A prominent House Republican says that House Leadership broke a 2010 pledge by adding additional provisions to the must-pass “CRomnibus” bill, but that the ends—rolling back Democrats’ agenda—justified it.
A few minutes before voting on the 2015 spending bill began on Thursday, Texas Rep. Bill Flores said that Leadership violated its 2010 “Pledge to America” by filling must-pass government funding legislation with extra provisions that had nothing to do with government funding.
“We will end the practice of packaging unpopular bills with ‘must-pass’ legislation to circumvent the will of the American people,” says the pledge. “Instead, we will advance major legislation one issue at a time.”
Flores will chair the Republican Study Committee in the next Congress. That committee is a large, influential group of House members that aims to make House Leadership’s agenda more conservative.
Flores said this breaks the pledge, but that’s the price to pay to undo parts of President Obama’s agenda that passed during the brief period that Democrats controlled the White House and both branches of Congress after the 2008 election.
“It is a violation,” he said. “But I think it’s one of the byproducts of having to clean up really bad legislation from the 2009-2010 timeframe.”
“It’s really one of the few ways we can have to fix bad policy in a divided Congress,” he added.
Flores acknowledged that the “ends justified the means” in this instance.
“I’d say so,” he said. “I hate to say that, but yes.”
Despite defending Leadership’s move, Flores voted against the CRomnibus. In a statement explaining his vote, he cited the legislation’s funding of the president’s immigration move.