Rep. Gosar Votes Against Ill-Conceived Spending Bill

Jan 15, 2014 Issues: Challenging the Status Quo

For Immediate Release
January 15, 2014

 

Contact: Garrett Hawkins
Garrett.Hawkins@mail.house.gov

Rep. Gosar Votes Against Ill-Conceived Spending Bill
‘Bill sends the message to cartels and human traffickers that the U.S. border is open for business’

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after voting against H.R.3547, the Omnibus Spending Bill:

“I voted against this massive spending bill for several reasons. First, this bill undermines the sound fiscal cuts we implemented in 2011 by increasing overall spending above 2014 sequester levels. I was sent to Congress to cut spending and work toward a balanced budget, not increase spending and balloon our national debt.

“Second, this bill was conceived in a flawed process, which exemplifies dysfunctional Washington. This massive 1,582 page bill was written behind closed doors. There was no open debate.  No amendments were allowed. We were given a measly 48 hours to read and digest its 1,582 pages. It is irresponsible to vote on enormous bills no one had time to read. When it comes to rushing bills through Congress, ObamaCare taught us an important lesson: we must demand time to air out legislation and have a conversation with the people who elected us.

“Third, this bill screws Western states that depend on PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) resources for schools and infrastructure in rural areas, as well as police and fire operations. I agree with the sentiment ‘either give us PILT or give us our lands back.’ There is no solution in this bill; there is only a nonbinding promise that somehow, someway Western states will receive this vital funding in the future. This is bad for the West and bad for Arizona.

“Fourth, I am troubled by the priorities in this bill. It cuts resources to border enforcement – one of the few areas where we need increased funding. Specifically, it decreases Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) budget by almost $160 million from FY2013. This bill sends the message to cartels and human traffickers that the U.S. border is open for business. The bill also cuts funding for embassy security by $224 million in the wake of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi. I personally toured some of our overseas embassies and saw their security needs. In light of the recent Senate report on the lack of security at Benghazi, the cuts to embassy security put our overseas personnel at risk.

“Finally, instead of allocating funding to these legitimate areas, the bill increases funding to ineffective programs like Headstart, which will receive an additional half billion dollars. This is after Headstart was deemed a complete failure according to the government’s own studies. It also appropriates $35 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which is allegedly involved in China’s coercive one-child policy and promotes abortion. I do not want our tax dollars spent on this.”

BACKGROUND

Sequester: The Budget Control Act set spending levels at $967 billion for FY2014. This bill provides $1.012 trillion for the remainder of FY2014, which is the base level set forth in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement.

PILT: Since federally owned lands are non-taxable, the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program was established to replace the property tax revenue local governments would receive were the lands privately owned. This money is used by local governments to fund vital programs, such as police and fire services, road construction and maintenance, and construction of public schools.

The federal government owns millions of acres of land throughout the United States, but particularly in rural Western areas. Forty-eight percent of the land in Arizona is federally owned and local Arizona governments received more than $32 million in PILT payments in FY 2013.

Border Enforcement: This bill will decrease Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) budget by almost $160 million from FY2013.

Embassy Security: Despite the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, this bill provides $224 million less for embassy security, maintenance and construction costs than in FY2013.

Headstart: In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services released a scientific study, which concluded that Head Start is ineffective at improving child outcomes in various categories, including cognitive abilities such as reading, language and math. There were even a few areas in which Head Start was detrimental to children.

UNFPA: This bill appropriates $35 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which is allegedly connected to China’s family planning program. If UNFPA is indeed involved in China’s coercive one-child policy, it means the U.S. government is sending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to an organization that is complicit in forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations. 

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