Last week, the House of Representatives put its stamp of approval on a massive $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, just a day after the Senate did the same, but according to Republican Rep. Pat Fallon (TX), the legislative product itself is nothing more than “garbage,” as Politico reports.
Fallon's comments came during an appearance on Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures during which he explained why, as he put it, “I voted not only no, but hell no.”
During the interview, Fallon tore into the bill's approval, which came as the result of a vote of 225-201, as CBS News noted, in which all but nine of his Republican colleagues in the chamber stood in opposition to its passage.
Decrying what he views as the billions of dollars earmarked for all sorts of wasteful, irresponsible niche priorities contained in the bill, Fallon said, “It's just littered with pork.”
Fallon listed a number of problems he had with the package, including its insufficient funding for protection of the country's southern border and its inclusion of money for projects he sees as essentially worthless, noting that in his estimation, the border situation is “about 1,000 percent worse than it was under President Trump,” and should have taken precedence over provisions that were part of the bill.
Show host and former Congressman Jason Chaffetz seemed to agree with Fallon's assessment, adding that he was at pains to grasp why Senate Republicans permitted the bill to come up for consideration anyhow, saying, “I am just not fundamentally understanding why the Senate decided to take it up. They didn't have to.”
“You know, Jason, it boggles the mind,” responded Fallon.
Just a day later, Fallon made another appearance on the network, again blasting the omnibus bill and vowing to join fellow Republicans in preventing such a last-minute, hastily assembled, and massively expensive bill from being passed once control of the lower chamber changes hands in January.
“The adults in the room will finally be in the majority in the House of Representatives,” Fallon began.
The congressman continued, “We only guarantee things when you control one of the three levers of government. One of the things that we can guarantee are these trillion-dollar spending bills outside the regular budgetary process will end.”
Lambasting much of the bill's content, Fallon noted, “It's going to do unfortunately more harm than good. What we have here is the lame-duck Democrats at the very last-minute shoving a 4,155-page bill right down our throats. It includes $787 billion of non-emergency discretionary spending.”
Specifically, Fallon blasted what he believes are among the “worst provisions” of the bill, such as $12 billion in extra funding designated for the Internal Revenue Service, $299 million in additional money for the National Labor Relations Board, and an earmark for the New York Historical Society's “LGBTQ+ Museum Partnership Project.”
Opining that many of the bill's provisions are utterly counterproductive in terms of responding to the fiscal woes plaguing the country, Fallon said of the bill, “This is going to add...also $2.65 trillion to our debt over the next 10 years, which is about $20,000 per family.”
Fallon labeled the appropriation of an additional $12 billion in benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) “ironic,” in that the rationale for its inclusion – rising inflation – will likely be exacerbated by that extra outlay.
“So the very spending that caused inflation, they're continuing in kind of a vicious cycle which will never end,” the congressman said.
Fallon was far from the only Republican lawmaker who expressed disgust over final bill, with Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ) condemning the pork-laden result by saying, as Newsweek noted, “The Democrats' reckless omnibus bill spends YOUR money on a 'Michelle Obama Trail,' a 'Ukraine Independence Park' in D.C., and a 'Speaker Pelosi Federal Building' in San Francisco,” and asking his social media followers, “Are you ok with all of this?”
Political commentator Brad Polumbo slated the process and the outcome as well, writing in a Newsweek op-ed, “This kind of budgeting makes a sucker out of you and me. It's a national disgrace and a dereliction of Congress's constitutional duties.”
Also offering a searing indictment of the situation was Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who declared, “The process is a complete disaster,” but considering that he is on the way out of Congress due to retirement, he will not be saddled with the challenge of facilitating the type of reform promised by Fallon.