Posted by lex, on December 17, 2010
The GOP gets some of that ol’ time religion:
Senate Democrats abruptly abandoned an omnibus budget bill for the coming year, pushing major spending decisions into the next Congress and giving Republicans immense new leverage to confront President Barack Obama priorities.
The decision Thursday night sweeps away months of bipartisan work by the Senate Appropriations Committee which had crafted the $1.1 trillion bill to meet spending targets embraced by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) himself prior to the elections.
Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), an old McConnell friend, worked actively to round up as many as nine potential Republican votes for the compromise, but these numbers rapidly evaporated amid personal attacks and the uproar this week over spending earmarks in the package.
McConnell, embarrassed by reports on his own earmarks in the omnibus, went to the Senate floor Thursday to propose a one page, “clean” two month extension of the current stop gap funding resolution that has kept the government funded since Oct. 1. And as if caught with their hands in the cookie jar, he and other top Republicans vowed to do everything in their powers to kill the omnibus to square themselves with their tea party backers.
Government by Continuing Resolution – feels a little like Weimar around these parts, these days.
On the flip side, we now see an interesting dynamic: Hope n’ change didn’t add up to all that much, did it? I mean, apart from the Pelosicare health reform bill. We’re winding down Iraq on George W. Bush’s timeline, set to slug it out in Afghanistan until at least 2014 with some token troop withdrawals next summer, extended the Bush tax cuts, kept Guantanamo going, along with extraordinary renditions, and went nowhere on climate change legislation. And oh, yeah: We also threw a couple trillion dollars into on the national debt, which led in part to the “shellacking” the Democrats took in November, and the latest embarrassing rowback of the lame duck congress.
Charles Krauthammer sees all of this as good news for the president, if not his base.