Categorized | Senate News Briefing

Dems Unveil Massive, Last-Minute Spending Bill As Gallup Finds Worst Job Approval For Congress Ever

Reuters reports, “Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled an earmark-laden spending bill that would fund the entire U.S. government, and Republicans who have renounced the pet spending projects quickly vowed to oppose it. The 2,000-page spending bill, months overdue, would enable President Barack Obama to tighten financial oversight, subsidize college tuition bills and move forward with other priorities that have essentially been on hold since the fiscal year began in October.” The Wall Street Journal points out the omnibus bill “would lay down $1.1 trillion to fund the various arms of the departments and agencies of the federal government through September 2011, when the government’s current fiscal year will end.” The WSJ also notes, “The spending bill is necessary because lawmakers failed to pass any of the 12 budget bills required each year to fund the various arms of the federal government.”

Senate Republicans swiftly announced their opposition to the bloated bill last night. The WSJ writes, “Most Republicans in the Senate are expected to be united in opposition to the bill, preferring instead another short-term measure to fund the government through the early months of next year. ‘The attempt by Democrat leadership to rush through a nearly 2,000 page spending bill in the final days of the lame-duck session ignores the clear will expressed by the voters this past election,’ said Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.), a member of the Senate Republican leadership.”

Speaking on the Senate floor today, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the case against the Democrats’ omnibus bill: “Americans told Democrats last month to stop what they’ve been doing: bigger government, 2,000-page bills jammed through on Christmas Eve, wasteful spending. This bill is a monument to all three.” He added, “It includes more than $1 billion to fund the Democrat health care bill. For those of us who’ve vowed to repeal it, this alone is reason to oppose to Omnibus.”

Jennifer Rubin has details on the funding for the unpopular health care bill at her Washington Post blog. The $1 billion includes $3 million for one of the many boards, bureaucracies, and programs created by the law, $175 million to implement the Medicaid expansion and cuts to Medicare Advantage, and over $80 million for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Departmental Management account, to enforce the new insurance mandates and regulations created in the law.”

Sen. McConnell said today, “The voters made an unambiguous statement last month: they don’t like the wasteful spending, they don’t want the Democrat health care bill, and they don’t want lawmakers rushing staggeringly complex, staggeringly expensive bills through Congress without any time for people to study what’s buried in the details. This bill is a legislative slap in the face to all those voters who rejected these things.”

And sure enough, Gallup has a new poll today finding, “Americans’ assessment of Congress has hit a new low, with 13% saying they approve of the way Congress is handling its job. The 83% disapproval rating is also the worst Gallup has measured in more than 30 years of tracking congressional job performance.”

Clearly, Americans are sick of the way Democrats are doing things and fed up with their lame duck agenda of putting off things like preventing tax hikes for a liberal wish list. As Sen. McConnell explained, “For the first time in the modern era, Congress hasn’t passed a single appropriations bill. Democrats have been too focused on their own left-wing wing wish to take care of the basics. And now, at the end of the session, they want to roll all those bills together, along with anything else they haven’t gotten over the past two years, and rush it past the American people just the way they jammed the health care bill through Congress last Christmas.”

Democrats in Congress should drop this bloated spending bill and instead join with Republicans to pass as short-term continuing resolution to keep the lights on until early next year “when the new Congress will have the opportunity to make a determination on how to best spend taxpayers’ money,” in Sen. McConnell’s words.

On The Floor

The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today and began a period of morning business.

At 11 AM, the Senate resumed consideration of the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 4853 with the Reid-McConnell amendment, which contains the tax deal language.

At noon, the Senate began a series of roll call votes on the tax package. The first 3 will be motions to suspend the rule for amendments, which require 67 votes to succeed. The last vote will be on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 4853 with the Reid-McConnell amendment. If the motion is agreed to, the tax deal will be sent to the House for approval.

The motions to suspend the rules are being offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) for an amendment to offset the unemployment insurance extension in the tax deal with spending cuts, by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) for an amendment to replace the deal with permanent tax relief, and by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for an amendment that replaces the deal with President Obama’s original proposal to raise taxes and includes additional transportation spending.

Following the votes, the Senate will return to morning business until 2:15 PM. At that time, senators will vote on a motion to proceed to executive session (which requires a simple majority) to begin consideration of the New START treaty, Treaty Doc. 111-5.

Senate News Briefing 12.15.10

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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