Guest essay: Mooney explains ‘no’ vote on stopgap funding bill

by Alex Mooney

On Oct. 5, The Dominion Post ran an editorial criticizing my votes for fiscal responsibility and accountability. I have been fighting to pass government spending bills to completely fund border security, our military, and the federal government. That is why I voted in favor of fully funding, for a year, the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Agriculture, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State. Four of these five bills have passed the House and are awaiting action in the Senate. The Senate has not passed any year-long spending bills, and the House spending bills would fund over 70% of the federal government.

These bills provide a long-term plan to bolster our military, decrease wasteful spending, and return Congress to the normal funding process we are supposed to follow. A short-term funding bill does none of these things, which is why I did not vote for the two stopgap plans. I support keeping the federal government open, but stopgap spending plans are no way to run our country. We have to stop kicking the can down the road and address our debt crisis. If we do not take action now, it will soon be too late and our children and grandchildren will be shackled with this unsustainable debt burden.

President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats have recklessly run up our debt to over $33 trillion, which equals approximately $100,000 per American. The Founding Fathers gave the House of Representatives the power of the purse. We should not write blank checks to fund Biden’s reckless spending.

The stopgap funding bill signed into law surrenders the powerful decisions on spending to President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. President Biden can continue to push his reckless open border policies, record-breaking inflation and the corrupt Department of Justice targeting President Trump until Nov. 17.

Liberal Democrats would rather Congress send unelected bureaucrats blank checks and allow them to create rules for the rest of us without any accountability to voters. This is not what our Founding Fathers or the American taxpayer would want. The Dominion Post’s Oct. 5 editorial claims that unpaid taxes rather than out-of-control spending are to blame for our country’s debt crisis, which I strongly disagree with. Our nation spends $7 trillion annually, while taking in $5 trillion. This is not sustainable.

 President Joe Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin’s $700 billion Inflation Expansion Act hired an army of 87,000 IRS agents to audit working families, and it also raised taxes on West Virginia’s coal industry while giving hundreds of billions of dollars away in green energy handouts. The IRS is going after working-class West Virginia families.

That is why I have fought to use the budget process to defund the 87,000 IRS agents, stop wasteful spending on woke Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs and rein in the out-of-control federal bureaucracy. Hard-working West Virginia taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for liberal, woke programs.

While liberals might use the threat of a shutdown to justify unlimited spending, my first loyalty is to the people of West Virginia and our children who face a looming debt crisis. It is important to know that mandatory programs such as Social Security and Medicare are not impacted by government shutdowns. We must pass a long-term plan that funds necessary programs, while also reining in wasteful spending.

Alex Mooney represents West Virginia’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.