Moments ago, the monstrosity passed:
The Senate has passed a massive “omnibus” spending package that will fund the government and avert a looming government shutdown. The legislation, which narrowly passed the House on Thursday, spends $1.3 trillion to keep the government open through the end of September.
It passed the Senate with 65 yeas to 32 nays.
I don’t understand how this could have happened! Here’s what’s so confusing: GOP Senators seemed lined up against it. Why, Ted Cruz announced that he will oppose the omnibus bill, and offered several compelling reasons why:
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued the following statement announcing his intention to vote against the omnibus spending bill:
“In 2016, the American people voted overwhelmingly for Republicans to change Washington. Now, Congress is poised to do the exact opposite: pass a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill — 2200 pages drafted by the Swamp in the dark of night — that will plunge our nation even deeper into debt.
“The disastrous elements of this bill are almost too numerous to list.
“It continues to fund Planned Parenthood, a corrupt organization whose horrifying abortion practices should preclude it from receiving taxpayer dollars.
“It continues to fund sanctuary cities, which are defying the law and making Americans less safe. Instead of rewarding sanctuary cities, we should be passing legislation like Kate’s Law, a bill I introduced that would put criminal illegal aliens in jail so they cannot prey on innocent Americans.
“It fails to provide sufficient funds to properly secure our border, let alone build the wall that is necessary.
“It tells federal agencies that they can spend taxpayer dollars to study the ‘causes’ of gun violence, a mandate that – make no mistake – will be abused by future liberal administrations to manufacture evidence to try to violate law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights.
“It funds the Ex-Im Bank, a classic example of corporate welfare that has doled out over $100 billion in taxpayer-guaranteed loans, primarily to a handful of giant and well-connected corporations.
“It fails to reduce funding for the EPA, which under Obama administration zealots, killed thousands of jobs and dramatically strayed from its core mission of ensuring clean air and water.
“All of these measures amount to piling even greater debt onto the backs of our kids and grandkids, all because we are incapable of living within our means.
Nicely said. Did Cruz stand alone? No. Mike Lee also said he would be voting against the bill.
Rand Paul considered holding up the bill but backed down, allowing a vote to take place. But he said he was voting no:
I shared 600 pages tonight. I’m done tweeting them for the evening. If they insist on voting, I will vote no because it spends to much and there’s just too little time to read the bill and let everyone know what’s actually in it.
Thanks for sticking with me.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 23, 2018
And CNN says Joni Ernst came out against it. And Jeff Flake (still a Senator!) said he opposed it:
This $1.3 trillion bill continues Congress’ pattern of fiscal irresponsibility. At a time when our national debt has surpassed $20 trillion, we have to get serious about reining in our debt and addressing out-of-control spending. I can’t support this omnibus.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) March 23, 2018
Such an amazing amount of political courage was being shown. It seemed so reassuring, because we are all used to Republicans standing up only when their votes don’t matter. But here, of course, the GOP didn’t have a big enough majority to survive so many defections. It looked like we were voting this thing down. Hooray!
Of course, it never actually looked that way at all. I’m just funnin’ ya. What’s the gag?
Well, you see, a bunch of Democrats also supported this thing.
That’s right. Leadership got into bed with Chuckie Schumer, who is thrilled. And our fight-the-swamp President will sign it.
All of which means, the above Republicans could vociferously denounce it without, you know, feeling the heat of actually rejecting it.
I’m . . . sure they would have stood strong even if they actually could have defeated it, right? I mean, it’s not like this party has a history of meaningless show votes, right? *cough* Obamacare *cough*
[Patterico hangs his head and takes a few steps towards stage left. He stops, as if to say something else, but thinks better of it. He shakes his head sadly and trudges off out of sight.]