This week, the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives adopted a new set of rules for the way the House runs – rules which threaten to undermine funding for our nation’s critical infrastructure needs.
Under these rules, the new Republican majority will enact a draconian budget without a single hearing, without any input from the Budget Committee, without any outreach to Congressional Democrats, and without a direct vote by the House of Representatives. Merely by entering a statement into the record, the Budget Chairman can subject all spending beyond whatever levels he deems appropriate to a point of order. This level of concentrated authority runs contrary to the premise of transparency that Republicans campaigned on, and, given its disregard for scrutiny, runs the risk of greatly damaging our infrastructure, our economy and the welfare of millions.
Seriously, if Republican citizens realized how much Republican politicians undemocratically take over control of important matters because they can as members of Big Government, I’m sure many of them wouldn’t feel so secure having Republicans in control.
While Republican politicians purport to be protecting America, they are actually making a mockery of democracy and doing our Founders Fathers wrong.
The excerpt above is by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR) on The Infrastructurist. Below is more or you can read the full piece, which goes on to address critical transportation needs, here: Rep. Blumenauer: New Republican Rules Threaten Infrastructure Funding [Guest Post]
The rules themselves make a mockery of prudent budgeting. While the Republican rhetoric has been laudable in some instances, their “Cut-as-you-go” rule is riddled with loopholes. For instance, it allows tax cuts for corporations to be deficit financed, while programs like child tax credits must find offsets. In fact, these rules forbid eliminating even the narrowest special interest tax loophole to find revenue for effective government programs.
The most casual glance at the origin of this country’s debts illustrates the fallacy of their approach. These rules make it possible to make permanent the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts for the highest-income taxpayers without finding a dime to offset the cost to our nation. The rules also allow the Republican majority to ignore the cost of repealing the Affordable Care Act, which not only saves nearly $150 billion during the next 10 years, but reduces healthcare costs by nearly a trillion dollars during the following decades.
In no way do these rules result in the type of prudent budgeting that my Republican colleagues campaigned on, nor does it resemble anything like what any hardworking American family must do. At a time when the Republican majority is pledging greater openness, the rules are also anti-democratic by depriving 600,000 taxpaying D.C. residents of their ability to have their voice heard in the Committee of the Whole.
Image Credit: Donkey Hotey