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Congressman Jason Smith

Representing the 8th District of Missouri

Capitol Report: Power of the Purse

Oct 2, 2015
Weekly Capitol Report

The United States House of Representatives is charged by the Constitution with funding our government. Time after time we are faced with maintaining the status quo or using the power of the purse to reflect America’s priorities. Funding government programs should be done in a specific, targeted way that respects the will of the American people.

This week the House of Representatives missed an important opportunity to keep tax dollars from supporting organizations that perform abortions and sell baby parts. It’s unconscionable that hardworking taxpayers subsidize these organizations.

It’s also true that we cannot continue to kick the can down the road when the Obama administration’s overreach is so blatant and their overregulation so destructive. Rogue agencies like the EPA are bullying hardworking Americans with excessive fines, leveling thousands of dollars a day on folks who have been farming long before the EPA was even in existence. Now is the time to use the EPA’s budget to rein in its intrusion into our everyday lives. We need to restrict funds from going toward implementation of the Waters of the United States rule that would give the government more authority over private land. We also need to block funding for the extreme greenhouse gas regulations on new and existing power plants that would drive up the costs of electricity for families. 

James Madison explained the importance of using funding to address grievances back in 1788. He wrote, "This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure."

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