WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, joined with Republican leaders of committees that have received reconciliation instructions to call on the Democrats to hold legislative hearings and markups with votes on Democrats’ reckless taxing and spending legislation.
Led by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Finance, the senators wrote Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to highlight the need for the legislative text to be made public and official scores from the nonpartisan budget experts—the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation—along with full committee consideration and debate.
“Hiding the details of the real cost of the trillions of dollars in new government spending and tax increases by using budgetary gimmicks is an attempt to disguise the true cost and impact the reckless tax and spending spree will have on the nearly $29 trillion national debt, rising prices, jobs and inflation,” the senators wrote. “There is currently no score from the Congressional Budget Office on a fully-specified legislative proposal, but there needs to be full transparency on the proposal and sunshine on any possible budget gimmicks to understand the true cost.
In the letter, the senators explicitly describe how this broken process has produced bad legislation.
“Failure to secure details on the true cost of these spending proposals and offsets, and to hold full, open committee markups, only serves to erode the American people’s trust in the Senate as an open and effective institution. We cannot substitute a secretive process behind closed doors for a public dialogue, nor rhetorical scores in lieu of true economic impact,” the senators wrote.
Boozman has previously called for hearings in the ag committee and every Republican member of the committee signed a letter to Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) asking for public hearings with stakeholder input and a business meeting to consider improvements to the bill.
Along with Boozman and Crapo, ranking members from the following committees signed the letter: Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-WY); Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC); Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Ranking Member Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV); Senate Committee on the Budget Ranking Member Lindsay Graham (R-SC); Senate Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA); Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-KS; Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK); Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Rand Paul (R-KY); Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-OH); Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Patrick Toomey (R-PA); and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Read the letter in its entirety here.