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Cromnibus abides by budget caps but still increases spending

No, that is not a misprint...

Last night, the House passed the "Cromnibus" spending bill, which mysteriously grew to 1,774 pages after 171 pages were added in the Rules Committee. The bill will be voted on in the Senate this weekend, following which the House and Senate will go home for the holidays.

Supporters of this bill claim that it abides by the spending "caps" established by last year's Ryan-Murray budget deal (which increased spending and taxes), and they are correct. However, those who say the Cromnibus increases spending are also correct.

So how did Congress manage to abide by spending caps while increasing spending? Through the magic of emergency spending. "Emergency" spending is exempted from normal budget rules. As the name suggests, "emergency" spending is supposed to be reserved for sudden, urgent, and unforeseen expenses.

So what "unforeseen" expenses are included in the Cromnibus?  One "emergency" item in the Cromnibus is the $74 billion appropriation for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), which funds most of our overseas military actions. Apparently Congress did not realize the government was still involved in overseas military actions until last week.

Congress also missed all the media coverage of Ebola from this summer and fall.  Why else would they designate the Cromnibus' $5 billion appropriation for Ebola-related programs as "emergency" funding?

Campaign for Liberty continues to support Real Cuts, Right Now in all areas of spending, including "emergency" spending.


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