NTU urges all Representatives to vote "NO" on H.R. 5304, the continuing resolution (CR) and supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2022. It is critical that lawmakers avoid both a government shutdown and gamesmanship on the debt ceiling, and while the nation certainly has an obligation to support disaster response and Afghan refugee resettlement, we object to nearly $35 billion in supplemental appropriations in this legislation without any corresponding offsets. This is just over one half of one percent of projected federal spending in FY 2022, and Congress should make a bare minimum effort to offset supplemental appropriations in H.R. 5304. Absent such efforts, we would urge lawmakers to reject this bill and resort to a simple CR keeping the government open beyond September 30.
We believe it is critical that lawmakers avoid government shutdowns, both in the immediate future and on a permanent basis, and that is why we have supported bipartisan legislation like the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act from Sens. James Lankford (R-OK) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH). This bill and others like it would provide for automatic CRs in the event of a failure to pass timely regular appropriations bills, and would end shutdowns that waste taxpayer dollars and disrupt government services. NTU has also written recently on the importance of avoiding political gamesmanship over the debt ceiling. While lawmakers concerned about spending are correct to oppose proposals to spend $4.5 trillion more on infrastructure and social programs, a federal government default would likely bring disastrous consequences for the government and the entire U.S. economy. That must be avoided.
Our opposition to this bill focuses primarily on the $35 billion in supplemental appropriations for natural disaster response and Afghan refugee resettlement. We do not dispute that the U.S. has obligations to both assist those affected by hurricanes and wildfires and to help resettle Afghan refugees displaced by the mismanagement of events in Afghanistan. However, we have long argued lawmakers need to offset and pay for supplemental spending with commensurate spending reductions in other parts of the federal budget. This should not be a difficult task, given the $35 billion proposed here is 0.6 percent of projected federal spending in FY 2022 alone. Absent offsets for the supplemental appropriations in H.R. 5304, lawmakers should go back to the drawing board on the supplemental spending and -- in the interim -- support a simple CR instead.
Roll call votes on H.R. 5304 will be included in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress and a “NO” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Director of Federal Policy Andrew Lautz at email@example.com.