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A Second Minibus: What You Missed and Why It Matters

Jul 23, 2018 by AFP

Thursday, the House passed the second minibus spending package H.R. 6147 (115) fiscal 2019 for Interior-Environment, Financial Services and General Government. We were encouraged both that this bill was consistent with the spending levels set forth in the budget agreement earlier this spring, and more importantly that spending for this particular bill was frozen at FY2018 spending levels.

Additionally we are pleased to see that, among a number of good reforms, the package finally brings the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection(BCFP) under the regular appropriations process—a positive and much needed step toward increasing accountability and transparency at the agency.

However, other appropriations bills are well above FY2018 spending levels, and there is already a push to drive up spending further on the MilCon-VA-Energy-Leg minibus bill (H.R. 5895) without offsetting that spending elsewhere. They have plenty of money within the existing budget to fund the programs in this bill and they shouldn’t be asking taxpayers for more.

The reckless omnibus spending bill for FY2018 only made matters worse; lawmakers need to hit the brakes on spending if there is ever going to be a chance to make serious, meaningful and long-overdue spending reforms to both the discretionary and mandatory sides of the ledger.

We remain concerned about ever-increasing levels of spending and the unsustainable fiscal path the federal government is on.

While this bill is a positive step, any appropriations bills that push spending over that level should be offset with lower spending on other appropriations bills. That’s why we have called on Congress to freeze discretionary spending at FY2018 levels. And we’ll continue to engage our activists to send a message to Washington that it’s time to stop overspending.