Congressman Smith Capitol Report: Their New Normal

Last week, Washington Democrats kicked their spending into high gear, using a shadowy political tactic in an attempt to approve part of Joe Biden’s massive budget without any opportunity for debate. When Congress sets its spending levels each year, the law requires both the House and Senate to pass a budget resolution, giving both parties the opportunity to debate the proposal on its merits. But Washington Democrats, undoubtedly scared of the reaction to spending another $1.5 TRILLION, avoided any debate at all by just deeming the numbers passed.   

As the Republican Leader of the Budget Committee, we are staying vigilant and ready to fight against this unrestrained spending coming out of the Biden administration. I went down to the House floor and exposed the Democrats sleight of hand. As I pointed out in my floor remarks, not only does this maneuver violate the law (the Budget Act of 1974), it also makes clear something else: Washington Democrats don’t want to have an open debate on Joe Biden’s budget. In fact, they don’t want to have a debate on any budget – it has been nearly 900 days since Speaker Pelosi took control in the House and during that time they have failed to pass anything resembling a budget.

Speaker Pelosi famously said that a budget is a party’s statement of values. Using her own logic, Joe Biden’s budget must be a statement of Washington Democrat values. And yet, Speaker Pelosi absolutely refuses to bring Joe Biden’s values for debate and an up-or-down vote on the House floor. Why do you think that is?

Perhaps it is it because President Biden’s budget saddles American families with $17 trillion in new debt. Or, because it abandons longstanding bipartisan consensus and allows taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. Or maybe they do not want to cast a yes vote for a budget that will cost millions of American jobs and sock employers with a tax rate higher than that of Communist China.

Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that the only thing Washington Democrats value is a bigger, more intrusive government that takes the hard-earned dollars out of the pockets of taxpayers. Why else would they prioritize $80 billion to permanently expand the IRS and hire 87,000 auditors to go after working-class Americans? That’s nearly enough people to fill Busch Stadium twice. If you love tax audits, then you’ll love Joe Biden’s budget.

I am even more concerned about the proposed IRS expansion because of what I helped expose under the Obama Administration. You may recall Lois Lerner, who ran the division at the agency in charge of approving non-profits, discriminated against conservative groups based on nothing more than their name and values. And when Congress called on her to release the e-mails that proved it, the IRS “lost” every relevant piece of documentation. Now, in the wake of a major expansion of the agency’s power being proposed, we have a new scandal from the IRS, as an employee leaked the personal tax information of Americans to help advance the president’s political agenda. If a government agency engaging in its own data breach to help advance liberal policies doesn’t scare you to your core, I don’t know what will.

As a Member of the Ways & Means Committee, I had the opportunity to ask Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a hearing this week about the most recent leak of Americans’ personal tax information done in an effort to build support for President Biden’s political agenda. Her response was telling. She denied that an IRS employee was to blame for the weaponization of American’s tax returns, and that the IRS doesn’t even know what happened. I have a hard time believing that this information could have come from anywhere other than the IRS.

Violating the law, avoiding open debate, hiding their true agenda, targeting Americans for political pursuit – this is the side of Washington Democrats they don’t want you to know. But the reality is, this is how radicalized their party has become – it is the movement within their base which has taken hold and is actually calling the shots. It is written all throughout the President’s Budget and his vision for what America would become over the next decade. It is no wonder Speaker Pelosi won’t hold a debate on it, but unfortunately the radicalness called for in the pages of that Budget has already begun to be carried out by the same liberal bureaucrats who undermined President Trump every chance they got.

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