The deadline for the government to pass a budget for fiscal year 2016 is this Friday. Rumor has it that there may not be a budget before then. Why? The poison pills known in Washington as “policy riders.”
Last week, the Senate narrowly passed a budget that would have defunded Planned Parenthood and repealed the Affordable Care Act. Could such a budget pass? Not without enough votes to overcome a presidential veto. But the battle for this year’s budget is going strong, with a series of dangerous – and extreme – policy “riders” under consideration. These contentious policy changes have no place in the budget bill.
Here are 5 battlegrounds where special interests are pushing for major policy changes through the budget:
From blocking entry by all Syrian refugees to making the process even more onerous (it already takes 18 months to 2 years), these riders would deny safe harbor to desperate Syrian refugees who are mostly women and children.
Thought this battle was over? Not so fast. While the previous budget deal was supposed to have ended this fight for this year, there are still calls to defund the health care agency that helps 2.7 million women, men and teens each year.
Barely five years out from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, some lawmakers have already forgotten the fast and loose financial games played by big banks that got us into the mess in the first place. These lawmakers want to gut the Dodd-Frank reform that set a floor for more responsible banking practices. Santa shouldn’t bring Wall Street this piece of anti-reform this year.
From benefits for corporations that shift profits overseas, to those that allow corporations benefits for past equipment purchases, a special group of tax breaks known as “tax extenders” may be extended by attaching them to the budget. The budget shouldn’t become a vehicle for bad tax policy.
Overtime pay, retirement contributions and more could be subject to relaxed rules and enforcement if this bad-news family of policy riders make their way into the budget.
Tell Congress that America needs a clean budget bill with no poison pills! Sign the petition today.