“With mates like these, who wants enemies?” is an statement attributed to the late comic and New York Submit “Strictly for Laughs” columnist Joey Adams.
After the Dec. 22 betrayal by 18 Senate Republicans of their Home GOP colleagues—to say nothing of Republican voters—in inexplicably serving to Democrats ram by way of a disgracefully pork-laden $1.85 trillion omnibus spending invoice, Adams’ quote must be “revised and prolonged”—to borrow some Congress-speak—to “With Republicans like these, who wants Democrats?”
Because the curtain rises Tuesday on the GOP-controlled Home within the 118th Congress, there nonetheless hasn’t been a believable—a lot much less defensible—clarification for why these 18 Senate Republicans would willingly kneecap their Home counterparts, siding as a substitute with all 47 Senate Democrats (and their three nominally “unbiased” allies) voting in lockstep to move the beyond-bloated finances invoice.
Whereas most of the 18 have been the standard RINO suspects, there have been others whose votes for the blunderbuss omnibus have been each stunning and disheartening:
Roy Blunt, Missouri (lame duck, changed by Eric Schmitt)
John Boozman, Arkansas
Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia
Susan Collins, Maine
John Cornyn, Texas
Tom Cotton, Arkansas
Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
James Inhofe, Oklahoma
Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
Jerry Moran, Kansas
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
Rob Portman, Ohio (lame duck, changed by J.D. Vance)
Mitt Romney, Utah
Mike Rounds, South Dakota
Richard Shelby, Alabama (lame duck, changed by Katie Britt)
John Thune, South Dakota
Roger Wicker, Mississippi
Todd Younger, Indiana
In so doing, these 18 GOP senators successfully surrendered Home Republicans’ “energy of the purse” capacity to rein within the excesses of the Biden administration for the rest of the fiscal yr.
The 4,155-page omnibus was chockablock with all method of Democratic spending excesses and leftist legislative initiatives, however valuable few Republican priorities. Only a day and a half after the invoice’s introduction at 1:30 within the morning, the nation’s supposedly “biggest deliberative physique” accepted, 68 to 29, a monstrosity that was learn by nobody on both aspect of the aisle. (Not even the late speed-reading guru Evelyn Wooden might have learn a 4,155-page invoice in simply 36 hours, a lot much less the extra 2,670 pages of explanatory materials that directs federal businesses on the best way to perform the invoice’s provisions.)
9 Home Republicans additionally betrayed their GOP colleagues within the decrease chamber within the follow-on Dec. 23 vote. Seven of them are lame geese who received’t be round subsequent yr to assist try to scrub up the mess.
The 27 Republicans who voted for the omnibus can’t defend their votes, as a result of there was zero sudden urgency or rapid necessity to move the finances invoice funding the federal authorities for the remainder of the fiscal yr by way of Sept. 30, insofar because the finances was already overdue since Oct. 1. One other short-term persevering with decision, funding the federal government someday into January or February, would have given the incoming Home Republican majority leverage to revise the finances invoice that they didn’t have within the outgoing Democrat-controlled 117th Congress.
As at all times in these legislative stare-downs with Democrats, Senate Republicans blinked first. It’s not for nothing that the Republican Occasion—or extra particularly, the faction that often surrenders its leverage and goes alongside to get alongside—has been dubbed the Silly Occasion.
Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell is reputed to be a grasp political strategist and tactician, however that popularity—which was at all times extremely overrated and overstated—is now in complete tatters.
The blame for what my Heritage Basis colleague, finances coverage analyst Richard Stern, rightly blasted as “a gorgeous act of betrayal of their constituents and the American individuals” lies squarely at McConnell’s toes.
For the previous six years, the Kentuckian has been coasting on a popularity gleaned from his “strategery” in holding Merrick Garland off the Supreme Court docket in 2016. (Even that’s unwarranted, nonetheless. Every other Republican majority chief value his or her salt might have—and presumably would have—finished the identical factor.)
McConnell and hapless 88-year-old lame-duck Sen. Richard Shelby, Alabama Republican—who the Kentuckian appointed to barter the omnibus package deal with one other octogenarian lame duck, far left Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat—obtained rolled.
The 18 Senate Republicans gave away the shop and obtained virtually nothing in return—not even a codification of Title 42 to assist curb unlawful immigration or an extension of the Hyde Modification barring federal funding of elective abortion.
However, hey, not less than they obtained their beloved earmarks again, and with a vengeance: No less than 4,000 of the wasteful pet tasks for senators’ states and representatives’ districts are in there, proving that pork isn’t solely kosher in Congress, however bipartisan.
Initially revealed by The Washington Instances.
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