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Op-Ed: Simpson’s ‘No’ Vote Was the Right Call Politically

By • December 29, 2022

Critics may say that Congressman Mike Simpson, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, “caved” to Republican leadership in his vote against the $1.7 trillion omnibus appropriations package that both houses of Congress approved … while selling out his Idaho constituents in the process.

It’s probably more like this: Simpson did what he had to do politically and, since the bill passed, everything he wrote in the budget bill for Idaho is there. Yes, Washington politics is messy. But consider what Simpson was up against. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who appears on the verge of being the next House speaker, has made clear his opposition to the package. Nine Republicans voted for the measure, and only two of those are returning to the new Congress that convenes on Jan. 3. So, Simpson didn’t have much choice but to oppose.

Simpson, a former Idaho House speaker, knows how political power works. You don’t run crossways with the speaker of the House, whether it’s the Idaho Legislature or Congress. In this case, Simpson supports McCarthy and his leadership team. Simpson is in a lofty position, and there’s no need for him to create misery for himself for the next two years.

Typically, Simpson votes for the budget resolutions and offers detailed (and convincing) arguments for how Idaho benefits from those omnibus packages. It’s hard to imagine Simpson in a new normal – working as hard as he does to take care of his home state, then bailing out on the budget vote. But this time, bucking House leadership would not work to his advantage.

Simpson, of course, didn’t bring up the sticky political situation in his short news release announcing his opposition to the appropriations package.

“While there are plenty of individual provisions of this bill that I support, the positives did not outweigh the tremendous cost of the total package and the irresponsible 11th -hour gimmicks thrown in by Democrats to hide the true cost of the package,” Simpson said in his news release.

“I applaud the inclusion of more than $36.8 million for the worthy Idaho projects that I submitted, a rider to prevent sage grouse ESA listing, and the funding of critical defense provisions in the NDAA. However, the final package fails to address Americans’ most urgent needs and instead indulges Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats on one final reckless, inflation spending binge in the waning hours of their House majority.”

Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch also issued statements reflecting their opposition to the $1.7 trillion bill, which was in line with how they usually vote on those packages. As with Simpson, Crapo sees some positives from the measure – including bipartisan initiatives he has championed — but does not support the “all-or-nothing” approach.

“Instead of moving forward with individual spending bills to allow members of Congress to separate good policy from bad, we are once again having to vote on a single bill that will unfortunately add to our unsustainable debt crisis,” Crapo said. “Unrestrained federal spending over the past two years has led to one of the most expensive holiday seasons in history. It is past time to rein in reckless unnecessary government spending and get our fiscal house in order.”

Risch says Congress needs to rein in government spending, abandon earmarks and treat taxpayer dollars with respect.

“This omnibus dramatically missed that mark,” Risch said. “At a time when Idahoans are facing the highest prices in decades, it is insulting for Congress to spend another $1.7 trillion that will add fuel to the inflationary fire. The 4,155 pages of this monstrous bill include billions for liberal priorities and pet project giveaways.”

Runaway spending in Congress is not new, which is why our national debt is more than $31 trillion and climbing every second. The question is whether members of Congress will do anything about it, aside from voting against multi-trillion-dollar omnibus appropriations packages that pop up. Maybe things will be better with Republicans holding a slim majority in the House of Representatives, but don’t count on it.

Chuck Malloy is a long-time Idaho journalist and columnist. He may be reached at

This Op-Ed was submitted by Chuck Malloy. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: Appropriations, Congressman Mike Simpson, Federal Spending, Kevin McCarthy, Nancy Pelosi, National Debt, Omnibus Bill, Senator Jim Risch, Senator Mike Crapo

10 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Simpson’s ‘No’ Vote Was the Right Call Politically

  1. McCarthy is a globalist who has proven to not be for The People.
    Simpson should have done his absolute and vocal best efforts to stop this atrocious spending bill in it’s tracks.
    Once again Simpson failed miserably, he simply kowtowed yet again.
    In his position you must protect The People from endless debt and wars, you stand up strong, you defeat the enemy. Simpson did not, nor did Risch, or Crapo.

  2. If we paid attention to Simpons voting recort we would see that Simpson is not our friend. The enlightened idahoans again reelected him. Tv watchers have the lowest IQ of any one on Earth.

  3. WHY … would ANYone be FOR this monstrosity of unlimited ATM machine for the world, with very little to benefit the American people…… is beyond my comprehension.
    It’s the Dem’s last gasp before the R’s take over …….
    I approve ALL who voted against it.

  4. It wasn’t just the correct thing to do politically, it was the right thing to do as a Republican. Come on Malloy, remember we’re supposed to be the party of less spending, smaller government, lower taxes etc. I think our Congressmen and Senators got a look at how many of us voted but did not vote for them. Simpson is a career swamp dweller and while he did the right thing here his “breach the dams” sell out mentality will never change.

    1. Did you make any attempt to read this budget? It’s worse than the great pork budgets of the 1960s. So many Americans are just accepting what the media tells them or whatever someone an authority tries to tell them.

  5. A simple rule that would serve Idaho voters well to learn is this, If you have to tell voters during your campaign that you are a Conservative, you aren’t.
    Simpson said in his news release,
    “I applaud the inclusion of more than $36.8 million for the worthy Idaho projects that I submitted

  6. Really not sure what audience this author is trying to cater to. Is he trying to remain on IACI’s good side by playing up a RINO’s efforts as just mere politics? The reality is that Simpson hasn’t voted for conservative principles for decades – even before he was voted into office as a Senator. Malloy unwittingly exposes exactly what Simpson is doing: playing politics.

    There were a whole slew of reasons why that disastrous omnibus bill should have been voted against. The failure of ANY member of Congress to actually READ the bill ranks first and foremost! What I would give to have a rule similar to Idaho’s where bills must be read in their entirety before a quorum before they can be debated or voted on!

    Second is that these “omnibus” bills are only passed because Congress refuses to do its job and address budget needs before it becomes an “emergency” – thus somehow justifying the need to “just get something passed.” Nancy Pelosi’s offhand and completely ridiculous comment that “we have to pass the bill to see what’s in it” has gone from being the laughingstock of politics to being the status quo. And our entire nation is headed into the dustbin of history because of it.

  7. The Tax and Print and Spend bill SHOULD have been opposed. Simpson and all of the Idaho delegation should oppose it. I suppose that Simpson is opposing to maintain the allure of fiscal responsibility. The UniParty knows how to frame narratives in 5 Gen Warfare terms. This is a chess game of optics and stories. The main point should be that we should NEVER have allowed government to grow to the monster that it is. Simpson and other UniParty members gradually facilitated the nurturing of Federal Power without looking like they did.

  8. To be BLUNT, ANYONE that voted in support of that massive spending bill should be shot. It was a bill that was not read, not understood and fails to follow the Constitution. I don’t care how much good it had for Idaho.

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