As we’ve chronicled here in great detail over the past year, House Republicans are no pikers when it comes to conservative legislation. This is especially true when examining the records of House appropriators. Yet, even those big government types have [begrudgingly] agreed to abide by the spending and policy decisions of the House-passed budget when considering the 12 appropriations bills during committee markups.
As mediocre as some of the appropriations bills emanating from the House are to most conservatives, they are far superior to the bills going through the Senate Appropriations Committee. Those bills reflect the priorities and policies of Obama and Reid. That is to be expected. What is astounding and appalling is the fact that the Senate Republicans on that panel are exhibiting more solidarity with the Democrats than with their fellow Republicans in the House. In fact, not a single major Democrat proposal has been opposed by the bulk of Republican appropriators during the markups of the spending bills thus far.
It all started in April when the appropriators, led by Mitch McConnell, sided with Obama and Reid over House Republicans in voting for the higher topline spending figures for all the 12 bills. Now they are rubber stamping the individual expenditures and the policies established in each individual appropriations bills. First it was the Transportation-HUD and Commerce-Justice-Science bills that Ron Johnson was the only Republican on the committee to hold the line. On Tuesday, the State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee marked up the draft FY 2013 bill that funds the State Department and foreign aid programs. Here are some of the highlights:
- $1.6 billion appropriation for international organizations. The bill does not include language banning funding for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which admitted the Palestinian Authority as a member last year. The House bill contains such language.
- The bill contains $44.5 million for the U.N. Population Fund. The House bill banned funding and reinstated the “Mexico City Policy,” which bars funding to any international organization that promotes abortion.
- Obama asked for $770 million to fund the “Arab Spring” governments in the Middle East and North Africa. The Senate bill creates a new account with $1 billion in appropriations for those anti-American “governments.” The House bill obviously contains no such provision.
- To the extent that the House bill imposed sufficient restrictions on aid to Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Palestinians, the Senate bill contains no such constraints.
The Republicans on the subcommittee include Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Mark Kirk, Roy Blunt, Dan Coats, Ron Johnson, and John Hoeven. Once again, Johnson was the lone dissenter.
There’s a little known secret in Congress that runs counter to the conventional wisdom propagated in the media. There is no problem with partisan bickering in Washington. In fact, most of the committee work resembles a bipartisan love fest, with bad bills passing by voice vote. It’s only the few major points of contention that are reported in the media.
The full committee is expected to take up the measure today at 10:30 AM. Please call those members and request that taxpayer money not be sent to nefarious foreign countries and entities or towards the funding of abortion.