the federalist

Buckle Up For Lame-Duck Congressional Democrats’ Holiday Spending Spree

If you think Democrats spent the past two years trying to pass bad legislation, just wait until you hear what they want to enact over the next two months. Losing their total control of Congress has them itching to ram through a myriad of reckless proposals and leave their mark on Washington.

Democratic leaders are already juggling several competing priorities for the lame-duck session, including efforts to pass a major defense bill, push through outstanding energy-permitting legislation, and vote on proposals redefining marriage in federal law and further changing the electoral process. Congress also needs to reach a government funding deal before its Dec. 16 deadline.

To top it off, the left also wants to pass an increase in the debt limit lasting through the 2024 elections during the coming lame-duck session of Congress that will give the Biden administration a license to continue overspending.

Misplaced Priorities

Some of the items in the Democrat laundry list are not per se objectionable, so much as an illustration of the way in which they frittered away their time for most of the 117th Congress. For instance, had lawmakers not spent the better part of a year trying to pass the Biden administration’s $5 trillion Build Back Bankrupt legislation, they wouldn’t have to rush through consideration of a major piece of legislation covering nearly $1 trillion in spending and the gamut of American foreign and defense policy right before the holidays.

In other cases, the legislation Democrats want to pass doesn’t include the robust reforms Americans need because it won’t authorize the type of exploration necessary to bring down fuel prices in a meaningful way for struggling families. As to codifying same-sex marriage, waiting until after the election to vote on such legislation was a convenient way for Republican lawmakers to avoid angering conservatives who believe in a biblical version of the institution.

Uncontrolled Inflation and Unsustainable Debt

Much of the debate surrounds the federal government’s habit of overspending. Interest groups are already lining up to request special favors from lawmakers in the lame-duck session. They presume, not without reason based on historical precedent, that Congress will wait until just before Christmas to pass another omnibus jam-packed with pork-barrel projects, earmarks, and other provisions the lawmakers haven’t read, let alone understand.

Those same lobbyists and Democrat leaders want Congress to pass a multitrillion-dollar debt limit increase in that same measure. Doing so, they believe, would block any attempts by a Republican-controlled chamber of Congress to utilize the debt limit as a means to control Washington’s reckless spending.

That said, when it comes to the debt limit, some well-intentioned lawmakers calling for sizable reductions in the national debt may want to bite off more than they can chew. The combination of trillions of dollars in Covid spending over the past several years and sizable increases in interest rates makes reducing the national debt a much greater challenge than in years past. Even stabilizing the national debt at its current, historically high level as a


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