CVA To Congress: No Lame Duck Spending
Arlington, VA – Today Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) joined a coalition in support of legislation that would fund the federal government into 2017 and in opposition of extending nearly $20 billion in special tax provisions set to expire at the end of this year. The coalition – comprised of over thirty organizations including Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, and FreedomWorks – is hosting their efforts at NoLameDuckSpending.Com.
“Congress must provide government funding beyond a lame duck session and allow temporary tax provisions to expire as lawmakers decided last year,” the coalition writes in a letter to Congress. “Taking these two important steps will save taxpayers billions of dollars and demonstrate seriousness about fiscal responsibility and pursuing fair, comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform.”
CVA Vice President of Policy and Communications Dan Caldwell issued the following statement:
“Almost every year, elected officials wait until the very last minute to pass legislation funding the government, and this creates an unnecessary sense of urgency leading to the enactment of bad policy. Congress frequently exploits this dynamic to riddle the national budget with wasteful projects and carve-outs for special interests. This cycle of waste and cronyism is not only fiscally irresponsible, but it endangers our national security by adding to our national debt and weakening the American economy.
“Our veterans and military families did not sacrifice for this country to see our freedom and prosperity threatened by a Congress and a White House that cannot handle our tax dollars responsibly. Our elected officials have an opportunity to end ‘budgeting by crisis’ by funding the government into 2017 – now they must take it. No lame duck spending.”
Read the full coalition letter below, or click here.
Dear Members of Congress:
On behalf of our organizations and the millions of Americans we represent, we write to express our support for passing legislation providing funds for the federal government into 2017 — outside of lame duck session. We also encourage you to oppose efforts to use this upcoming spending legislation as a vehicle to extend the set of tax provisions set to expire at the end of the year.
Congress faces a test upon returning from August recess. Determining how to fund the government beyond the end of the fiscal year on September 30 will reveal how serious lawmakers are about addressing our nation’s fiscal problems.
History shows that end-of-year legislative packages are routinely rushed through Congress and to the President’s desk under the threat of a government shutdown—too fast for lawmakers and the taxpayers footing the bill to determine what is in them. This prevents elected officials from examining how taxpayer dollars are being spent and making important decisions about budgeting and spending. This limits Americans’ ability to hold them accountable—particularly retiring and defeated members of Congress who face no future elections but are part of lame duck session decision making. These important decisions should be made by lawmakers who are accountable to voters.
Lame duck bills also provide lawmakers with the opportunity to bury pet-projects and corporate welfare. The omnibus passed last year is a prime example: It was used to extend and expand billions in subsidies to politically favored industries at taxpayer expense.
Congress already considered the matter of expiring tax provisions a little under a year ago. The $680 billion package signed into law last December made some of these items permanent and allowed more than two dozen others to expire at the end of 2015, laying the groundwork for comprehensive tax reform. Included in the nearly $20 billion in tax provisions that are set to expire are provisions pertaining to small-scale wind power, geothermal heat pumps, race horses, film production— provisions that distort our tax laws and narrowly benefit favored industries over the rest of the tax base. These provisions were made temporary for a reason. It makes no sense to come back just one year later and selectively extend certain provisions in a lame duck.
Congress must provide government funding beyond a lame duck session and allow temporary tax provisions to expire as lawmakers decided last year.
Taking these two important steps will save taxpayers billions and demonstrate seriousness about fiscal responsibility and pursuing fair, comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform. Thank you for your consideration.
Brent Gardner, Vice President of Government Affairs
Americans for Prosperity
Dick Ribbentrop, Senior Vice President, Policy
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce
Daniel Garza, Executive Director
The LIBRE Initiative
Andrew Clark, President
Dan Caldwell, Vice President of Policy and Communications
Concerned Veterans for America
Jim Martin, Chairman
60 Plus Association
Sean Noble, President
Peter J. Thomas, Chairman
Americans for Constitutional Liberty
Richard Manning, President
Americans for Limited Government
Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform
Alfred J. Lechner, Jr., President and CEO
Cause of Action Institute
Jim Backlin, Vice President for Legislative Affairs
Christian Coalition of America
Marita Noon, Executive Director
Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE)
Michael J. Bowen, CEO
Coalition For a Strong America
Stephani Scruggs, COO
Coalition For a Strong America
Myron Ebell, Director, Center for Energy and Environment
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Craig Richardson, Executive Director
Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal)
Marita Noon, Executive Director
Energy Makes America Great
Timothy Head, Executive Director
Faith & Freedom Coalition
Paul Caprio, Director
Family PAC Federal
Brent Bozell, Chairman
Tom McCabe, CEO
Adam Brandon, President and CEO
Andresen Blom, Executive Director
Grassroot Hawaii Action, Inc.
Tim Macy, Chairman
Gun Owners of America
Mario H. Lopez, President
Hispanic Leadership Fund
Andrew Langer, President
Institute for Liberty
Seton Motley, President
Amy Ridenour, Chairman
National Center for Public Policy Research
Willes K. Lee, President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Derrick Hollie, President
Judson Phillips, Founder
Tea Party Nation
Jenny Beth Martin, Co-Founder
Tea Party Patriots
Morton Blackwell, Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch