WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Dan Bishop (NC-09) voted no on a massive $2.3 trillion funding bill to which leadership tied $900 billion in coronavirus relief. The bill text was released just hours before members were expected to vote and did not include full recognition for the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina after historic momentum.
“For months, Americans needed extra support that empowered our economy and didn’t hinder it long term—which Republicans have offered,” said Rep. Bishop. “Now, Democrat leadership is tying coronavirus aid to disastrous spending that will saddle future generations with insurmountable debt and leave our communities less safe. Only in Congress could a massive 5,593- page, $2.3 trillion bill be unveiled hours before a vote—we couldn’t possibly know all the provisions in it before voting.
We do know that its price tag risks our children’s future by blowing through budget controls and that it fails to give the Lumbee Tribe the full federal recognition they deserve. After 200 years of waiting, we were closer than ever, but Nancy Pelosi herself prevented the Lumbee Recognition Act from being included. My vote will not be held hostage because of the ‘must-pass’ mentality that is so often manipulated by a concentrated few while the Lumbee continue to be ignored,” concluded Bishop.
The Lumbee are a tribe of state-recognized Native Americans who reside mostly in North Carolina. They have not enjoyed full federal recognition and the rights that entails after decades of effort. This Congress, the Lumbee Recognition Act passed the House, the Senate had companion legislation and President Trump agreed to sign it. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi blocked the bill’s inclusion in the funding bill.
The bill does include:
- An additional $40 million for the Kennedy Center;
- Reduced funding for Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) that will make our communities less safe from criminals;
- $10 billion in bailouts for the Postal Service; and
- A costly Climate Security Advisory Council and billions of dollars for progressive climate initiatives.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 also exceeds the Budget Control Spending Act’s limitations by $322 billion, even after Congress ended Fiscal Year 2020 with a budget deficit of $3.1 trillion. Congressman Bishop remains eager to pass necessary aid for families, businesses and local governments as we weather the coronavirus pandemic and continues to work towards that effort.