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Reid folds

The threat of pitchforks was apparently too much:

Democrats controlling the Senate have abandoned a 1,924-page catchall spending measure that's laced with homestate pet projects known as earmarks and that would have provided another $158 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nevada Democrat Harry Reid gave up on the nearly $1.3 trillion bill after several Republicans who had been thinking of voting for the bill pulled back their support.

GOP leader Mitch McConnell threw his weight against the bill in recent days, saying it was in his words "unbelievable" that Democrats would try to muscle through in just a few days legislation that usually takes months to debate.

Reid said he would work with McConnell to produce a short-term funding bill to keep the government running into early next year.

It's an incredible display of arrogance and chutzpah that a bill like this was even introduced and more incredible that initially some Republicans were backing it.  A sign of some serious obtuseness.

Thank God it's been pulled.


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Comments (23)

Just in case we needed remi... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Just in case we needed reminding that the GOP is not necessarily our friend and that the real enemy is the beltway politician who is full of himself and seeking only to increase his power and enrich himself and his friends. That enemy comes from any party.

It seems at least some sani... (Below threshold)
retired military:

It seems at least some sanity is returning to Congress. Lets hope this is just a beginning.

A tactical retreat.... (Below threshold)
davidt:

A tactical retreat.

Hrmmm... I have to w... (Below threshold)
C J:


Hrmmm... I have to wonder... did some R's really flip to No, or was this a case of offering tentative support to give the D's enough rope to hang themselves with? I'd like to believe that's what happened, but I have a hard time doing so...

There will be a lot of battles in the weeks ahead. I think the D's will pull every trick in the book (and add a few new ones)to ram stuff through.

The ones that most worry me are, in order, the nightmare (dream) act, START, the budget, and the tax cuts. (I'll believe they've backed off of this budget extension when I see it, and not before).

Here's the credo to live by... (Below threshold)
sam:

Here's the credo to live by:

Impeach Everyone

Every one of those pols nee... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

Every one of those pols need to be lined up against a wall and slapped silly then put in jail.

The funny thing about polit... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

The funny thing about politicians is once we elect them, after their swearing up and down and sideways that they'll be our loyal servants... they turn into petty (or not so petty) autocrats who believe themselves not responsible to the public.

We've really got to figure a way to disabuse them of that notion, and make them realize that they do OUR will, and that the good of the country overall is far more important than anything else.

The Dems played and dithered and ran out the clock on this budget 'crisis'. As in so many things that are supposedly crises, they haven't acted until now to remedy it, and then try to push something throughreallyfastbecausethere'snotimetoreadit!

Screw Pelosi and Reid and their 'We have to pass it to find what's in it' crap. We simply can't afford to do that any more.

I don't follow your comment... (Below threshold)
Oldflyerg8r:

I don't follow your comment Jim M. Mitch McConnell faced Reid and his merry band of outlaws down. He introduced a one page continuing resolution today to fund the government at last year's level until February.

Reid has caved. Obama demanded, publicly this week, a trillion dollar spending bill from the Lame Ducks. He lost.

I think the GOP has done good work this fall.

Let's give them a break.

I agree Oldflyerg8r,<... (Below threshold)
Brucepall:

I agree Oldflyerg8r,

A one page continuing resolution (till Feb)... or a 1,924 page sugar-coated ball of crap shoved down our throats. Everyone here prefers the former.

With the latter, I'm with TexBob -except I'd lottery them jail birds every single day - with the winner getting a last cigarette before we blindfolded em - frog marched em back out to the wall - and shot em at dawn. Take about a year or so... and a couple dozen cartons, I recon...

Semper Fidelis-

Oldflyerg8r, you are not ch... (Below threshold)
john:

Oldflyerg8r, you are not characterizing this correctly. This was a bipartisan bill that was crafted with the input of Republicans. It had several provisions that Democrats opposed but accepted for the sake of compromise. The earmarks that the Republicans are suddenly complaining about included earmarks put in by Republicans. Republicans committed votes to pass this.

Then suddenly the Republicans about-faced. One can only guess why, but speculation ranges from political opportunism to deal-breaking opposition to several items regarding health insurance and financial reform. So be it. Whatever the case, once McConnell decided to oppose the bill, he had to offer the continuing resolution, otherwise the government would have had no budget. And as you note, McConnell is asking to continue current funding levels only until February, at which point we'll see just what it is that he really cares about.

So it is incorrect to view this as McConnell swooping in and facing down the "hurry-up-and-pass-it" Democrats. This is just regular ordinary politics.

