This is the bill that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid refused to bring to floor before the election because they feared what the public's reaction would be...as if losing 7 seats in the Senate, and 64 in the House weren't bad enough. They were afraid that the tsunami would have been worse if the public had been able to peruse this bill before hitting the polling booth.
The $1.2 trillion bill, released on Tuesday, includes more than 6,000 earmarks totaling $8 billion, an amount that many lawmakers decried as an irresponsible binge following a midterm election in which many voters demanded that the government cut spending.While Mitch McConnell has agreed to a moritorium on earmarks...
"The American people said just 42 days ago, 'Enough!' . . . Are we tone deaf? Are we stricken with amnesia?" Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a leading earmark critic, said on the Senate floor, flipping through the 1,924-page bill as he pounded his desk.
The bill includes $18 million for two nonprofits associated with deceased Democrats, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Rep. John P. Murtha; $349,000 for swine waste management in North Carolina; and $6 million for a rural Iowa school program named after Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
the legislation includes provisions requested this year by McConnell, including $650,000 for a genetic technology center at the University of Kentucky, according to an analysis of the bill by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog.That's the height of hypocrisy...even for a jaded GOP leadership that no one in this country trusts. On the plus side, John Boehner did release this:
"If President Obama is truly serious about ending earmarks, he should oppose Senate Democrats' pork-laden omnibus spending bill and announce he will veto it if necessary. This bill represents exactly what the American people have rejected: more spending, more earmarks, and more big government. Republicans strongly oppose this last-ditch spending spree, a smack in the face to taxpayers at a time when we're borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Senate Democrats even go so far as to plow more than $1 billion into implementing ObamaCare, despite a growing national revolt against this job-killing health care law. . . .Senate Democrats should stand down so we can get to work on cleaning up Washington's fiscal mess"What the GOP leadership must emphatically remember, the country didn't choose the Republican Party because we like an trust them, they were chosen because "they suck a little bit less" than the Democrats. Here's some of the pork in the Senate version
The need to stop Washington’s job-killing spending binge may be lost on Senate Democrats, but it will be a top priority for the new Republican majority in the House. We have already banned earmarks and made a pledge to America to end the practice of omnibus bills like this disgrace and cut spending to pre-‘stimulus,’ pre-bailout levels. Instead of making reckless spending decisions in the waning days of the lame-duck session, Senate Democrats should stand down so we can get to work on cleaning up Washington’s fiscal mess.
- $247,000 - Virus free grapes in Washington State
- $413,000 - Peanut research in Alabama
- $125,000 - Fishery equipment for the Guam Fisherman’s Cooperative Association
- $349,000 - Swine waste management in North Carolina
- $277,000 - Potato pest management in wisconsin
- $246,000 - Bovine tuberculosis treatment in Michigan and Minnesota
- $522,000 - Cranberry and blueberry disease and breeding in New Jersey
- $500,000 - Oyster safety in Florida
- $400,000 - Solar parking canopies and plug-in electric stations in Kansas
- $165,000 - Maple syrup research in Vermont
It's well past time to put an end to "lame duck" sessions, unless there is a pressing national emergency. It's only been in the past 30 or so years that lame duck sessions have become the norm, and that norm has only been in the past 12 or so years. Prior to the early 1980's, lame duck sessions were only called when pressing issues needed attention. This Congress, and it's leadership, has ignored the will of the people long enough. I believe that they don't think that we will remember what they've done in two years. I don't think that they are taking the Tea Party movement seriously enough. 2012 is coming, and we WILL remember.
H/T Instapundit as always
UPDATE: Congressman John Sarbanes answered with this:
Thank you for contacting me about deficits and the national debt. The national debt is a serious problem that requires our attention; I agree that we must act decisively to right our present fiscal course.and I...being an angry Tea Partier answered him thusly:
The irresponsible fiscal policies of the last decade left our nation on precarious fiscal footing as we slid into the worst recession in a generation. The impact of these policies cannot be reversed immediately and, without sustained economic growth, draconian spending cuts and tax increases will be required. That is why there has been general consensus among economists and policy experts that in the near term, as a response to the recession, targeted tax cuts and government spending are a desirable form of economic stimulus. Although balanced budgets must be an essential piece of any long-term economic strategy, the responsible use of short-term stimulus provides a much-needed "shot in the arm" for our struggling economy.
As the economy returns to sustainable growth, and once we have pushed closer to full employment, we must take a serious look at all elements of spending and tax revenue in order to return to fiscal responsibility. Last year, we made progress by enacting a statutory Pay-As-You-Go law to ensure that non-emergency spending or tax cuts are fully paid for elsewhere in budget. Pay-Go was applied during the 1990s and, along with strong economic growth, helped us achieve the budget surpluses of that decade. But the law was allowed to expire in 2002. I am also encouraged by the President's decision to create a national commission to make independent recommendations to the Congress about policies to get our fiscal house in order. The Commission's recommendations include tough choices about entitlements, tax revenue, and discretionary spending. Although I do not agree with every aspect of this proposal, these recommendations serve as a starting point as we begin to debate a comprehensive deficit-reduction package in the coming months. Make no mistake, enacting measures that will truly improve our fiscal condition will require shared sacrifice and real tradeoffs between government services and tax policy. I will come to this debate with the perspective that our budget policies should reflect our nation's values— ensuring opportunity and strengthening communities, promoting private enterprise and innovation, and sharing the costs of government equitably. I look forward to your continued input on this issue and I will keep your views in mind when the Congress considers relevant measures.
Again, I appreciate hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to contact me about other issues of concern to you in the future.
Member of Congress
message dated 12/15/2010 6:01:44 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, email@example.com writes:
"The irresponsible fiscal policies of the last decade left our nation on precarious fiscal footing as we slid into the worst recession in a generation. The impact of these policies cannot be reversed immediately and, without sustained economic growth, draconian spending cuts and tax increases will be required."
But when Nancy Pelosi took up the Speaker's gavel in 2006, she said she would be a good steward of "The Peoples" money...yet on her watch, and yours, you have added 1/3 to the national debt, with over $4 trillion dollars added in the past 23 months. How can you justify wasted 1 trillion on 'stimulus' that was now acknowledged by the White House to be an abject failure? How can you justify a two year average deficit of $1.4 trillion dollars per year? Answer that, without political wishy washyness and explain in simple language how...
Richard A. Vail
Pikesville, MD 21208
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.--Thomas Jefferson