WASHINGTON, D.C. (WGHP) – With the U.S. Senate apparently about to take up an omnibus $1.7 trillion spending bill – which would include the Electoral Count Act that has passed the House – one of the House Republicans who next year will represent a slice of the Piedmont Triad has taken to social media to assail the bill and implore Republicans to defeat it.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte), whose new 8th Congressional District will include Davidson and Montgomery counties starting in January, signed on to a letter submitted Dec. 19 by 13 of the more extreme right Republicans in the House that is addressed to “Senate Republican colleagues.”
The bill includes the $858 billion defense bill already passed with bipartisan support, more aid for Ukraine and more money for hurricane victims in Florida and Puerto Rico. It also addresses horse racing and banning Chinese-owned TikTok for government-issued devices.
A procedural vote later today could start the process toward formal passage, which will require at least 10 GOP senators to cross over and vote with Democrats and independents.
The letter by Bishop and his colleagues covers most of the usual issues about spending and politics and then moves to the Southern border and the surge of immigrants faced by Texas, in particular. The letter calls the Senate bill “an indefensible assault on the American people … an assault on the separation of powers.”
The authors’ goal is to stall the bill so that a GOP-controlled House can set the fiscal party for 2023. They say that to do otherwise would show that their party is divided.
They threatened to “oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill – including the … leader.”
Bishop is the only representative from North Carolina listed among the signatories. But those names include some of the more outspokenly volatile members of the House many of whose names also showed up on text messages sent by 34 members of Congress to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about how to overturn Joe Biden’s election in 2020: Chip Roy (R-Texas), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Ralph Norman (R-Okla.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Bob Good (R-Va.).
Bishop on Twitter
But Bishop also took to his Twitter account with a series of posts about why he is outraged by the bill. He cites the size of the bill and the amount allocated to Ukraine in its effort to repel the invasion by Russia.
Bishop wrote that:
- “The American people did not elect us to continue the status quo in Washington. This omnibus spending bill is the worst of business as usual in Washington and is an indefensible assault on the American people. We will not abide it.
- “The omnibus package, released this morning, includes another $47 billion for the war in Ukraine. It would bring our total Ukraine spending to more than $100 BILLION. One of many reasons to vote NO on this monstrosity of a bill.
- “4,155 pages. $1.7 trillion. All produced in swampy backroom deals. For those happy with the status quo but wondering why Congress has a 75% disapproval rating – you should take a look in the mirror.
He continued to post about the bill and to analyze passages he found objectionable.
Electoral reform act
Although the other GOP representatives elected to serve the Triad next year – Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk) and Richard Hudson (R-Southern Pines) – did not immediately post positions about the omnibus bill, they joined Bishop (and outgoing Triad reps Ted Budd and Patrick McHenry) in opposing the Presidential Reform Act when it passed the House in September.
That bill was approved, 229-203, with only nine Republicans joining Democrats in supporting legislation to ensure that the process last overseen by Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, 2021, when Congress confirmed the vote of the Electoral College, would go unimpeded.
Pence had declined requests by Trump and some of his allies that he reject the electors and delay the transfer of power to President Joe Biden, who decisively won in November 2020. Trump has claimed without evidence that the election results weren’t valid, a claim he still makes to this day despite no supporting evidence. That led to the insurrection at the Capitol.
There is a companion, bipartisan bill in the Senate that was introduced by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and 15 other senators to reform the rules established by Congress in 1887. It is in tandem with the “Enhanced Election Security and Protection Act,” to specify how to ensure that elections are safe.
This bill would:
- Affirm the vice president’s role is ceremonial in the electoral certification and affirm the Jan. 6 date and procedure in Congress.
- Specify the formal certification of electors and public inspection.
- Formalizing the process for appealing any elector, including establishing the judicial panel to do so.
- Provide for an extension of the election process based on a catastrophic event (which is specified as “a major natural disaster, a terrorist attack or a widespread power outage.”
- Smooth existing deadlines, dates and processes for delivery of certified electors.