UPDATE: President Obama signed the $410 billion Omnibus bill into law today, March 11, 2009.
UPDATE: On February 25, 2009, the House passed the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 1105) by a vote of 245 to 178 (Roll Call 86). The bill was passed under a closed rule, meaning that no amendments were allowed. One thing that was included in the House-passed omnibus was a temporary, six-month extension of E-Verify, the computer-based program which employers use to verify the legal status and work eligibility of their potential hires. E-Verify is set to expire on March 6, 2009, so it is imperative that this provision is retained in the final bill. H.R. 1105 is currently under consideration on the Senate floor.
February 24, 2009
If you thought that the passage of the "stimulus" bill a week ago signaled a coming hiatus in wasteful spending projects and left-wing goodies being slipped into legislation, well, you were wrong!
The liberal House Majority just announced today that they plan to begin debate on the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 1105), which is a consolidated version of the nine unfinished appropriations bills from the previous congress, tomorrow-Wednesday, February 25, 2009! The bill does not even fund the government for a full year; the terms of this proposed budget run only from March 2009 through September 2009. As we have seen in the five short weeks that this Congress has been in session, very little time is allotted to debate any bill and final votes are forced well before adequate analysis of the issues has taken place.
H.R. 1105 is simply the Obama-Pelosi-Reid stimulus bill's little brother. It contains many of the same wasteful spending provisions and earmarks for left wing organizations and pet-projects, and it amounts to certain government agencies and programs being funded twice.
The following spending levels are above and beyond those provided for in the stimulus, which has now been officially signed into law:
- Total spending proposed in the 2009 Omnibus. $410 billion. This is a $32 billion increase over 2008 levels and represents the largest annual spending increase since the Carter Administration.
- International Family Planning. $545 million, which will now flow to abortion providers since President Obama has overturned the Mexico City Policy.
- Health Care Rationing. $50 million, in addition to the $1.1 billion included in the "stimulus" to conduct "comparative effectiveness research" to evaluate the effectiveness of different preventative health interventions.
- Fairness Doctrine. Removes a provision that prohibits funds from being used to implement the so-called "fairness doctrine," which aims to censor "conservative" media content.
- Census. $3.13 billion, in addition to the $1 billion provided in the "stimulus" for the 2010 Census, which the Obama Administration is attempting to monitor and control from the Executive Branch.
- ACORN. $181 million, for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation for housing counseling-the program that greatly contributed to the current mortgage meltdown.
- Obama Inauguration. $20 million. To reimburse State and local governments for inauguration expenses.
- Obama Inauguration, part 2. $39 million, for the District of Columbia to pay for the increased security.
- New West Wing/White House computers. $76 million.
- Migrant Housing. $5.4 million. In other words, government benefits for non-U.S. citizens.
- UN/international Peacekeeping. $1.5 billion, while also raising the cap on annual U.S. contributions to UN peacekeeping.
And now, here is a quick sampling of the earmarks included in the Omnibus:
- $950,000 for a National Council of La Raza loan fund for "community development activities."
- $5.8 million for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate at the University of Massachusetts.
- $7.1 million for the recovery of Hawaiian sea turtle populations.
- $713,000 for "intelligent facades for high performance green buildings" in New York.
- $475,000 for hybrid buses in Guam.
- $950,000 for a bike path in Wisconsin.
You can find a complete list of spending levels and all 9,000 earmarks contained in the Omnibus bill here.
Just one week after the largest spending bill in the history of the United States was passed, this liberal-controlled Congress is using the necessary appropriations bills-which are long past due and were supposed to be completed during 2008-as vehicles to force sweeping national policy changes through America without public scrutiny and proper debate.
Although conservatives are greatly outnumbered, it is important to keep the public as aware and as educated as possible about the goings-on of the liberal supermajority. The House is expected to vote on final passage before the end of this week. Your calls are always valuable and serve as much-needed motivation for your elected officials to oppose dangerous bills, so don't delay, take action now!
Watch Rep. Paul Ryan speak about the Omnibus Spending bill.