Emergency Spending Should Be Offset

This week, the Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act in the Senate is under intense discussion, while the House is expected to vote on H.R. 7217, an emergency supplemental appropriations bill to aid Israel. While NTU does not take a position on how best to conduct foreign policy or border security, we have an obligation to taxpayers to closely scrutinize how taxpayer money is being spent, especially in times of spiraling deficits and debt obligations. Therefore, the Senate’s $118.2 billion deal should be paired with spending cuts, particularly given the dire fiscal straits of the nation.

This deal contains $60 billion for Ukraine aid, $14 billion for Israel, $10 billion in foreign aid to Ukraine and Gaza, and almost $5 billion for Indo-Pacific engagement. On the domestic side, it would include $20 billion for a mix of border enforcement and non-governmental organization funding. Without weighing in on the merits of the policy provisions, NTU would oppose this package without spending cuts due to fiscal concerns.

In contrast, Speaker Johnson should be applauded for his leadership in passing a fully offset emergency Israel aid bill in November of last year, and NTU would applaud a return to offsets for current and future emergency funding legislation. The Fiscal Responsibility Act should be a starting point for reining in excessive government largesse, and the Senate bill in particular demonstrates a willful disregard for the enacted caps using emergency spending. NTU encourages Congress to seek meaningful spending cuts to fund their desired foreign or domestic goals and to include many of these provisions in the regular appropriations process.