Sen. Ron Johnson Argues to Eliminate $9.8 Billion in Earmarks From $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Bill

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (R) joined with his colleagues Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Rand Paul (R-KY) to oppose the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill and argue for an amendment that would eliminate all earmarks.

“Thousands of individual projects here, both Democrat and Republican,” Johnson said Tuesday during a press conference:

It is interesting to note on the Republican side, we actually have a conference resolution that we don’t support earmarks. Well, we’re supporting over 4 billion dollars worth. Democrats are getting 5.4 billion dollars worth of earmarks. This is the gateway drug to the massive deficit spending, to the mortgaging of our children’s futures.

Johnson argued in favor of a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) last week, to avoid a government shutdown before the Christmas break, rather than the current massive spending bill intended to fund the government through fiscal year 2023.

Some Senate Republicans have been criticized for supporting the 4,155-page yearlong funding bill, when a short-term bill could allow more time to negotiate a deal under the Republican-led House in January.

Nevertheless, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) insisted funding the government through Sept. 30, 2023 should be pursued.

Johnson said he has especially been pointing out to fellow lawmakers that the Biden administration’s “massive inflation” means the funds the government spends now is worth less than it was prior to January 2021.

“[B]ecause a dollar that we all held at the start of the Biden administration is worth less than 88 cents, the 858 billion dollars we’re getting on defense is literally worth only 754 billion dollars in January of 2021 dollars,” he said. “That’s how much inflation has eroded the value of all spending, including defense spending.”

The Wisconsin senator added:

This, the discretionary side, less than 70% of what we spend, is gonna be 1.65 trillion dollars, which is 23% more than the 1.3 trillion dollars we spent in 2019. Again, that is a massive increase. My concern is overall federal spending will probably be about 6 trillion dollars for the fiscal year. Again, 6 trillion versus a baseline just three years ago of 4.4 trillion.

As UPI reported Thursday morning, the omnibus spending bill hit a roadblock Wednesday when the Senate failed to pass it due to an amendment by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) that would preserve Title 42, a pandemic-era Trump administration border policy that would prohibit entry to the United States to millions of illegal immigrants.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) later introduced an amendment to extend Title 42 and increase funding and resources for border communities without cutting funding to the Department of Homeland Security.

Title 42 is currently being upheld by a stay from the Supreme Court.

Among Senate Republicans, 21 voted to begin debate on the massive spending bill.

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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Image “Sen. Ron Johnson” by Sen. Ron Johnson.


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