With deficits almost more than twice the total amount of the annual federal budget the year the president graduated from high school, you’d think Congress would get the message that it needs to hold the line on federal spending.
Not just that, voters across the country voted out big-spending Democrats and voted in Republicans who promised to cut the size and cost of the federal government. (Well, some Democrats won election sounding like Republicans.) Maybe Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Mount Crumpit) thinks this sentiment doesn’t apply to him because he survived an electoral challenge this year (guess he’s discounting the millions he and his union allies paid to demonize and discredit his opponent). The other day, he “dropped on his colleagues a 1,924-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2011 that no one but a few Appropriators have read, if even they have“:
The last-minute omnibus should also offend Senators who claim to have heard the voters on November 2. This jam-job is a substitute for the 12 individual spending bills that Congress was supposed to have passed during the summer. But for the first time in modern memory, Democrats never got around to passing a budget outline, much less specific spending bills. So now they want to rush one giant bill into law when no one is paying attention.
Rather than pass a simple “continuing resolution” to fund government operations through early 2011, Harry Reid & Co. decided to ignore the backlash against fiscal profligacy and let their pork barons run wild. The result is an orgy of earmarks, rolled out two weeks after most Senate Republicans and seven Senate Democrats voted for a temporary earmark moratorium.
Mind you, the only reason we need new legislation to keep the government financed beyond December 18 is that the feckless Democrats in Congress failed to enact even a single appropriations bill for the current fiscal year, which began in October.
You mean, Congress hasn’t even acted to fund the government for the current fiscal year? Wonder if we’re seeing any outrage on the editorial pages of the nation’s major dailies. Guess the Reid-Pelosi Democrats were so busy not letting a crisis go to waste than they created another kind of crisis.
*NB, WSJ editors used this title first.
UPDATE: Via Glenn Reynolds, looks like Reid pulled the bill. Chalk one up for the Tea Party — and Mitch McConnell (Mitch McConnell who once campaigned on all the pork he brought to Kentucky!!) acting in the spirit of this burgeoning movement:
The Appropriators Buckle. “Tonight may indeed may be a ’seminal moment,’ as McCain said. This was to be the appropriators’ last hurrah. In the end, they couldn’t see it through, and it’s not going to get any better for them next year. . . . Then, you had Mitch McConnell on the phone all day with Republican appropriators–Reid’s base of support on the bill–twisting their arms to come out against it. My understanding is that by the end he had all the appropriators committed against it, with the exception of two who were undecided. McConnell told the appropriators that passing this bill, and passing it this way, would represent a rejection of everything the mid-term election was about, and ultimately he prevailed.” Sometimes converts are the most fervent.