March 10, 2009

Crapo: 8% Spending Increase Unacceptable

Also notes duplicate spending in stimulus, omnibus bills

Washington, DC - Out-of-control spending by the U.S. Congress has taken on new significance, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. On a voice vote following a cloture vote of 62 to 35 to stop debate, the Senate tonight voted to pass an omnibus "catch-all" spending bill for Fiscal Year 2009. Crapo voted no, noting there are more than 100 cases in this bill where federal agencies are receiving duplicate funding contained both in this measure and the recently-passed economic stimulus bill.

Crapo noted the omnibus bill spending approved today is eight percent, or $15.3 billion, higher than figures contained in the Fiscal Year 2009 spending bills actually approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee last year. The measure has already been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and now goes to the President for his signature. "The omnibus, coupled with the stimulus, is spending billions more than Congress can reasonably review and reconcile in the short weeks we have considered the bills, as is proven by the duplication of funds. While many meritorious programs and projects will be funded by this bill, we can still manage to provide for those in a more responsibly-crafted bill," Crapo concluded.

"The latest count reveals there are 122 federal programs that are funded in both the stimulus and in the omnibus spending bill we just considered," said Crapo, a member of the Senate Budget Committee. "An attempt to cut back this spending spree to last year's levels was defeated. Now, for the first time in history, discretionary spending will hit $1 trillion. Any responsible American family knows that when they are struggling just to make ends meet and pay the current bills they owe, they don't go and take money from their retirement fund or their child's college fund so they can spend another 8 percent more than they spent last year. But that is just what we are doing in this omnibus bill. It is time that we, as an American family, learn to live within our means."