Omnibus Spending Bill Killed, After GOP’s Earmarks Hypocrisy
December 17, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)— In the wake of Republican political tantrums and ridiculous earmark hypocrisy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was forced to withdraw the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that would have kept the government running for the next year, after Republican members previously committed to vote for it, backed off. The spending measure was drafted after months of committee hearings, and whittled down to the exact number demanded by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to gain Republican support. And the GOP added millions in earmarks. But when the bill was unveiled this week, the Republican Caucus led by McConnell declared that it was a monstrosity of excess spending and pork. After listening to their nonsense for a couple of days, Reid could no longer stomach the GOP’s blatant hypocrisy. “You can all look it up in the dictionary yourself,’’ he said “But I bet if you went to H in the dictionary and found hypocrite, under that would be people who ask for earmarks but then vote against them.’’ Still, the hypocritical Kabuki Theater worked, and the spending bill is now dead.
The Senate Republicans were taking heat from the tea party over their earmarks. And they tried to publicly decry the pork, while secretly hoping the spending bill would pass with the earmarks intact, so they could have it both ways. But the stunt failed. However, now that the spending bill is no longer on the calendar for the GOP to kick around, the looming threat of a weekend government shutdown is now over. And the clerks will not have to read the entire 1,924 page omnibus spending bill aloud into the record, so right-wing Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) could engage in more obstructionism to “run out the clock.”
A shorter, interim spending bill will now be negotiated and passed. Leaving the next spending bill showdown and a threat of a government shutdown until next year, when the Republicans regain the majority in the House. That’s something to look forward to, right?
And do you really believe the next spending bill will be without Republican earmarks? They will just change the definition of earmarks, and/or exclude such typical state pork, as highways, bridges projects and other infrastructure projects from the definition.
“The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said Thursday night that he was abandoning efforts to pass a $1.2 trillion spending measure to finance the government through Sept. 30 because Republicans would not support it.”
“Mr. Reid said he would work with the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, on a stop-gap spending bill instead. Senate Republicans also said they would not support a House-passed temporary spending measure running through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Instead, they want to develop a separate measure running only through the early part of next year.”
But with the spending bill off the calendar that means more time is available in the crammed lame-duck session for other things, such as ratifying the START treaty, repealing DADT and providing health care to our 9/11 first responders.