U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson: Bill needed more vetting before passage

Published 4:29 pm Monday, January 2, 2023

The process this latest “omnibus” spending bill went through is completely broken…and that would be true whether it’s Democrats or Republicans doing it.

The bill is 4,000-plus pages and would spend an additional $1.7 trillion.

Very little of it has undergone any vetting at the committee level in the House. It does nothing to secure our southern border, it throws $12 billion more at the IRS (which just received $80 billion in the “Inflation Reduction Act”), and it continues giving billions of taxpayer dollars away to subsidize “rush to green,” anti-fossil fuels energy programs.

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Additionally, it provides over $40 billion more to support Ukraine. I’m all for stopping Vladimir Putin’s invasion of a sovereign country. But, Congress must bring more transparency and accountability to the billions of taxpayer dollars being sent to Ukraine to help the nation defend itself from Russian aggression. Unfortunately, this massive spending bill doesn’t provide for that accountability. Ensuring Russia’s defeat is in America’s interest… it’s certainly in the keen interest of our European allies as well.

But with a $31 trillion national debt, Congress must ensure that any funding for Ukraine’s defense has been thoroughly vetted and efficiently distributed. We can’t ensure that with this rushed process.

Bottom line: Jamming through a giant spending bill – that includes hundreds of billions more for domestic spending on top of the trillions the Biden Administration has already spent – crafted in a back room with little vetting and little bipartisan input is not good government, and I couldn’t support it.

Bill Johnson is a Republican and represents the congressional district covering Lawrence County until Monday.