Our national debt stands at $15.2 trillion, and is growing by roughly $6 billion per day. We have tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Unfortunately, we have learned that Republicans lack the gumption to fight for transformational spending cuts and reforms of major entitlements. However, at the very least, one would expect them to oppose silly pork projects like Buffalo Soldiers!
Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House passed HR 1022, a bill that would require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of the history of Buffalo Soldiers in the establishment of national parks. The study will cost $400,000. The purpose of the study is to ascertain the feasibility of a plan to create a 200-mile trail between San Francisco and Yosemite National Park in commemoration of the Buffalo Soldiers. The federal government already owns roughly 1/3 of all American land. Do we need to afford them the opportunity to take over more land?
The bill was sponsored by Democrat Congresswoman Jackie Speier, yet Republican leaders agreed to bring it up under a suspension vote with limited debate. Even though a two-thirds super majority is required for passage, the bill passed easily with 338 votes. Only 70 Republicans opposed this inane endeavor. While this is small potatoes in the scheme our more existential problems, it is very instructive. If they can’t find the courage to oppose some silly bill that nobody cares about, how are they going to roll back major dependency programs that enjoy popular constituencies?
Moreover, if you take a look at page 34 of the GOP Pledge to America, they made the following observation regarding suspension votes during the Pelosi Congress:
The number of House legislative days devoted to action on noncontroversial and often insignificant “suspension” bills is up significantly in this Congress by comparison with the past several Congresses, wasting time and taxpayer resources. Of the bills considered under the suspension procedure – requiring 2/3 vote for passage – so far during this Congress,
more than half were bills naming federal buildings, recognizing individuals or groups (like sports teams) for achievements, or supporting the designation of particular days, months, or weeks.
The Buffalo Soldiers undoubtedly served with courage in the United States Army, and deserve some sort of commemoration. But doesn’t this study qualify as “wasting time and taxpayer resources?”