This Week in Congress Update

Yesterday, the Senate voted to “table” Senator Rand Paul's amendment repealing the 2001 and 2002 Authorization of Force resolutions by a vote of 61-36. It is sad that a majority of the Senate still does not want to have a full debate over the wisdom of continued military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can see the roll-call vote here. The news from Capitol Hill is not all bad. On Tuesday, the House passed an amendment to the spending bill prohibiting the use of funds to enforce Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ expansion of civil asset theft by voice vote. Today, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton may receive a vote on his amendment to lift the budget caps on federal spending imposed by sequestration—even though spending still rose under sequestration, these limited cuts were too much for the bipartisan spending caucus. Defense hawks like Cotton are more than willing to cut deals with big liberal spenders to increase both warfare and welfare spending. That way everyone is happy except the taxpayer. Campaign for Liberty members should call their Senators and tell them to oppose the Cotton amendment. Here is the text of a letter Campaign for Liberty is cosigning in opposition to the Cotton Amendment:

September 14,2017 

Open Letter to the U.S. Senate:

Oppose Efforts to Retreat on Spending Restraint

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, representing millions of Americans, we strongly urge all Senators to oppose Senator Cotton’s amendment #456 to H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. This short-sighted amendment would eliminate the 2011 Budget Control Act’s (BCA) sequester mechanism for discretionary spending, rendering the spending caps unenforceable and reneging on Congress’s promise to deliver the $1 trillion in deficit reduction by 2021. Though an imperfect legislative solution to our growing fiscal woes, the BCA has nonetheless been an essential check on the Congressional impulse to overspend. The BCA has generated significant savings for taxpayers, established a lower budget baseline, and forced much-needed waste reduction and prioritization of programmatic needs across federal agencies. The annual Defense authorization act is an improper vehicle to unwind the BCA. Any discussion of repealing or changing the caps ought to be done in the context of other significant reforms that would generate real savings for taxpayers --, both now AND in the future. As the BCA has successfully demonstrated, even modest spending reductions now will positively affect our fiscal outlook for years to come, particularly on the mandatory spending side of the ledger. Repealing the BCA in the absence of a comprehensive plan to restrain our out-of-control spending, coincidentally within days of our national debt reaching new record-highs, would represent yet another failure of Congress to exercise the fiscal restraint that our economy urgently requires.


Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union
Wm. Brent Gardner, Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity
Norm Singleton, President, Campaign for Liberty
Andrew F. Quinlan, President, Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Jonathan Bydlak, President, Coalition to Reduce Spending
Dan Caldwell, Director of Policy, Concerned Veterans for America
Tom Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ
Edward King, President, Defense Priorities Initiative
Nathan Nascimento, Vice President of Policy, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks
David Barnes, Policy Director, Generation Opportunity
Heather R. Higgins, President and CEO, Independent Women's Voice
Jorge Lima, Executive Director, The Libre Initiative
Steve Ellis, Vice President, Taxpayers for Common Sense
David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF