“The United States Constitution places tremendous responsibility for spending taxpayer dollars with the U.S. Congress. Our laws and our legislative rules clearly set forth a process by which the Congress considers legislative proposals in a deliberate and thoughtful manner – a process in which legislative proposals are presented, debated, amended, and ultimately passed, or not. When this process is followed in an open and transparent manner, the Congress is not only properly fulfilling its constitutional obligation, but also is much more likely to produce a legislative product that best reflects will of the people whom we represent.
“Unfortunately, Congress has failed, once again, to follow an open and transparent legislative process and, instead, has waited until the last minute to cobble together a massive 1600-page $1 trillion spending omnibus for the U.S. government – with only 48 hours given for consideration. At a time when so many of my constituents are gravely concerned about our staggering $18 trillion debt and about the President’s repeated unconstitutional use of executive authority to spend taxpayer dollars in a manner inconsistent with the law, it is more important than ever that we have a full and robust debate on these issues. Sadly, when Congress fails to live up to these constitutional obligations, many of our constituents conclude that Washington simply does not care about the legacy we leave for our children and grandchildren – indeed a country poorer in every way. For these reasons, I was unable to support the government spending omnibus today.
“With the New Year comes a new Congress and new opportunities to work together on behalf of the people we represent. It is my sincere hope that the new 114th Congress will be committed to considering legislation in an open and transparent manner consistent with our obligations to the Constitution and to our constituents.”