Congressman Ben McAdams voted against two fiscally-reckless, end-of-the-year spending bills that are loaded with unpaid for provisions, adding an additional $500 billion to the federal debt over 10 years.
The jumbo spending bills – H.R. 1158 and H.R. 1865—were hastily rushed through the House with little time for reading or review. The $500 billion is in addition to new funding levels set earlier this year shown by a nonpartisan analysis to add nearly $2 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. McAdams voted no on those higher funding levels as well.
“From the start of this budget year, both Republicans and Democrats have ignored the need to debate and prioritize spending and try to move towards a balanced federal budget. The result is these irresponsible bills that lack appropriate review for whether taxpayers are getting their money’s worth. Voting on legislation without a Congressional Budget Office score and without a sufficient chance for Representatives or the public to review is Washington at its worst,” said McAdams. “One spending perk that isn’t in the package is a Congressional pay increase. I’m proud that I led the fight on the House floor that successfully killed that idea floated by Democratic leadership.”
McAdams said the fiscal failure, unfortunately, overshadows what are some important wins for Utah that he fought for, such as funding for youth suicide prevention programs, ongoing support for community health centers serving low-income families, and additional funding for the Central Utah Project (added through a McAdams amendment). It includes the CREATES Act to lower prescription drug prices through increased generic drug competition and raises the national age to buy tobacco products to 21. McAdams said the package also bolsters cancer research funding for centers such as Huntsman Cancer Institute and support for Children’s Justice Center programs serving victims of child abuse.
McAdams said he learned, as Salt Lake County mayor, that a balanced budget that funds necessary services could be achieved by making tough bipartisan choices, and prioritizing spending decisions.
McAdams said that beginning in January, he will be working hard on getting support for the “No Budget, No Pay Act” – a bill that halts paychecks for members of Congress if they miss annual deadlines for budget and appropriations bills. He is also pushing strongly for his bill calling for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, which requires a balanced budget every year, except in times of war or recession. McAdams said the fiscal path the country is on today is dangerously unsustainable and an immoral burden on Utahns, who currently owe more than $70,000 as their share of the national debt.