Wednesday, December 17, 2014

McCaskill: Why I voted against the $1 trillion spending bill

(From Sen. Claire McCaskill)

This past weekend, the Senate brought a controversial $1 trillion spending bill up for a vote, and like all legislation that comes across my desk, I strongly considered the impact this bill would have on Missouri's families.

It was with that concern in mind that I voted against this spending package and the secretive, last-minute provisions it included.

For me, this kind of bill just isn't the way to govern.

While the funding did include important provisions for causes I support - like a boost to the E/A-18 Growler production line, critical for airborne electronic attack, and certainty for our military and veterans - it lacked the very basic transparency you deserve from your government.

Added to this spending bill - with little-to-no public debate - was a provision that will further open the floodgates for big money in our elections, by allowing for a huge increase in the amount of political contributions that wealthy individuals can make toward political parties. We should be working to limit money in politics, not giving millionaires and billionaires even more influence over our politics.

The bill also included a secretive provision that could allow for a process by which the pensions of millions of retirees across the country could be dramatically reduced - and one that could once again find taxpayers bailing out Wall Street's bad bets - as we were forced to do when the financial crisis hit in 2008. That's not a gamble I was willing to make, especially at the expense of hardworking Missourians.

I remain firmly committed to a transparent and accountable government, and what I saw last weekend didn't represent those values you sent me here to uphold.

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