The Corner

Does ‘Loophole’ in New GOP Rules Make Spending Too Easy?

Some conservative Republicans are worried that the new proposed rules for the House make it too easy for funds cut from one program to be shuffled to a different program’s spending, instead of not spent at all.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), the chair-elect of the Republican Study Committee, is pushing GOP lawmakers to amend the rules surrounding the Spending Reductions Accounts, which were created by the GOP congressional leadership to contain cut funds.  Joining Jordan in offering the amendment are Reps. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz), Tom Graves (R., Georgia), and Scott Garrett (R., N.J.).

“The new Spending Reduction Accounts are needed to change how Congress handles appropriations, but, as currently written, the rules package contains a major loophole allowing Appropriators to take money back out of these accounts to increase spending elsewhere,” said Jordan in a statement.  “Our amendment would prevent any reductions approved by the House from being used to increase spending in another bill.”

Without the Jordan amendment, nothing in the rules would prohibit money cut in one area from funding projects in a different area. If the amendment passes, it would require any House members who would like to spend the money cut elsewhere to put that request to a vote before the full House, not just the Appropriations Committee.

House Republicans are scheduled to vote on the rules today. The entire House will vote on them tomorrow.

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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