U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., was the featured speaker at the Arvest Bank Friday Forum at the Bartlesville east side branch on Friday, where he said his stance on not signing off on federal spending bills is not obstructionist, but an act to bring representation of the people back to Washington.
“I want to be clear. I am not for a government shutdown, that’s what they want you to believe,” Bridenstine said. “I am for representing you in Washington, D.C., and when both parties collude to deny you representation, I will vote no. I’m not voting no because I want a shutdown. I’m voting no because I want to get back to regular order where you can be represented, the power of the purse can be used.”
According to Bridenstine, tactics used by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have allowed the executive branch to wield too much power. Instead of passing an appropriated budget, Bridenstine said, both parties have aligned themselves to push through continuing resolutions and omnibus spending bills, without being allowed to properly vet spending.
“This is new. This not the way in which this government or this country has been run ever before,” Bridenstine said. “This is a convention of Barack Obama and Harry Reid. At the end of the day, we did continuing resolutions before the Obama presidency. It was for one appropriation bill at a time, and for a period of one or two months so that we could get to the appropriations process and represent you and use the power of the purse.
“That what a CR was for, it was just a matter of timing. Now, what we do is we roll them all together into one massive spending bill. We say we are going to take that entire $1.1 trillion, and you are either yes for everything, or no for everything. There is no in-between. That is not the way this country is supposed to be run. That is how the executive branch gets all the power. That is not what a democratic republic is supposed to look like.”
Bridenstine said he authored a bill, H.R. 4328, also known as the Read the Bill Act, that would require all bills include a comparative print which shows changes made to all other laws. It would also “prohibit the consideration in the House of Representatives or Senate of the text of any legislation which has not been published online at least 72 hours prior to its consideration.” The bill has been sent to committee.
Additionally, Bridenstine spent some time discussing his endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Bridenstine joined Cruz at a town hall rally in August 2015, at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville.
“I did that because (Cruz) is calling Washington what it is,” Bridenstine said. “He’s calling it a cartel. He’s telling people that you’ve got lobbyists, political action committee, the party apparatus and special interest groups all these folks want to tell members of Congress what they need to do. Members of Congress do it because they can their campaigns funded, their parties funded. He’s calling it the Washington cartel, being critical of Republicans as he’s being critical of Democrats. This whole process needs to end, and I have seen him fight these fights since the day I got there in January 2013. He has followed through on what he said he was going to do.”
Originally on Examiner-Enterprise.com