Congress is at it again, spending heaps of taxpayer dollars on special interests and expanding the size of government with the recently signed $1.2 trillion spending package. The package was passed just in time to avoid a partial government shutdown.

The Associated Press described the events as “long overdue,” and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer characterized passing the bill as “complet(ing) the job” and insisted that doing so was “good for the country.” Some Democrats and Republicans have been able to tout their “victories” in the bill to their bases. Spectators who view Congress’ productivity in bills passed or speed of action will similarly see this as a win.

But don’t be fooled. The package’s contents and the way in which it was passed illustrate, once again, that our governing processes are broken and that our politicians flippantly waste citizens’ money. Let’s look at the bad, the ugly, and the worst of this process.

First, the bad: the actual contents of the bill. It is always the case that people spend their own money more wisely than they spend others’, but congressional spending is the epitome of that reality. In the spending package, the federal government sent millions in taxpayer dollars to special interests — for example, $850,000 to a New Jersey housing development for LGBTQ+ seniors and $400,000 to an organization that, among other things, provides “gender-affirming” clothing to trans youth.

Regardless of how one feels about the related social issues, there is no reason Congress ought to steal taxpayer dollars for such causes. Citizens, of their own volition, can donate their money to those projects if they wish. Congress has no right to force that spending on taxpayers and add to the national debt. 

Yes, $1.25 million is not a lot, but those are only two of many special interests that will receive federal money as a result of this package. In the last two years, members of Congress known as The Squad have secured $220 million for special interest groups.

Republicans, too, are guilty of using the federal government to provide funding to favored interests in their districts. For example, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia  secured $3.8 million in federal funding for an airport expansion in Dade County, Georgia.

If you thought conservatives would fight for limiting government and cutting spending, you were wrong. Instead, in this package, the GOP was far more focused on  banning LGBTQ pride flags from being flown outside of U.S. embassies. The GOP did not stop the $200 million allocated for a new FBI headquarters in Maryland. Additionally, the Republicans supported a $27.75 billion raise for the Department of Defense above its current funding level, even though the Pentagon has failed audits six years in a row.

Now, for the ugly: the process. Not only did our nation’s politicians pass a package containing all kinds of ridiculous measures, but they passed it without even reading it. The bill, which spans more than 1,000 pages, was released in the middle of the night, and our representatives were given fewer than 36 hours to review it. In other words, they didn’t review it. We elect these individuals to be our eyes, ears and voice in Congress. Is it too much to ask that they read the bills before they vote?

There’s a big difference between “completing the job,” as Schumer said, and skipping the job altogether.

Finally, the worst: broken promises. When Mike Johnson became speaker of the House, he promised Republicans adequate time to read legislation before voting on it. However, he waived the self-imposed 72-hour rule for this massive $1.2 trillion package, sparking ire from many. Even Republicans, such as Greene and Justin Amash of Michigan, have called for the ouster of Speaker Johnson after the chaotic process through which this bill was passed.

 Thomas Massie of Kentucky went to X (formerly known as Twitter) right before the spending package was passed to lament, “As part of the debt limit deal last summer, Biden agreed to an automatic 1 percent cut to all discretionary spending if we were still on a CR on April 30, 2024. Tomorrow, our Speaker will give up that leverage and pass an omnibus that spends more than (Nancy) Pelosi spent in her highest year.”

Our politicians impetuously spend American taxpayers’ money, imprudently blowing out the national debt with no signs of slowing down. This weighs on economic growth and reduces the prosperity of Americans. In justifying the haste with which this bill was shoved through, Speaker Johnson stated, “We have to govern.” Blindly spending taxpayer dollars is not governing. It is lazy and immoral. Americans ought to demand better.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or