Remember the anger at the political establishment that was supposed to reshape the Washington establishment following the Tea Party sweep in Congress? Things were supposed to change—but the situation has only gotten worse.
There’s probably no better way to illustrate how all the small government promisers and swamp drainers are simply blowers of hot air than to take a look at the budget proposal the House Rules Committee published on Monday.
Back in 2009, lawmakers affiliated with the tea party movement promised that moving forward Congress wouldn’t pass budget legislation without giving the American people ample time to have a look at bills to fund the government.
A post on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s website dated October 2009 heralds an era of “read the bill” reform “that would require all bills to be posted online for a minimum of 72 hours before they are brought to a vote.”
That’s great and all—but take a look at the $1 trillion piece of legislation just offered up to fund the government through September.
The bill, which lawmakers will vote on before the end of the week, is 1,665 pages long. It seems quite possible that Congress is doing a bit of trolling by calling the thing the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017.”
Wonder how many people in the country have read the entire thing?
Even for those who haven’t read the gargantuan bill, it’s pretty clear that the GOP establishment used it as a vehicle to do what it does best. That is, cave to Democrats.
Just a few of the wins included for Democrats include:
- Continued funding for Planned Parenthood.
- A reversal of Trump’s promise to cut EPA funding by a third. It includes a cut of just 1 percent for the agency.
- Continued government funding for Obamacare.
- An increase of $2 billion in spending for the National Institutes of Health.
- A continue to increases in the non-defense domestic spending that is hurtling the u.S. toward bankruptcy.
- An increase in the number of H-2B visas allotted to allow foreign workers in the U.S.
Establishment Republicans will get some of the things they wanted in the bill, such as increased military spending (about $15 billion) and border security spending (around $1.5 billion)—but for fiscal conservatives, that certainly isn’t something to cheer about.
The bottom line here is that the political establishment continues to win and there’s no reason to believe that even a self-proclaimed swamp drainer like Trump is going to do a damn thing about the nation’s ever-growing fiscal nightmare.
That’s why, as The Atlantic reported earlier this year, many of the original Tea Partiers who headed to Washington in 2010 are opting to go home rather than be re-elected and continue to be part of the problem.
There is still some hope for conservatives, most of it coming from members of the House Freedom Caucus who continue to speak out against what they see as a rolling betrayal of the voters who sent them to Washington.
In an interview with CBAS Monday, Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan questioned why any Republican would be comfortable with the current spending bill.
“Why did we do a short-term spending bill if we were not going to fight for these things we told voters we were going to fight for? I mean, if this is the deal we get, it seems to me we should have just done the bill for the year,” he said
“This is not what we campaigned on. I’m disappointed. We’ll see how it plays out this week, but I think you will see conservatives with some concerns about this legislation,” he said. “I wish we would have pushed harder on the issues.”
Indeed, plenty of conservative voters feel the same way.
But with the Trump administration’s response to conservatives who worked against his initial attempt to replace Obamacare with Obamacare-Lite, it seems many of Congress’s true conservatives are increasingly afraid to push against a president who has convinced millions of voters that he’s keeping his promises—even when it’s clear that he’s not.
And Trump is simply passing the buck. He’s making bad deals, Trump says, because the American system of government is too cumbersome for him to single-handedly make things great.
He said last week: “You look at the rules of the Senate, even the rules of the House — but the rules of the Senate and some of the things you have to go through — it’s really a bad thing for the country, in my opinion. They’re archaic rules. And maybe at some point we’re going to have to take those rules on, because, for the good of the nation, things are going to have to be different.”
For voters who continue to believe in Trump’s power as a transformational president rather than another Washington tool, this should all be very disheartening. But many won’t realize what’s happening until it’s far too late, despite disappointment after disappointment.
Have a bunch of time on your hands? Here’s the full spending bill:
Editor’s Note: If you want to learn the true reason why President Trump doesn’t have a chance to bring the Washington reforms he promised, read this shocking report about the government that’s really in control.