Democratic spending package stopped in Senate
The Omnibus Falls
National Review Online, by Robert Costa & Andrew Stiles
Posted By:StormCnter, 12/17/2010 6:00:07 AM
As he stepped into a Capitol elevator late Thursday, bundled up in preparation for the winter winds, Sen. Mitch McConnell cracked a thin smile. For the low-key leader of Senate Republicans, good spirits were certainly in order. Minutes before, his cross-aisle counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, had sounded a death knell for the much-maligned $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package—the pork-packed keystone of the Democratic lame-duck agenda. McConnell, in an interview with National Review Online, called it a “victory for the country.” It was also a victory for his caucus,
Reply 1—Posted by: cap MarineTet68, 12/17/2010 6:01:58 AM
McConnell throws Reid under his own omnibus.
Reply 2—Posted by: revdeppisch316, 12/17/2010 6:24:58 AM
Thanks #1—first great laugh of the morning!
On a more serious note, Philip Klein at The American Spectator reflects
on the meaning of the spending bill:
Once mocked as angry racist mobs and “Astroturf,” the tea parties made their presence known in last month’s midterm elections. Tonight, they claimed their first genuine legislative victory when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the $1.2 trillion omnibus bill with thousands of earmarks, conceding he didn’t have the votes to pass it. The reason he didn’t have the votes to pass it was was no doubt a result of the pressure put on Republicans by tea party activists who have made it politically untenable to be associated with massive government spending and special favors. Sen. John McCain took to the floor and called this a “seminal moment.” I would say that it could be, but that largely depends on how Republicans behave going forward. Democrats made Republicans jobs a lot easier this week by providing them with such a massive target so soon after an election in which voters rejected out of control spending. But the truer test will be if Republicans can show the same sort of fortitude on matters that aren’t so easy—especially when it comes to entitlement spending, which is a much greater threat to the nation’s fiscal health than earmark spending. So, this is something worth celebrating—but only as much as a first down early in the season. There’s still a long road ahead for those who want to rein in government.
And here’s John Fund
at the WSJ:
Why did Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid beat an embarrassing retreat and yank the $1.1 trillion earmark-filled omnibus spending bill off the Senate floor last night?
Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 18, 2010 08:06 AM | Send
The decision came despite the alliance that Senate Democrats had formed with old-bull Republicans, such as retiring Utah Senator Robert Bennett, to provide enough votes to overcome the 60-vote threshold to cut off debate. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, feeling the heat from tea party groups, put pressure on his GOP caucus to hold together and block the omnibus. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina threatened to force a reading of the 1,924 page bill, a chore that would have consumed 50 hours of Senate floor time.
Hundreds of carefully crafted special-interest projects benefitting members of both parties evaporated with Mr. Reid’s decision. But in the end he realized that a prolonged omnibus bill debate would cost him the chance to bring to the floor a measure to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Senator John McCain, a defender of DADT, has told colleagues he has never seen Senator Reid so determined to ram through a measure. A former Democratic Senator told me that Mr. Reid had promised key gay donors to the Democratic Party that the policy barring gays from openly serving in the military would be overturned before the new GOP Congress was sworn in. “He had no choice but to go with the donors,” the former Senator told me. Right now, supporters of repealing the policy claim they have just enough Senate support to clear the 60-vote hurdle and bring the measure to the floor before the lame-duck session ends.