CEI Experts View Proposed FY 2023 Omnibus as Wasteful, Ineffective Big Government Progressivism

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The Senate Appropriations Committee released the text of an omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2023 early in the morning on Tuesday. CEI experts read and reacted to the proposal.

Fred L. Smith, Jr. Fellow in Regulatory Studies Wayne Crews said:

“The problem with today’s omnibus spending package funding federal departments and agencies—like the 4,155-page package containing at last glance $772 billion in discretionary spending plus $858 billion for wars we supposedly ended—is that big-government progressivism is increasingly baked in the cake. Leading Senate Republicans, though, are prepared to vote ‘aye’ this week despite their coming into power in a month. This is a missed opportunity.

“Despite some Senators’ claim that they are holding the line on non-defense discretionary spending in a bill none of them have read, the agencies Congress is about to fund are colluding on big-government pursuits and overarching ‘plans’ and policy guidance on the likes of climate, equity and antitrust with little pushback from Congress.

“Postponing any omnibus until the 118th Congress next month with a temporary funding extension should be the least demanded of GOP negotiators. The $2 trillion deficits on track to swamp us before the end of the decade are larger than total yearly outlays were during the 1990s.”

Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment Myron Ebell said:

“The Omnibus Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023 notably does not contain funding for the United Nations Green Climate Fund or Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) deeply flawed permitting bill that proposes to hand the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) unconstitutional powers to overrule state authority or the expanded Colorado Wilderness bill. But defenders of freedom and property rights should not celebrate because it is still full of increased funding for wasteful and ineffective climate and environmental programs that Congress should eliminate instead.”

CEI senior fellow Ben Lieberman said:

“The omnibus includes $5 billion dollars for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the purpose of helping those struggling to pay their energy bills.   Though far from the most objectionable part of this big spending package, it is important to remember that the Biden Administration crackdown on domestic coal, oil, and natural gas is a significant part of the reason energy got to be so unaffordable in the first place.   If Washington prioritized an energy abundance agenda instead of a price-boosting climate change agenda, the need for LIHEAP would be considerably less.”

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