Congress needs to do its job

Published 3:10 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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By Rep. Jerry Carl

Each year, Congress has a duty to pass twelve Appropriations bills to fund the government. This spending, which is known as discretionary spending, funds everything from the Department of Defense to our Border Patrol agents. The Appropriations process begins each year in the Spring. Each of the twelve bills originates in subcommittee, then heads to the entire Appropriations Committee, before ultimately heading to the House Floor.

I worked hard to get on the Appropriations Committee so I can have more of a say in how your tax dollars are spent. I was fortunate to get a spot on the Committee this year, and we have been hard at work getting our spending under control since January of this year.

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In the past 10 months, we have had countless Committee meetings, spent days upon end pouring over each of these bills and looking for every penny we could responsibly cut. We’ve also had dozens of Biden administration officials on the Hill to justify their annual budget requests, and we’ve asked them tough questions. The result of these months of hard work is twelve Appropriations bills that cut billions of dollars in wasteful spending and ensure your tax dollars are being used as wisely as possible.

Every single one of these bills has significant cuts and have much lower topline numbers than previous years. There is still more to cut in future years, but we’ve worked hard to cut as much as possible while keeping in mind these bills have to pass the Senate and get signed into law by the President.

Government funding runs out this week, and we’ve got a handful of Republicans up here who have been voting with the Democrats against these Appropriations bills for various reasons. Despite what some folks may say, a government shutdown is not smart and does not save taxpayers a single dollar. In fact, a government shutdown actually costs you more money, accomplishes nothing, and is simply irresponsible. Any elected official who tells you differently is either misguided or misleading you.

Every Member of Congress was sent here to do a job, and shutting down the government for political points is not what we were elected to do. I’ve been working, and will continue working, to trim the fat and get this country back on track. This process takes time, but we have been headed in the right direction this year. Congress should get serious about keeping this progress going instead of shutting down the government. A shutdown doesn’t accomplish anything productive, and it’s nothing more than a gift to Joe Biden. We’ve got to do better.