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Yarmuth Blasts Disgraceful, Unprecedented GOP Power Grab

(Washington, DC) Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) has called on the House Republican Conference to abandon their proposed new rule that would grant the Chairman of the Budget Committee unprecedented power to set federal budget spending levels simply by printing them in the Congressional Record, without any deliberations or debate in the House.  

“By intentionally bypassing the committee process and granting unprecedented, unilateral power to just one Member of Congress, this policy makes a mockery of our legislative process and attacks the principles of our nation’s democracy,” said Congressman Yarmuth. “A vote for this package is a vote to abdicate our responsibilities to the nation and to our constituents’ needs.”

Historically, when a budget resolution is considered by the House, it is debated by the entire Budget Committee, amended through the mark-up process, and approved or rejected by a vote on the House floor.  Yarmuth – a member of the House Committee on the Budget – called on incoming House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (TX-5) and incoming House Committee on Rules Chairman David Dreier to reconsider this outrageous proposed change to House rules.

The text of Yarmuth’s letter to Hensarling and Dreier is below, and a pdf file is attached:

 

Dear Chairman Hensarling and Chairman Dreier,

It is my understanding that the House Republican Conference is currently meeting to discuss changes to the Rules of the House for the 112th Congress.

As a member of the House Committee on the Budget, I am outraged by your current proposal, which would allow the Budget Committee Chairman to set spending levels by simply printing them in the Congressional Record – without any debate or even a single vote in Committee or on the House Floor.  Unmistakably, with this proposed rule, the Republican Conference is turning back the clock on efforts to increase government transparency.  But what I find even more disgraceful is that by intentionally bypassing the committee process and granting unprecedented, unilateral power to just one Member of Congress, this policy makes a mockery of our legislative process and attacks the principles of our nation’s democracy.

A vote for this package in its current form is a vote to abdicate our responsibilities to represent our constituents’ needs and priorities in the federal budget process.  I urge you to eliminate this provision from your proposed Rules of the House by adopting the attached amendment.  This amendment will ensure that the Budget Resolution, the blueprint for federal spending, goes through regular order, including Committee hearings, a markup, and consideration of the resolution by the full House.

Our nation's founding grew from the belief that citizens should, through elected representation, have a voice in the levying and spending of their tax dollars. For hundreds of millions of American citizens, the Republican majority would, with this proposal, rob them of that representation and effectively disenfranchise our constituents on the decisions of how their taxes are spent. Therefore, it is my hope that you will reconsider including this provision in the Rules package and preserve our democratic principles in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

                                                                                          Sincerely,

 

                                                                                          John Yarmuth

                                                                                          Member of Congress