The Omnibus is finally here. Taxpayers for Common Sense has been waiting to get into the details. We’ll have in depth research and analysis in the coming days on our Omnibus page, but here’s what we’re already seeing:
Nearly half way through the fiscal year, lawmakers finally told taxpayers how they intend to spend the nearly $150 billion in ill-gotten gains they received in the recent budget deal.
The 2232-page tome — which does not include the conference reports, this is purely legislative language — will likely clear Congress before the weekend, and weighs in at $1.3 trillion. That works out to $582 million per page.
Agencies received bump-ups all over the place. A big winner was the Pentagon, which got an extra $61 billion over its base FY17 levels and that doesn’t include the war-fighting Overseas Contingency Operations Account. One earmark-esque provision that was thankfully jettisoned by lawmakers was departing Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Cochran’s Mississippi Ripoff Resurrection – aka Yazoo pumps. This is a flood control project to protect subsidized soybean farming that was killed by the Bush Administration. Cochran’s provision would have moved this project costing hundreds of millions of dollars to the front of the line ahead projects that actually are designed to protect people and property. Thank you to lawmakers opposing this boondoggle parting gift.
By way of background on the increased discretionary spending: After fiscal year 2012, Congress has never abided by the caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 increased defense spending by $80 billion and non-defense discretionary spending by $63 billion, neither of which was significantly offset with savings elsewhere. The previous upward amendments to the last five years (FY13-FY17) of budget caps totaled $191 billion, the BBA2018 busted the caps for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 by $198 billion.
Taxpayers for Common Sense has been waiting to get into the details. We’ll have in-depth research and analysis in the coming days. Stay tuned.