People For the American Way

Trump and Congress Continue to Sacrifice Americans’ Basic Needs to Score Political Points with the Budget

People For in Action
Trump and Congress Continue to Sacrifice Americans’ Basic Needs to Score Political Points with the Budget
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney (Official White House Photo by Evan Walker)

When President Trump finally signed a full funding package in March with almost half of the funding year already over, we knew there were reasons to keep resisting despite the bill’s progressive wins. It wasn’t long before Trump and Congress proved us right. Thankfully they failed in their push to revisit the March deal and take money away from basic needs programs. However, People For the American Way and allies are still urging them to abandon a perennial GOP favorite—poison pill policy riders:

Dear Members of Congress,

As a part of the Clean Budget Coalition, we, the undersigned organizations write to ask you to oppose the House FY 2019 “minibus” packaging the Financial Services & General Government and Interior & Environment appropriations bills together.

This package is laden with ideological policy riders that are inappropriate for any funding bill.

Time and time again, members of Congress attempt to quietly slip in special interest wish list items that couldn’t pass as standalone legislation into must-pass funding packages as poison pill riders.

Appropriations bills must not be misused to undermine essential safeguards. Slipping unrelated and damaging issues into must-pass appropriations bills as a means to win approval is a dangerous strategy for the public.

Poison pill riders are unpopular and damaging, and the public opposes using them. The American people oppose rollbacks that would hinder government’s ability to:

  • Restrain Wall Street abuses;
  • Ensure safe and healthy food and products;
  • Secure our air, land, water and wildlife;
  • Safeguard fair and safe workplaces;
  • Guard against consumer rip-offs and corporate wrongdoing;
  • Defend our campaign finance and election systems;
  • Provide access to justice and fair housing;
  • Protect civil rights; and
  • Guarantee continued access to vital health care services including reproductive health care, and more.

We urge members of Congress to abide by the funding numbers agreed upon in the deal to fund the essential programs our nation needs for FY19, and to reject any flawed spending measures that include poison pill policy riders.

We plan to reissue this letter as developments warrant:

  • 9/12/18: Sent to the House and Senate regarding various pending FY19 funding packages
  • 8/22/18: Sent to the Senate regarding the FY19 Labor, Education, Health & Human Services, and Defense funding package
  • 7/23/18: Sent to the Senate regarding the FY19 Financial Services & General Government, Interior, Agriculture, and Transportation, Housing & Urban Development funding package