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Exclusive–Paul Gosar on Omnibus Negotiations: We’re ‘Kowtowing’ to Schumer’s Tunnel ‘Earmark’ over Trump’s Wall

“We’re kicking our base in the teeth,” said Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) of the processes through which federal spending are determined on Capitol Hill. He made his remarks in a Tuesday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with co-hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.

Mansour deplored Congress’s apparent prioritizing of the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Gateway Project — a massive tunnel, bridge, and infrastructure expansion project linking passenger rail service between Newark, NJ, and New York City, NY — over President Trump’s southern border wall in the current omnibus spending bill negotiations on Capitol Hill.

“It seems like the big debate about [the omnibus bill] really is revolving around this Gateway Project, this nine-piece infrastructure project for New York and New Jersey that Chuck Schumer is behind,” lamented Mansour. “It’s Chuck Schumer’s big thing. But there seems to be more concern about this thing and more debate about what we’re going to do with this thing than there is with President Trump’s wall.”

Gosar agreed, noting that funding for the Gateway Program’s tunnel is being contemplated as an earmark as part of a broader federal omnibus spending bill.

“It seems to me that the longer we go, the worse and more liberal this omnibus — or cromnibus — actually gets,” replied Gosar. “This is exactly one of the aspects that we’ve been heralding as conservatives is that here this tunnel is an earmark. This is an infrastructure process that should go through regular order. It shouldn’t be part of an omnibus bill. The American people spoke out loud and clear about a border wall. That’s why they elected Donald Trump. They wanted to make sure that there was a division, that there was some notation in regards to our border funding to make sure that we had separation and a defensible border, and here we have an omnibus bill where we’re kowtowing to Chuck Schumer where we’re building a tunnel to somewhere — or maybe nowhere — that maybe we should be reconsidering.”

“New York and New Jersey aren’t even putting up any money on this,” said Mansour about the Gateway Project. “I’m sure it’s a nice project, and we’d all love to have better traffic in Newark and New York, but this is not the national priority.”

Gosar said Americans living in southern border states deserve the same security as those living in New York and New Jersey.

“This is problematic when you see a government that can give everything and then can take everything away,” stated Gosar. “This is wrong in where we’re going with this discussion of the omnibus bill. This is an extortive process, and it shows you how bad the process actually is. When you have bad process, you have bad policy, you have bad politics, and that’s through and through everything that we see, right now.”

Mansour critiqued the all-in-one omnibus spending process where national priorities like military funding are held “hostage” for “pork.”

“The whole process of this omnibus, why can’t we go back to the way it used to be before the last Bush administration where we had like twelve appropriation spending bills for each department?” asked Mansour. “We had a budget and we had these twelve spending bills and each department was funded separately so that the swamp creatures in D.C. couldn’t try to leverage the military spending over everything else by saying, ‘Hey, if you don’t give us our little goodies here, we’ll hold the military hostage, or we’ll hold hostage the funding for something else that’s really vital to the American people.’ It’s such a horrible process that ends up ruining it for all of us. You’re making government bigger.”Gosar pointed to the Senate, saying the Senate had taken up neither the budget nor twelve appropriation bills passed by the House.

“We have this charade called a [continuing resolution] and an omnibus bill where staff members push this and that, and none of the members that are good with dictation nor the strategy nor the negotiations are really part of the process,” said Gosar,

National priorities such as funding for a southern border wall are being subverted by less important projects, said Gosar. “This is nothing different than prioritizing earmarks. That’s strictly what’s going on here, is that it’s a negotiation with the Democrats. The longer this negotiation goes, the more liberal it will get, because we have now chastised the conservatives, the fiscally responsible people.”

“Can you imagine that this is the second largest deficit, only to Obama’s third year?” asked Gosar. “Can you believe that? I can’t, and neither can conservatives. … Our deficit, we’re understanding, is going to be about $1.2 trillion dollars.”

Republicans are violating their promises to voters, said Gosar.”What we’re currently doing is we’re kicking our base in the teeth saying, ‘Listen, you know, it’s okay to go into deficits.’ When is it going to catch up?”

“[Surrendering to the Senate] is the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” continued Gosar. “We’re allowing the Senate to dictate the parameters of the playing field, and that’s totally wrong. We are an equal body. … We should have our say, they should have their say, and we should negotiate it out, but not with committee staffers. It should be mano a mano, man and woman on deck, putting your livelihoods on the line. … It’s a crap sandwich. … The American public lost, and the Republican mantra lost. Why don’t we stand up, grow a spine, and negotiate, and make sure that we get something for something because that’s what the American people put us here for.”

Mansour asked about rumors that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is prioritizing legislative amnesty for illegal aliens registered with the Obama era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. “We’re hearing rumors tonight, already, that Speaker Ryan is still pushing a DACA deal, and we don’t know if there’s anything for the wall,” remarked Mansour. “So he wants a DACA deal, and what are we getting in exchange? Where is our wall? This is the one thing that the country elected Donald Trump for. Where is our wall? This is basic. This is our national security.”

“Speaker Ryan, didn’t he promise the Freedom Caucus that the Goodlatte bill — which is the bill that everybody said was the hard-line bill [and] the one that the immigration hawks all got behind — why didn’t that come to a vote?” asked Mansour. “I thought that he had promised you guys that. What happened with that?”

Ryan had picked up “bad habits” from his predecessor John Boehner, surmised Gosar.

Here we have a speaker who has learned bad habits,” assessed Gosar. “Let’s walk back. So we had a speaker, John Boehner, who actually passed a budget by making a deal with Barack Obama. And who went to the microphone to blast John Boehner? Paul Ryan, saying how absurd it is to pass a budget without consulting Congress. … Look what just happened. With the budget caps, we saw a speaker disregard the promises; he was already making deals when he had actually passed what we had asked for which was to pass full funding for the military and a short-term [continuing resolution] for discretionary spending. That was the promise, but he already had a deal cut with Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Gosar further described Ryan’s claimed plans to retire from Congress after 2018 are part of a calculated strategy to pass “liberal” legislation.

Gosar also discussed the need to crack down on states like California who are in open defiance of federal immigration laws. He compared California’s “sanctuary state” policies to the segregationist South during the Civil Rights era and the secessionists during the Civil War. “We’re now at a crossroads with the state of California, and soon-to-be New York and Illinois,” said Gosar. “We have to take them to court to say, ‘Listen, this is no different than segregation in the sixties, no different than the Civil War in Lincoln’s era.’ We are at a crossroads where a state cannot dictate the parameters of our Constitution.”

Gosar advised Americans to express their desires by directly contacting their representatives and senators. “The key is to light up the switchboard. Light up your emails. … People ought to rise up and demand better. This isn’t the time to be silent. This is time to be much more vocal… Give politicians a backbone. This a time to recapture your country [and] to make sure the government answers to you. … Speak up and be loud. Don’t take no for an answer.”

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