Lame-Duck Congress Ought to Reject Biden’s Proposed Ukraine Support, COVID-19 Spending Binge

As if on cue, President Joe Biden requested the lame-duck Congress for one more $47.7 billion supplemental spending package deal simply as representatives and senators returned to Washington after the midterm elections.

Lawmakers ought to reject Biden’s spending binge.

The lame-duck interval is when Congress is least accountable, going down after the American folks voted out the Democratic majority within the Home in favor of a slim Republican majority. Defeated and retiring lawmakers shouldn’t be including billions to the taxpayers’ tab, significantly after their reckless spending sparked inflation at a stage not seen in 4 a long time.

This supplemental spending request for Ukraine assist and COVID-19 funding is greater than a whole yr’s price of standard appropriations for the departments of Agriculture and Inside mixed.

Biden’s technique is to connect these new spending requests onto an enormous omnibus appropriations invoice. A lame-duck omnibus would ram by a 3rd yr of liberal-policy and inflationary-spending agendas.

Given our present fiscal and financial scenario, each greenback of presidency spending—approaching high of the $7.7 trillion spending spree since 2020—will add to inflationary pressures and burden American households.

As an alternative, Congress ought to move a unbroken decision into subsequent yr, permitting the brand new 118th Congress to thoughtfully write accountable appropriations payments that scale back spending, rein in govt overreach, defend life, and safe our borders.

Ukraine Support

Congress has already handed $66 billion in taxpayer-funded assist to Ukraine and to replenish shares of significant ammunition and provides for the U.S. army that Biden has transferred to Ukraine.

Congress has spent extra this yr on Ukraine than on the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety.

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Biden is now requesting a further $37.7 billion in Ukraine-related spending, which might carry complete spending for Ukraine this yr to just about $104 billion.

The request contains $21.7 billion for protection help to Ukraine and replenishment of Division of Protection shares; $14.5 billion for subsidizing the federal government of Ukraine and humanitarian help; $900 million for well being and assist providers to Ukrainian refugees; and $626 million for nuclear safety in Ukraine, in addition to home vitality assets.

The leaders of 13 conservative organizations, together with Heritage Basis President Kevin Roberts, lately launched a letter to congressional management urging them to reject any giant help package deal within the lame-duck session. (The Day by day Sign is the information outlet of The Heritage Basis.)

The letter additional states that “any new assist package deal to Ukraine must be totally debated, examined, and voted on within the 118th Congress.”

Whereas assist for Ukraine is within the U.S. nationwide curiosity, Congress ought to make sure that any further assist is offered in a accountable means. New appropriations have to be offset by spending reductions elsewhere within the finances.

Help must be centered on build up the protection capabilities of Ukraine, permitting our European companions to concentrate on humanitarian, financial, and reconstruction help. Moreover, further assist must be contingent on a concrete technique from the White Home and accompanied by public hearings and thorough deliberation in Congress.

Workplace of Administration Price range Director Shalanda Younger wrote Tuesday to outgoing Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.: “Thus far, roughly three-quarters of the funds beforehand offered by the Congress have been disbursed or dedicated, with much more anticipated by the tip of the yr.”

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The administration have to be extra clear about its spending plans and the standing of already appropriated funds. Given the speed of expenditure of U.S. funds for defense-related assist to Ukraine, it’s potential these funds may run out earlier than Congress can think about the appropriation of further funds.

If that’s the case, the administration must be requested to determine these minimal important funds which might be wanted, and solely these must be up for consideration.

COVID-19, Different Illnesses

After $6 trillion spent since March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden is asking Congress for a further $9.25 billion for vaccines and therapeutics domestically and overseas, in addition to for researching “lengthy COVID.”

The identical day Biden requested the extra funding, the Senate handed a joint decision that might terminate the COVID-19 emergency declaration if handed by the Home and signed into legislation by the president. Biden himself declared “the pandemic is over” in September, though he has continued the emergency declaration.

Biden’s request additionally contains $400 million associated to monkeypox and $350 million for hepatis C and HIV.

Congress beforehand rejected the $22.5 billion COVID-19 supplemental that Biden requested in March and the $26.9 billion request in September for COVID-19 and monkeypox spending. Lawmakers ought to reject this new spending as nicely.

Catastrophe Reduction

This $47.7 billion request is barely more likely to be the start of recent spending requests. In her letter to Pelosi, the OMB’s Younger alluded to a forthcoming request for extra catastrophe spending, writing, “We’re working rapidly to refine the estimates of funding wants to deal with latest pure disasters, and we are going to share further particulars on these anticipated wants as quickly as potential.”

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Nonetheless, the Federal Emergency Administration Company’s Catastrophe Reduction Fund has a steadiness of greater than $23 billion out there as of Oct. 31 for the administration to answer catastrophe wants.

The Catastrophe Reduction Fund is the federal government’s main supply of funding catastrophe response. The account is replenished every fiscal yr to permit for versatile responses to disasters similar to hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires with out the necessity to wait on new appropriations from Congress.

FEMA has already obligated almost $3.5 million from the fund in response to the latest hurricanes, Ian and Fiona, that struck Florida and Puerto Rico. With the big quantity within the fund already out there to offer instant help, Congress ought to rigorously scrutinize any request for extra catastrophe spending.

Simply Say No

Biden and his liberal allies in Congress, similar to Pelosi, need to drive by an enormous spending package deal within the unaccountable lame-duck interval.

Accountable lawmakers have the ability to cease this spending binge that might worsen inflationary pressures.

Congress ought to reject Biden’s lame-duck supplemental request and omnibus spending invoice.

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