As we’ve noted for weeks, when Congress passes massive spending bills right after an election, accountability goes out the window. That’s because many of the people voting on the bills-and this year the president-are leaving office and will never have to face voters again.
This leads to government-funding bills that become vehicles for massive spending increases and unrelated policies. Worst of all, these bills are usually over 1,000 pages and voted on in a matter of hours after their release so no one can read them.
This is unacceptable behavior for our elected officials.
That’s why the Stop, Cut & Fix coalition has advocated for a long-term spending bill (or “continuing resolution”) to fund the government into at least 2017.
Fortunately, this common-sense idea is picking up steam. Below is a bipartisan list of Members of Congress who have publicly opposed lame-duck spending and endorsed a long-term continuing resolution.
As this list grows, we’ll keep updating it as we advocate for accountability is government spending.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “I’m not a fan of kicking things into a lame-duck session,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Senate Republican, said Thursday. “If you held a gun to my head and made me choose the length of the [continuing resolution] as the last option, I’d say let’s kick this over into the first part of next year.” – Politico, July 14, 2016
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “I agree at least into March,” he said. “I’d favor getting a new administration with its feet under. See what their priorities are. Hopefully we’d be getting our financial house in order.” – CQ, July 14, 2016
Sen. John Thune (R-SD): “I mean, if it were me and we were going to do a CR, I would probably want to push it into next year, yeah,” Thune said when pressed by CQ in June about his preference on a stopgap…”I think people get very tired of having to process these things at the end of the year, at the eleventh hour, when in most cases Democrats have all the leverage because we haven’t gotten the bills across the floor,” Thune said. “Now last year, they blocked them all by filibuster, but we’re going to try and get as many of them done as we can,” he added. – CQ, June 16, 2016
U.S. House of Representatives:
Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX): “A short term CR for six months would probably be okay,” said Bill Flores (R-Texas), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee. “Sometime in March.” – The Washington Post, July 11, 2016
Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH): “Congress should not be making another long-term spending deal with President Obama and Harry Reid,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, a faction of about 40 uber-conservative House Republicans, in an emailed statement to Morning Consult. “Taking away that leverage by passing a CR into March is something that Republicans should consider.” – Morning Consult, August 3, 2016
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC): “What does it say to the public when we say, ‘We don’t have the nerve and the political will to take up big issues before the election, but we’ve got the will to do it right after the election when we’re not accountable?'” – The Atlantic, April 22, 2016
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID): “I will only vote for a continuing resolution that stretches into next year,” said Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, speaking Thursday before reporters on Capitol Hill. – The Daily Signal, July 7, 2016
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ): “If you look at these lame ducks, you know, the American public gets screwed,” Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), the Freedom Caucus member leading the charge against the postelection session, told The Huffington Post last week. “Increased spending, all these favors that we got to do for people — it’s got to stop.” – The Huffington Post, March 29, 2016
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY): Others, such as Massie, don’t want Congress to reconvene at all after the election. “I think the American public would be safest if we did not come back for a lame-duck session,” he tells me. – The Atlantic, April 22, 2016
Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA): “The CR is going to be the main issue that we have to grapple with, and the House Freedom Caucus is fairly supportive of the idea that we don’t want to end up in a lame duck – so we’re going to push pretty hard for the March date.” – The Daily Caller, July 12, 2016
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): “I think we should avoid a lame duck session,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, in the briefing for reporters Thursday. “You’ve got Harry Reid leaving, you’ve got President Obama leaving, and this is a chance to just line up the Christmas tree for all the wants for the future. We need to really to avoid that happening. There’s too many people that would love to make deals to just overwhelm the American public and we do not need that to happen if we are going to salvage this little experiment in democracy.” – The Daily Signal, July 7, 2016
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC): “I’m in favor of having the most critical legislative issues brought up early this summer long before any lame-duck session,” Meadows said. “Consequential pieces of legislation should not be considered after an election by individuals who are no longer accountable to the people.” – The Daily Signal, April 4, 2016
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA): Members of the House Freedom Caucus told CQ in July that they’re willing to accept the $1.067 trillion spending level in exchange for punting spending beyond the lame-duck session. One member, Morgan Griffith, R-Va., said he would have even accepted the slightly higher $1.07 trillion level – but only if GOP leaders had brought up a six-month CR for a vote before the summer break, which didn’t happen. – CQ, August 8, 2016
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA): “”I don’t like lame duck sessions, I don’t think lame duck sessions are any good. I don’t think you should have them, because there’s a lot of people who vote in a lame duck session who aren’t really accountable to anyone,” Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) told TPM. – TPM, September 8, 2016
Rep. Steve King (R-IA): “I don’t want to set us up to put our neck in the chopping block,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told TPM. “We want to bring this into the next year. We don’t want to set this up for the leverage that would come in lame duck.” – TPM, September 8, 2016