Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have until Friday night to pass a federal budget or risk putting some federal employees, in Missouri and elsewhere, out of work until the issue is resolved. Congress has reportedly reached a $1.3 trillion budget agreement that would fund the government through September. The deal is said to include a $61 billion increase in military programs, boost infrastructure spending and limited funding for border security, among other things.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, has been outspoken about Congress continuing to pass short term spending proposals. He says they don’t take inflation into account. On the Senate floor, he said lawmakers should also be passing individual spending bills, not massive spending legislation.
“That’s what the Congress did for a couple hundred years and it’s time we did it again,” he said.
During a conference call with reporters, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, voiced a similar message.
“I can’t stand omnibus spending bills,” she said. “I think they’re the worst form of bad government. Invariably, there’s all kinds of nonsense stuck in them that nobody knows about, outside of a handful of people in a back room writing it somewhere. This is not the way we should decide to spend the public’s money.”
During McCaskill’s time in the U.S. Senate, she thinks she’s voted against all but one omnibus bill presented to the upper chamber.
Blunt chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. He wants the budget to include more funding to strengthen infrastructure, like rural broadband. He’s also working to fulfill a $3 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – the nation’s medical agency that researches diseases like Alzheimer’s.
On the Senate floor, he cited a projection for 2050 that says the U.S. will spend twice as many tax dollars by then on Alzheimer’s-related care and dementia-related care as America is spending now to defend the country.
The budget deal does not reportedly include a solution for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children.