HR 244 – FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Act: NO
HR 244 – FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Act: NO. This bill funds the government through September 30th. Sadly, it continues a spending trajectory in which deficits are expected to hit trillion-dollar annual levels within just a few years – risking a sovereign debt crisis that has proven devastating to economic growth and often fatal to other countries.
As with any complex appropriations act, the pros and cons involve an enormous amount of subjective balancing. Although an argument can be made that this bill moves us slightly closer to Republican policies, it is largely indistinguishable from the spending priorities set during the Obama administration.
Worse, it establishes a spending precedent that will be all the more difficult to break in the future because of two bad choices made by the Senate and the House.
Senate Republicans have chosen not to reform the cloture rule for fiscal bills. This will make it much harder for the administration to meet its responsibilities and keep its promises. It will also make it all but impossible to restore the normal appropriations process.
House Republicans have failed to achieve consensus within our own ranks. This too, imperils the major reforms that will define this administration, ranging from health care to tax reform. The inability of Republican conservatives and moderates to come together has shifted the center of legislative gravity in the House dramatically to the left, and into territory openly hostile to the President’s agenda.
Whether we can point our country back to solvency and restore a pro-growth agenda will depend largely on correcting these two conditions quickly.