Conservatives have rallied against the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill, believing it spends too much while Americans suffer from inflation, and contains many leftist carveouts.

Congress unveiled the multi-trillion dollar omnibus spending bill on Friday, which needs to pass and become law before the end of Friday to avoid a government shutdown

Conservatives have voiced significant concerns about the provisions in the bill and the process by which the bill was drafted.

According to a messaging document obtained by the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the bill has a $46 billion increase in non-defense discretionary spending compared to last year, and a $42 billion increase in defense discretionary spending.

The RSC document details that although congressional appropriations staff had agreed to topline spending figures weeks ago, the details were not divulged to lawmakers until the release of the legislative text Wednesday morning.

Conservatives may feel that Congress’s approach toward spending bills leads to excess spending and would make it harder for conservatives to express their concerns with the bill.

The RSC document details other problems with the omnibus bill, including:

  • No new funding for border wall construction, ICE agents, or funding to support Remain in Mexico. Instead, the bill would decrease CBP funding.
  • The bill would spend over $100 billion on Green New Deal initiatives, and advance “racial justice” through Department of Agriculture programs.
    • The bill also contains $100 million for environmental justice activities at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and $75 million for low or zero-emission vehicles
  • $26 billion in food stamp funding
  • This is the first spending bill to include earmarks.
  • No protections from Chinese espionage in grants to the National Science Foundation
  • Increases National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding by 10 percent
  • Provides $66 million for the “Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH), an increase of $8 million from last year

The Heritage Foundation’s Matt Dickerson, director of the Center for the Federal Budget, mentioned in a press release eight different ways the omnibus would prove to be a “big mistake”:

  • Continues COVID-19 Emergency. The omnibus spending bill would perpetuate and accelerate harmful government policies related to COVID-19, even though the data shows it’s time for America to return to normal. A letter from conservative leaders Heritage President Kevin Roberts, Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson, Club for Growth President David MacIntosh, and ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp called on conservatives in the House and Senate to insist that any spending deal end the national emergency declaration and rescind the vaccine mandates.
  • Ukraine As a Political Pawn. Russia’s re-invasion of Ukraine has led to calls from lawmakers to provide additional assistance to the people of Ukraine and our allies in Europe, on top of the “more than $5.6 billion in total assistance” provided to Ukraine since 2014. On March 2, 2022, President Biden requested another “$10.0 billion in additional humanitarian, security, and economic assistance for Ukraine and Central European partners.” Unfortunately, this crisis is being used as leverage to pass the omnibus spending bill, by tacking $13.6 billion in Ukraine aid to the rest of the unrelated non-defense spending increases and other controversial provisions.
  • Airdropped Earmarks. The massive omnibus spending bill includes thousands of earmarks, funneling billions of taxpayer dollars to special interest pork projects. These earmarks, airdropped into the final omnibus with little transparency, have not been thoroughly vetted. Earmarks have a history of culture of wasteful spending and corruption, with several former members of Congress have been convicted of crimes related to earmarking. Despite the attempted spin from some proponents of earmarking, spending carveouts for local parochial projects that have nothing to do with carrying out the federal government’s limited enumerated powers are most decidedly not a valid tool for Congress’s Article I “power of the purse.”
  • Abortion Funding. Even if the Hyde Amendment is ultimately protected in a spending bill, an omnibus would still send taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood. Because the Biden administration has overturned former President Donald Trump’s Protect Life Rule, the Title X program will once again direct taxpayer subsidies to abortion providers. Title X would receive $286 million in the omnibus.
  • IRS Spending. One of the most controversial aspects of Biden’s agenda has been his effort to add 87,000 Internal Revenue Service agents and requiring financial institutions to report on the accounts of ordinary Americans to the scandal-ridden agency. The omnibus spending bill would provide $12.59 billion for the IRS, a $675 million increase in annual funding.
  • Doubles Down on Green Energy Subsidies. Despite skyrocketing gas prices around the country, the omnibus spending bill doubles down on a radical green energy agenda. Funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) subsidies are described by Senator Leahy, D-VT, as “a historic level of funding” at $3.2 billion, a 12% increase.  Also provided are $1.9 billion for Department of Transportation climate change programs, $1.2 billion for a new Carbon Reduction Program, $2.9 billion for Department of Energy other green energy research as well as a 700% increase for “environmental justice” programs.

Heritage Action, the grassroots activist wing of Heritage, released a notice urging lawmakers to vote aginst the bill.

“Instead of ramming this massive omnibus spending bill into law and finding out everything else that is in it later, lawmakers should reject higher nondefense spending, support our national defense, protect life, end harmful COVID-19 policies, and reject earmarks,” Dickerson wrote.

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