Sen. Mike Lee: Spending bill Senate just passed ‘keeps the government headed in the same direction’
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in a 12-minute Facebook Live video Wednesday explains why he voted against the continuing resolution, a stopgap spending bill that keeps the government operating through Dec. 9.
“It just keeps the government headed in the same direction – doesn’t really change much. It can contain a few revisions so it’s not really a budget, but it is a spending bill – a spending bill that simply says ‘Keep things more or less as they are subject to few minor changes,” says Sen. Lee.
Members of Congress year after year face pressure from government employees and other groups to pass such resolutions, even if it means subverting the democratic process.
“Today’s continuing resolution comes just a couple of days before the expiration of the current spending bill which expires on Sept. 30. After that moment, if Congress hasn’t passed anything, a government shutdown results so that’s why there’s a push toward getting this done. The problem with this is we’ve known for a year that this was going to happen … and yet … we didn’t pass it until today,” he says.
Congress squandered a whole year that could’ve been used to iron out the resolution and come to a compromise through a more fair and democratic way instead of relying on two people to bargain the terms of the continuing resolution.
“The fact is we could have and I believe we should have put this on the floor a long time ago … but instead we have basically two people running the show – two people writing this continuing resolution, two people negotiating in private – in secret, if you will – what the bill is going to be and, in the end, the democratic process is thwarted, thwarted quite dramatically as a result of this. That’s why I couldn’t vote for this.”
Instead, lawmakers need to stop resigning themselves to taking the good with the bad when it comes to spending and must demand more of senior congressional members.
“We’re told that, unless we vote to fund everything in government – even programs that we find morally reprehensible, even programs that we find unconstitutional even, programs that we find excessive or inadequate or in gross need of supervision from the legislative branch – we’re told ‘You can’t vote to fund anything. You can’t vote to fund veterans’ benefits or funding for the national parks or the Justice Department or the FBI – any program that you like or dislike cannot be funded unless you vote to fund everything.”
WATCH the full Facebook Live video below: