Rep. Roy votes against 5,600-page, $2.3 trillion, backroom spending bill

December 22, 2020
Press Release
"The President should veto the bill and force Congress back to the drawing board to do its job just as the American people do theirs every day."

The American people got a very clear glimpse at the total dysfunction and incompetency of the U.S. Congress as it passed a massive lobby-driven 5600 page spending bill negotiated in back rooms to spend over $2.3 trillion with mere hours to review it.  Allegedly passed as “COVID relief,” we actually voted on both COVID measures and a massive omnibus spending package — a package that should have been divided into well over 20 bills.  

I voted “no” on both spending measures because I will neither endorse a corrupt legislative process nor agree to pass legislation that actively harms our nation, as this bill will assuredly do.  It will rack up debt, fund the very local governments locking downs schools and businesses, extend federal subsidies to pay people more not to work than to work, fall short on desperately needed small business relief, and continue funding policies—such as endless wars, open borders, and anti-American education system—that undermine our American way of life.

Specifically, these bills continue our annual tradition of saddling future generations of Americans with mountains of additional debt. They bust the 2019 non-defense caps by $30 billion and bust the sequestration caps by $183 billion—capping off a decade of failure to adhere to budget caps by both parties.

While leadership assured us that this wouldn’t bail out state and local governments that are destroying small businesses with lockdowns, it contains billions in funds for things like transit systems and infrastructure funds that will fill out their budgets all the same.  It adds over $80 billion in education funding—including a slush fund for governors — that will make it easier for schools to stay closed while their students’ grades are plummeting while being taught America is evil.  It gives billions to the very colleges and universities that have massive endowments yet are indoctrinating students with anti-American propaganda.

It damages border security by cutting ICE funding by over $400 million and failing to adequately shore up wall and infrastructure funding.  It throws billions at foreign aid, including gender programs in Pakistan to the tune of $10 million.  And it continues to fund defense spending that perpetuates ongoing conflicts that cost blood and treasure even as Congress is too cowardly to vote on a new Authorization of Military Force rather than operate under one passed 20 years ago.

There are a few good provisions in the bill that I have long fought for — allowing for second PPP loans, PPP deductibility, simplified loan forgiveness for the smallest business, a well-deserved pay raise for America’s troops — but we can’t call something a relief package when the rest of it does more harm than good.  

If Congress is going to send direct payments to some Americans - $600 will be too little for some and too much for others — including members of the laptop class who push for lockdowns because their income isn’t affected. For them, it amounts to nothing less than a taxpayer-funded Christmas bonus, both wasteful and unjust.  And, many of the PPP conditions for small businesses are too restrictive, leaving out too many businesses whose owners and employees still deserve to be made whole.

On top of everything else, this package also includes over 60 standalone bills that are unrelated to government funding or COVID relief, such as one regarding how the Dalai Lama is chosen, one to regulate horse racing, and one creating new Smithsonian museums. 

Finally, this bill was produced by legislative malpractice. The people’s representatives were locked out of this process. We didn’t get bill text until just before 2 p.m. Monday. The bill was almost 5,600 pages long. They didn’t want us to read it. They just wanted us to pass it. Given what is in it, it is easy to see why. 

This spending measure is nothing short of an embarrassment, and any justification for supporting it by members of Congress or the President requires deceptive contortions of the highest order.  It represents everything wrong with Washington and epitomizes the very swamp that the President supposedly ran against. 

The President should veto the bill and force Congress back to the drawing board to do its job just as the American people do theirs every day.