The sinking of the bill was a setback for President Barack Obama, who supported it despite provisions to block the Pentagon from transferring Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the United States and fund a program to develop a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which the administration says is a waste of money.
...
McConnell had earlier quietly backed the effort to produce the legislation, which had significant input from Republicans on the Appropriations panel.
...
Republicans were also irate that the measure contained money to begin implementation of Obama's controversial health care law and a financial overhaul measure that all but a handful of Republicans opposed.
...
On the merits, most of the rest of the bill had bipartisan support. It stuck to a spending cap sought by Republicans while boosting spending for Head Start, veterans programs and Pell Grants for disadvantaged college students. But that message didn't get out amid the firestorm over earmarks and the measure's remarkable size.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101217/ap_on_bi_ge/us_congress_spending

By the way, the combined Democrat and Republican earmarks are just 0.6% of the bill ($8B out of $1.3T). So while earmarks get great headlines, they're obviously not the real issue.

I caught about ten minutes ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

I caught about ten minutes of talk radio on my way home last night. I don't know who was being interviewed, but he nailed it perfectly when describing democrats the last couple weeks.

The Titanic is going down and they're yelling, "Let's get drunk!"

"By the way, the combined D... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"By the way, the combined Democrat and Republican earmarks are just 0.6% of the bill ($8B out of $1.3T). So while earmarks get great headlines, they're obviously not the real issue"

Any day a trillion dollar spending bill gets shot down is a good day in my book.

"So while earmarks get grea... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"So while earmarks get great headlines, they're obviously not the real issue."

The real issue is a political class that doesn't mind feathering their 'nests' with non-essential spending - which you and I have no choice about paying for.

They're our employees - not our owners or masters. They may think otherwise - but it's time they understood their place. "Public Servant" means just that.

"By the way, the combined D... (Below threshold)
John:

"By the way, the combined Democrat and Republican earmarks are just 0.6% of the bill ($8B out of $1.3T). So while earmarks get great headlines, they're obviously not the real issue."

It has to start somewhere, this is as good a place as any. If you can't get these crooks to stop spending money on earmarks when the country is broke, how do you ever get them to focus on the bigger spending issues? They are out of control and need to be shut down at every single opportunity no matter how small.

I am very pleased. I give t... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I am very pleased. I give the GOP kudo's for this.

As an aside, I am seeing the MSM start to say that John Boehner is unstable because he cry's. They are starting to "Gingrich" him. ww

Poor Harry. Just like Rodn... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Poor Harry. Just like Rodney Dangerfield.

So who were the sell-out re... (Below threshold)
oldpuppymax:

So who were the sell-out republicans considering passage? Apart from Chuck Grasley and his fraudulent ethanol earmark, that is.

Senator Cornyn (R- Oatmeal)... (Below threshold)
Mainstreet:

Senator Cornyn (R- Oatmeal) does not deserve one word of thanks. He would have voted for that bill in a second. He is far more interested in compromise instead of principle.

Government must spend less and live within its means. That means real cuts in real spending. The people who "earn" their income from Government aren't going to go away without a fight. Fortunately for them they won't have to fight Sen. Cornyn will stand firm on raising the retirement age to 66 over the next 17 years. That'll show em!

"By the way, the combined D... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"By the way, the combined Democrat and Republican earmarks are just 0.6% of the bill ($8B out of $1.3T). So while earmarks get great headlines, they're obviously not the real issue."

Absolute bullshit.

Earmarks are tiny bribes (paid for with someone else's money) that get huge spending bills passed that may not get passed otherwise.

Their power is far above the 0.6% you indicate.
A mere couple of billion ensure that a trillion gets spent. That's a HUGE return for a few dirty peanuts. Let's stop the peanuts.

FWIW the bill was created b... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

FWIW the bill was created by Sen. Inoway HI and was started on last February. The Republican earmarks that are in the bill were from back then and were not anything recent, as in after November and the Republican promise to kill off the use of earmarks.

Sen Minority Leader McConnell deserves credit for getting ALL the Republican members of the Senate behind his single page continuing resolution bill. THAT is what destroyed Reid's gynormas s**t sandwich he was trying to jam through.

Any day a trillion dolla... (Below threshold)
john:

Any day a trillion dollar spending bill gets shot down is a good day in my book.

It will be replaced by another trillion dollar spending plan, just being spent the way Republicans want instead of Democrats. I'm sure you'll attack that one with as much vigor.

It has to start somewher... (Below threshold)
john:

It has to start somewhere, this is as good a place as any. If you can't get these crooks to stop spending money on earmarks when the country is broke, how do you ever get them to focus on the bigger spending issues?

The gov't is going to earn $12B profit from its investment in Citigroup. TARP, once projected to cost $700B, is now only going to cost $25B. The budget is over $1T. Over $15B is unaccounted for in Iraq. Social Security. Medicare.

Compared to these numbers, even if you cut earmarks in half from $8B to $4B, they're not worth anywhere near the attention they're getting. It's politics, nothing more.

Absolute bullshit. Earma... (Below threshold)
john:

Absolute bullshit. Earmarks are tiny bribes (paid for with someone else's money) that get huge spending bills passed that may not get passed otherwise.

Republicans love earmarks as much as anyone. They're authorized by the Constitution. They're how government allocates money. The problem is that Republicans spent so long demonizing them as a means to attack Democrats, that people believe they're a problem far out of proportion of what they really are.




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