January 6, 2023
Dear Mr. XXXXXX
Thank you for contacting my office regarding the federal government's spending measures for fiscal year 2023. I appreciate hearing from you on this topic.
T he Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, often referred to as the omnibus spending package, was signed into law by President Joe Biden on December 29, 2022 (Public Law 117-328). The bill consists of $1.7 trillion in spending for fiscal year (FY) 2023 and includes over $15 billion in pork barrel spending earmarked for specific politicians. In addition to annual funding, the legislation includes $47 billion in emergency spending for Ukraine and $38 million in emergency disaster assistance.
I joined 28 of my Senate colleagues in opposing the omnibus because I am greatly concerned that it will only exacerbate today's historical inflation, crippling American families. It is essential to understand that out-of-control government spending is mainly responsible for problems like inflation, increases in the cost of living, or expensive health care costs. As our federal debt surpasses the annual level of economic activity in the United States, it will continue to serve as a main drag on economic progress. While the federal government is essential in offering guidance and assistance to Americans, the United States is over $31 trillion in debt. If we are to ensure that our children and grandchildren are not burdened by crushing debt, Congress must take serious action.
I also opposed the bill because, once again, Congress's budget process is fundamentally broken. For example, the omnibus package followed two short-term funding bills, known as "continuing resolutions," and passed three months after FY 2023 began. Further, Congress was given only three days to analyze the 4,155-page spending bill before it passed through both chambers at the last minute on December 23, 2022. These examples of budget dysfunction highlight the need for reform and accountability.
If we are to return our nation's budget to balance, Congress must be willing to make targeted spending cuts. That's why on July 19, 2022, I introduced a ten-year budget plan (S.Con.Res.43). My plan would balance the budget in ten years, aligning revenue and spending over this time frame. My budget also saves $4.5 trillion by capping total expenditures at 17.5 percent of the size of the American economy, the 50-year historical average, while also taking steps to protect the Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security programs. The Senate voted against S.Con.Res.43 by a margin of 35 to 65.
Additionally, I remain concerned with the use of earmarks in our appropriations process. The term “earmark” commonly refers to an authorization of federal funds towards a specific project that benefits a local interest. For instance, a legislator might exchange their vote or support for a bill in order to secure a pet project in their district or state. Over time, the process of earmarking got out of control, as bills would routinely contain thousands of earmarks, totaling tens of billions of dollars. Congressional Republican leaders banned the use of earmarks altogether in 2011 and this rule remained in place throughout the 116th Congress. While Senate Democrats have largely agreed to bring back earmarks, on April 21, 2021, Senate Republicans decided to maintain the earmark ban in its caucus rules. Additionally, I proposed an amendment to the fiscal year 2022 omnibus appropriations legislation to strip every earmark from the bill, a proposal that would have saved more than $9 billion. My amendment received a vote in the Senate, where 35 members voted in support. Unfortunately, it did not receive enough votes to pass the Senate. Rest assured, I will continue to work tirelessly to see these fiscal reforms enacted during my tenure as your U.S. Senator.
The Senate Appropriations Committee, of which I am a member, is responsible for drafting the funding legislation for each fiscal year. I will keep your comments in mind as the Senate considers funding measures for fiscal year 2024.
Thank you for contacting me. It is an honor to serve as your U.S. Senator from Indiana. Please keep in touch with me on issues of concern to you. You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook for real-time updates on my activities in the U.S. Senate. If I ever may be of service, please do not hesitate to contact me.
P.S. This message was sent by email to save taxpayer dollars.
I moved this great post/thread up to the Trading forum. Hope that's ok.
Was this a response to you?
Recent thread that strongly relates:
Debt Limit Brinksmanship
Started by joj - Jan. 8, 2023, 9:03 a.m.
yes this was a response to a letter I sent him.
Great response and wonderful thread.
Thanks for sharing, Mr. XXXXXX (-:
If we really want to cut very wasteful spending, one place to do that is:
NEW: Fake inflation reduction act. Wind, the energy source from environmental hell.
The spending in that bill is beyond wasteful.....its counterproductive and damaging to our county's economic health/future. energy policy.
The life blood for every developed country's economy is its fossil fuel based energy sources.
Trying to obliterate the cheap reliable fossil fuel system driving our economy is the recipe for losing many of the good things that only exist because of fossil fuels.
The better and more productive the economy is, the greater the US tax revenue will be which is the other side of balancing the budget.
Getting rid of fossil fuels is the best way to STIFLE growth and productivity and lower tax revenue.
That bill is the complete opposite of the fake name given to it by money spending charlatans that specialize in tricking people into believing the 100% opposite of the truth.
many years ago i sent a letter to senator gabby giffords about the bloated spending and pork in washington.
her reply was...
that you for you concern about border issues.
(she obviously got my letter confused with someone elses letter).
this told me that my elected officials do NOT pay attention to voters.
some other person probably sent in a letter about border problems, and got a reply about the budget.