Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Senator Collins votes against cloture on Omnibus Bill

U.S. Senator Susan Collins released the following statement after voting against cloture on the Omnibus Appropriations bill. This $410 billion bill bundles together nine separate spending measures:

“Our nation faces a tough economic recovery. At such a critical time in our nation’s history, it is imperative that taxpayer dollars are spent carefully and effectively. The Omnibus Appropriations bill does not meet that basic test.

“While this bill contains important funding for many worthwhile programs, its overall size is excessive since it would increase discretionary spending by eight percent over last fiscal year’s levels, far above the rate of inflation. Even more troubling, because it was drafted last year, the bill does not take into account the funding recently approved in the economic stimulus package. As a result, it contains excessive and in some cases duplicative funding for many agencies and programs that already received significant funding boosts in the economic stimulus law. I am concerned that this duplicative funding will lead to wasteful and unnecessary expenditures, particularly since most of the money must be spent within the next six months prior to the end of the fiscal year. That is why I supported an amendment that would have sent this legislation back to the Appropriations Committee where this spending could have been reconciled with the funding in the stimulus package. Unfortunately, that amendment failed.

“At this time of economic crisis, I do not believe that it would be fiscally responsible to support this Omnibus Appropriations bill.”

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