Oct. 4, 2017
House Budget Resolution Is a Corporate Giveaway on Two Fronts
Statement of Susan Harley, Deputy Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division
Note: Today the U.S. Senate Budget Committee began marking up its resolution to set funding levels. The resolution includes “reconciliation” instructions that would allow passage of tax handouts for the wealthy by a simple majority vote by the Senate. The U.S. House Budget Committee passed its version of a budget resolution – H. Con. Res. 71 (115) – in July, which also contained reconciliation instructions. The House began debate on its measure today, and is expected to vote on the resolution on Thursday.
The budget process should be about taking care of our families and communities, not undermining them, and it shouldn’t be used to roll back hard-won, critical consumer protections. But Republicans in Congress have it backwards. Instead, they’re proposing abusive budget resolutions with dangerous reconciliation instructions that set the stage for tax handouts to the rich as well as appropriations bills with hundreds of dangerous policy riders that have nothing to do with funding our government.
Most of these poison pill riders are handouts to corporate interests that would weaken, repeal or block essential public protections. Their inclusion risks a costly and disruptive government shutdown when funding expires in December. Making matters worse, reconciliation instructions would set the stage for deep and painful cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, public education, nutrition assistance and other vital services working American families depend on – all to pay for an unprecedented tax giveaway to the wealthy and profitable corporations.
Not only is the timing for this year’s budget process backward – with several appropriations bills already having been passed and the government running under a stopgap continuing resolution – the priorities are backward too. Riders and reconciliation instructions are corporate giveaways, and they have no place in a budget that’s supposed to protect our families.