Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch today voted against H.R. 3547, the Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
“The U.S. federal debt is well over $17 trillion dollars, a staggering $55,000 per person,” said Crapo. “The federal government has been fiscally irresponsible for far too long and unfortunately, this bill continues this practice. Once again, a massive spending bill was brought to the Senate floor at the last minute and members were prevented from improving the bill with amendments. For the people of Idaho, that means an expiration of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program, or PILT. Idaho’s rural communities will be severely impacted without these funds, and I am committed to working with Senator Risch and others to rectify this omission of PILT.”
“This 1,582-page, trillion-dollar spending bill spends too much and borrows too much,” said Risch. “Over 20 percent of the spending is borrowed money. In addition to the many other unacceptable provisions, it eliminates the longstanding Payments in Lieu of Property Taxes (PILT) to the states, which Idaho so heavily relies on.”
Crapo and Risch pointed to a few of the other shortcomings which drew their ‘no’ vote:
- It adds to rather than reduces the ballooning national debt of $17 trillion
- It fails to eliminate the more than $200 billion in spending on thousands of duplicative and ineffective federal programs
- It fails to eliminate the more than $30 billion in silly and outrageous government waste identified in the 2013 Coburn Wastebook
- It continues to support a spending trajectory that further worsens our government’s deteriorating fiscal position
- And, it perpetuates a fundamentally broken congressional budget process by spending over $1 trillion without a fair and careful consideration of the performance of myriad government programs
The measure passed the Senate in a vote of 72-26.