A document published by the Senate Steering Committee Tuesday found that there is actually $18 billion more than advertised in spending in the omnibus spending bill House and Senate establishment leaders introduced late Monday.
The Senate Steering Committee, chaired by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and vice-chaired by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), found that the omnibus spending bill uses a gimmick called CHIMPS, or changes in mandatory programs, to hide $18 billion in more spending.
“The omnibus contains $18 billion in CHIMPS,” the Steering Committee added later in the document. “$9.4 billion of that total is from the Crime Victims Fund, with another $6.3 billion coming from the Children’s Health Insurance Fund.”
The document also quotes from the Honest Budget Act from Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to explain what CHIMPS is as a gimmick.
“Language that delays $10 billion in mandatory spending for one year is scored as saving $10 billion,” Sessions’s Honest Budget Act explanation of this type of gimmick reads, as quoted by the Steering Committee. “Thus the $10 billion savings can be used to increase spending elsewhere in the bill by $10 billion without affecting the overall cost of the bill. Over a ten year period the same $10 billion can be delayed one year at a time, resulting in total ‘savings’ in the appropriations process of $100 billion ($10 billion X 10 years). However, the actual savings over the ten year period is only $10 billion (the same $10 billion simply got deferred each year). The result is $90 billion in phony savings.”
Specifically, House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Senate Appropriations Committee chairwoman Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) claimed that their omnibus spending bill would spend $1.012 trillion. That number is clearly not accurate.
I’d say these people need to go back to Accounting 101 and start over. We need a real budget, not one full of tricks and gimmicks.
Do you think they use these gimmicks in their own checkbooks? Me neither. No wonder Mike Lee has a headache.