. Perlmutter votes against allowing for open debate on the Democrats’ spending bill.

1:32 AM: Democrats finish their dark-of-night session.

In total, Democrats shut out 94 amendments. The majority of these amendments would have saved billions in wasteful government spending and better prioritized how Washington spends taxpayer funds. Below is a sample of just a few of those amendments…

Notable Amendments Shut Out by Democrats

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) Amendment: The amendment would have reduced funding for the Department of Commerce by $100 million, per the President’s request. Earlier this year, the President asked his Cabinet to find $100 million in savings within each of their departments. In their spending arrogance, however, congressional Democrats were unwilling to even consider the President’s request.

Reps. Paul Broun (R-GA)/Rob Wittman (R-VA) Amendments: The amendments would have saved 0.5% of the bill for American taxpayers. Democrats have increased this portion of the federal government by nearly 12% this year, but would not even consider scaling that massive increase back to just 11.5%.

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) Amendment: The amendment would have ensured that any savings generated from limiting the funds of this bill would have gone to reducing the record deficit. Apparently, a $1.8 trillion deficit (the largest in history) is not a worthy subject for the House of Representatives to debate and try to combat.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) Amendment: The amendment would have facilitated funding for the Justice Department to investigate Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) claims that the CIA has continually lied to Congress. Democrats continue to block an investigation—at all costs—of these serious allegations made by Speaker Pelosi.

Reps. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)/Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Amendments: The amendments would have re-prioritized funding in the bill, without increasing its overall size, to focus on the nation’s homeland security. Democrats were more intent on protecting their own personal spending than focusing on one of Congress’s most pressing duties: providing for the nation’s homeland security.

Reps. Aaron Schock (R-IL)/Louie Gohmert (R-TX) Amendments: The amendments would have prevented the nationalization of the American auto industry. Democrats are clearly intent on protecting all of their government takeovers.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Amendment: The amendment would have prohibited any funding in the bill from going to the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Once again, Democrats protect their shadowing outside interests with taxpayer funds.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) Amendment: The amendment would have prohibited the granting of Miranda rights to detainees held in the custody of American armed forces in Afghanistan. This common-sense national security amendment was tossed aside by Democrats during their secret session.

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