One House conservative who has emerged as an articulate spokesman for the “not business as usual” Republicans is U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, who represents a stretch of Texas ranging from Austin to San Antonio. A former chief of staff to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Roy is now a formidable force on his own speaking out on behalf of grassroots conservatives against the D.C. “swamp.”
No congressman has been more forceful in decrying the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, recently signed into law by President Biden, that won passage with the help of 18 GOP senators and nine House members, and explaining how it happened.
On the House floor [see video below] and in media interviews, Roy has exposed how legislators are given bloated bills resulting from negotiations between advocates for defense spending and legislative liberals as a fait accompli with no opportunity to debate the final bill nor offer amendments. He demands an end to this process:
“The American people are looking at this body and asking how we can pass $1.7 trillion bills that are unpaid for.”
On Dec. 23, Roy sounded off against the omnibus bill that became “bipartisan” thanks to the support of longtime “conservative” senators like Tom Cotton [see full list of GOP senators here]:
“Today, the United States Senate, the Senate supposedly the ‘upper chamber,’ the House of Lords in the United States, if you will,…is in the process of sending us after voting for it, a 4,155-page bill unveiled yesterday morning at 1:30 am that will cost 1.7 trillion dollars. This bill will increase spending: 118 billion dollars.”
“This bill has 45 billion dollars for the country of Ukraine, 21 percent over President Biden’s request, by the way. Forty billion dollars for disaster relief. Fifteen billion dollars for 7,234 earmarks with the senior senator of Alabama, Richard Shelby [a Republican] walking out of the Senate with his legacy of 670 million dollars.”
“I could go on and on and on for all of the things that are put in here divvying us up by race, divvying us up by gender ideology, all of those earmarks just flooding out with money we don’t have. But that’s not even the worst of it. That’s not even the actual irresponsibility of this body. That’s just pork, spending that this body is used to doing to the tune of 15, 16 billion dollars. The real problem is that we are funding a whole alphabet soup of federal agencies that are demonstrably not doing their job, but more importantly are demonstrably targeting the American people.”
A week later, as Roy was on the floor of the House filled with legislators nominating rising conservative star Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., as a competitor to McCarthy for Speaker, he bemoaned the lack of a meaningful floor debate on the gargantuan spending bill, and impossibility to alter it with amendments.
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“We should be in here having this kind of a conversation, with this many people in the room, about Ukraine, and we should debate the merits” of the $45 billion dollars allotted in the spending bill as aid to Ukraine, he said.
“The only way you’re going to get that is if you change the rules and have the leadership to advance the rules to make sure that we can do that,” he said.
Noting that some progress toward that goal has been achieved in two months of negotiations between conservatives and McCarthy, he said, “But we’re not there. We’re not at the place where we need to be to guarantee … that we’re going to be able to stand up in the face of the swamp that continues to step over the American people on a daily basis, and spend money we don’t have, and to continue to leave our borders open, and to continue to fund bureaucrats we are stepping over the freedoms of the American people.”
Roy bristles at the idea that the conservatives challenging McCarthy are doing so for “selfish” reasons, as asserted by freshman Rep. Michael Lawler, R-N.Y., in an interview with Fox News. In fact, Roy told conservative talker Glenn Beck Tuesday, the personal attacks against conservatives by McCarthy’s allies emboldened and grew the opposition against him
“This is not personal. It’s not. This is about the future of this country,” he said in nominating Rep. Jim Jordan (an ally and fellow House conservative, but one who is not challenging McCarthy) for Speaker.