Feb. 22, 2018
Spending Package Policy Riders Are a Last Chance to Reward Donors Before the 2018 Midterms
Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Public Citizen
It’s exactly one month until the March 23 appropriations deadline, and the threat posed by poison pill policy riders attached to the omnibus spending deal is more urgent and serious than ever before.
The omnibus funding package currently being negotiated behind closed doors is expected to be the last piece of must-pass legislation before the 2018 midterms. For Republican lawmakers looking to cheat their way to a few legislative victories, this funding package is a last chance before November to try to force through special favors for their corporate donors and ideologically extreme supporters that couldn’t become law on their own merits.
The next few weeks are an all-hands-on-deck moment for public interest organizations and the tens of millions of Americans who could be harmed by these toxic riders should any of them became law.
If they become law, the impacts of these policies would be alarming. There are measures that would throw open the floodgates to more secret corporate and billionaire spending in our elections, and their combined effect adds up to what many leading experts are calling “Citizens United 2.0.” Other poison pills would do massive damage to the environment, target women’s reproductive health, roll back Wall Street reforms and undermine worker protections. There is hardly an issue untouched by ideological partisan policy riders, and they threaten to make sweeping changes to our nation’s laws with virtually no public debate.
Public Citizen is proud to lead the nearly 200 groups in the Clean Budget Coalition, all of whom are calling for a clean budget free from poison pill riders. We urge the public, leading voices in the press, members of Congress and the White House to reject all the harmful ideological riders and keep the focus of the appropriations process where it belongs – on funding the agencies and programs that people depend on.