Ryan Votes Against Pork-Laden Supplemental
Wisconsin's First District Congressman Paul Ryan today voted against the supplemental appropriations bill H.R. 1591 - a bill that was intended to provide additional funding to support U.S. troops fighting overseas but that became a vehicle for billions in pork-barrel projects and spending unrelated to the war on terror. In addition, this budget-busting legislation puts Members of Congress in the position of giving orders to America's military commanders in the field, setting specific troop withdrawal deadlines regardless of conditions on the ground in Iraq. The legislation passed in the House by a vote of 218-212.
A Washington Post editorial today criticizes this legislation, noting: "As it is, House Democrats are pressing a bill that has the endorsement of MoveOn.org but excludes the judgment of the U.S. commanders who would have to execute the retreat the bill mandates."
Among the numerous "urgent" items that have nothing to do with supporting our troops, but were included anyway in this emergency funding bill are:
$25 million for spinach farmers
$50 million for the "Capitol Hill Power Plant"
$74 million for peanut storage costs
$120 million for shrimp and menhaden fishing industries
$100 million for citrus producers
"I'm not a General, and I don't want to start acting like one now," Congressman Ryan said. "Besides micromanaging our military commanders, this bill is larded with $21 billion in unrelated spending and other pork-barrel items that have nothing to do with supporting our troops in the war on terror. It jeopardizes our ongoing efforts to prevail in Iraq, and it's harmful to our nation's fiscal health too."
This bill also removes the emergency spending reforms Rep. Ryan helped put in place last year. These reforms prevented non-emergency spending from being inserted into emergency supplementals. This bill waives those safeguards.