Don’t get on the omnibus

Secret, last-minute budget deals are a threat to informed consent

Our Stand: At-A-Glance

  • The U.S. Government doesn’t have funding set for 2023 and lawmakers are negotiating whether to shut down the government before Christmas.
  • The CDC asked for a 356.9% increase in American tax dollars, so they can beef up health data surveillance capabilities.
  • Big spenders (some of whom weren’t even re-elected) are trying to push through last-minute deals before they lose political control of the House.
  • A huge federal budget omnibus, would bypass looking at agency spending requests individually.
  • Negotiations are held behind closed doors – and even some senators and representatives do not yet know the upper limit spending agreed upon by members pushing for the omnibus, what each agency will get individually, and what extras will be snuck into a massive bill with no opportunity to read before voting.
  • Lawmakers had all year to get this done, but now the whole Congress is being pressured to vote next week on a budget sight-unseen, by some lawmakers trying to push through a bill that will be thousands of pages long, at the eleventh hour, before Christmas, with a new Congress taking power in the new year.
  • Right now, the ball is in the court of the appropriations committees in the House and Senate. These two committees will either stop or hammer out details of this secret bill. Lawmakers on each committee have publicly stated they will not let this omnibus pass. They need our support.
  • Use this form to immediately contact key lawmakers on the appropriations committees in both the House and Senate. These committees finalize the budget for the whole Congress to vote on.
  • Your action will send a letter to key members of each committee, as well as your own elected officials as a double line of defense. First, encourage the committee to stop the omnibus and second, help your lawmakers understand that it’s dangerous to the American people and the Constitution to pass this omnibus without reading it.
  • Amplify your voice by calling these key congressmen.

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Our Stand: The Full Story

If all went the way it should have, the federal government would have passed their budget for fiscal year 2023 (FY2023) before September 30, 2022. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the job to make the federal budget each year. It’s one of the most basic and fundamental jobs of Congress, though it is clearly not easy. The process has been full of partisan politics and pork for decades.

The most recent Congress, the 117th, along with President Biden, has ushered in the largest debt increase in the history of the United States, along with more than $10 trillion in new spending. Typically, the federal budget has increased by an annual average of 2% in recent years, but the last two years saw increases of 7% and 9%, respectively.

Most important for health freedom advocates is the ask from the CDC. As reported by Stand for Health Freedom in the blog The CDC costs Americans too much, the agency is asking for a 356.9% increase in their annual budget from taxpayer money.

The CDC also wants more discretion in how they spend their money. Right now, most of their budget is tied to spending without the input of employees. Certain programs, like Vaccines for Children, have their own fund and the CDC does not choose where that money goes. It simply runs the program and can do nothing else with that designated money.

What would the CDC do if they had more say in the way they spend money? Would they purchase more cell phone geolocation data of American citizens, like they did to check on lockdown compliance in 2021? Would they give more money to the WHO than they have already promised?[i] Would they give raises to employees who could in turn contribute more to political campaigns?[ii] Would they donate even more money to the CDC Foundation, a nonprofit with the sole purpose of funding the CDC that, ironically, also takes grants from the very agency for which it’s supposed to be raising funds?[iii] Inquiring minds want to know.

Congress had all year to get this bill passed and they failed. Why does it have to happen so quickly now, before 2023, before a holiday, before a new Congress where the political control of the House is about to change? What’s in this bill?

Americans don’t know because the details of the bill have been deliberately kept secret. One party even openly excluded the other from certain negotiations. So, we have an essential bill that must pass, that should have passed already, that is being written right now, where even lawmakers are being kept in the dark on details, the limits on spending have not been shared. But Big Government lawmakers are pushing for it to pass in such a way where it would be impossible for elected officials to even read before voting – and  some of them won’t even be in Congress in 2023.

This is an assault on our Constitution. And if this bill was to pass, it would threaten fundamental rights like informed consent and health privacy.

Unnecessary Pressure

This year’s potential federal shutdown was not inevitable. It was the result of a vote by members of Congress to fund the government only temporarily through December 23, rather than until the new year. It was a strategic move to try to pressure those who are holding the line against reckless, sight-unseen spending of Big Government lawmakers.

The first federal government shutdown happened under President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Since his presidency, there has been a shutdown in every administration except one: the George W. Bush administration that oversaw some of the most bipartisan and united times in Congress due to the 9/11 attacks.

On December 14, 2022, six representatives and four senators held two press conferences to let America know they were going to oppose the pressure to pass an omnibus bill before the end of the year.[iv] They know America is fed up with wasteful spending and that constituents should have a say in the process.

It’s not okay for lawmakers “to try to vote on a package they cannot read, written by two individuals who will not be here, for spending for the entire government.” One party ruled both chambers of Congress, and the White House and could not get this done, but are now scrambling at the eleventh hour to get whatever they can.

The lawmakers opposed to this shady, last-minute money grab tried to avoid a government shutdown by proposing temporary federal funding until the new year, but that was voted down in favor of only one more week, pushing up against Christmas. It’s an artificial but very powerful deadline as it affects the bottom line of many Americans and their access to government-run services. It also reflects extremely poorly on the United States on the global stage. This strategic move puts pressure on those asking for more transparency, more time, and more accountability for the American people.

Let Congress know we are watching and tell them that Americans must have a say when fundamental rights like informed consent and health privacy are on the line. Click to send letters to key members on the appropriations committees in both the House and the Senate, as well as your own elected officials.

[i] https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/11/29/2022-26001/notice-of-award-of-a-single-source-cooperative-agreement-to-fund-the-world-health-organization-who

[ii] https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/us-dept-of-health-human-services/summary?id=D000030723

[iii] https://taggs.hhs.gov/Detail/RecipDetail?arg_EntityId=NdIqofdjva5Vg749%2F4HlAQ%3D%3D

[iv] https://www.theepochtimes.com/house-gop-leaders-hold-press-conference-on-fiscal-year-2023-appropriations_4923614.html?utm_source=moengage&utm_medium=pushnotification&utm_campaign=moengage & https://www.theepochtimes.com/republican-senators-hold-press-conference-on-pelosi-schumer-spending-bill_4923576.html?utm_source=moengage&utm_medium=pushnotification&utm_campaign=moengage

 

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