Wednesday’s vote in the Senate regarding the “budget blueprint” for a proposed $3.5 trillion spending spree next year raises far more questions than it answers, and especially for Christians concerned with a disregard for life and religious freedom.
If you’ve considered the ongoing debate these last few weeks to be confusing, join the club.
On Tuesday, the Senate passed a $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill that is purportedly designed to fund roads, bridges and trains. Yet, tucked inside that bill are dollars for salmon recovery, as well as increased food and beverage services on Amtrack.
Of additional concern, though, is language on page 2,149 (!), which makes “gender identity” a protected class. It reads:
“No individual in the United States may, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that is funded in whole or in part with funds made available to carry out this title”
In an “infrastructure” bill? And some wonder why many of us are so fed up?
Of course, the reason most people get glassy eyed over budget bills is because nobody can really comprehend billions of dollars, let alone trillions.
For perspective, if I gave you one million dollars a day, it would take you 9,800 years to spend $3.5 trillion.
If you wanted to pile up $3.5 trillion in hundred-dollar bills, it would be 2,208 miles high.
Then there is the massive debt these spending bills are burdening the next generations with – something that many politicians seem impervious to.
As moms and dads, we work hard to carefully budget and spend only the money we have at our disposal. With the exception of a mortgage, we can lose sleep over the money we owe on our credit cards and auto and student loans. We have to adjust to live within our means.
Uncle Sam? Not so much, or so it seems.
Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma is a personal friend and a man of great principle, who often finds himself – along with other colleagues – rowing against the tide of big spenders who lack fiscal restraint.
“Infrastructure and debt should not be partisan issues. This bill is the first step toward the Green New Deal, and it adds billions to our national debt on top of last year’s emergency COVID spending,” Mr. Lankford noted. “Infrastructure is important, but it’s not a crisis. The better infrastructure policy would prioritize building the multitude of projects we can pay for without additional debt.”
Senator Lankford, a longstanding pro-life stalwart, was unsuccessful in his attempts to amend the infrastructure bill, specifically in his efforts to remove language barring faith-based groups who adhere to biblical sexual ethics from applying for federal grants.
At the same time, the Oklahoma senator successfully reintroduced the Hyde amendment into the latter budget blueprint – a move which prohibits the taxpayer funds from being spent on abortions. All Republicans, along with Senator Manchin from West Virginia, voted in favor of the Hyde language.
Money has always been a reflection of priorities. That the federal government has long been financially upside-down points to many concerns, but especially the troubling state of our nation and its families.
Here is a fact: government grows as families falter. Not everyone who is divorced is in poverty, but it’s a strong predictor and a leading cause of financial woes. For nearly 45 years, Focus on the Family has existed in order to help shore up the nation’s homes, believing that as mom, dads and children thrive, so does the nation.
There are no easy solutions to the current predicaments we find ourselves in as a nation. But I’m thankful for representatives like Senators Lankford who stand firm and resolute for those issues we care so deeply about.