March 21, 2018

Most Riders Removed From Omnibus, A Win for the Public

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs at Public Citizen, Co-Chair of the Clean Budget Coalition


With the finalization of the omnibus text, we return to straightforward budgeting for the first time since the beginning of this fiscal year last October, at long last ending the saga of continuing resolutions and shutdowns. This budget gives a big boost to programs in the non-defense arena, including an important win by allotting $307 million more than the Trump administration requested to combat midterm election cyber-meddling, plus another $380 million for desperately needed election security grants critical for 2018.

Public Citizen also applauds the removal of many of the proposed poison pill policy riders and the hard work of the minority to remove unpopular and damaging policies from the final deal. While we are disappointed with the inclusion of a provision that makes it hard for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to finish its critically important political spending disclosure rule as well as two other anti-disclosure provisions, we are happy that so many of the hundreds of newly proposed poisonous provisions will not see the light of day. In particular, we celebrate the removal of the poison pill that would have blocked enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which would have unleashed an additional $1 billion in secret political spending.

Toxic riders that hurt our campaign finance system, our environmental safeguards and our financial regulations are inappropriate for an appropriations package, and we hope to build on today’s momentum and remove the remaining campaign finance poison pills in the next package in September.

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