Senate thwarts both left & right to fund government

Senate thwarts both left & right to fund government December 15, 2014

The Senate passed the $1.1 trillion spending bill, ensuring that the government will not shut down.  Both tea party conservatives AND populist liberals led by Elizabeth Warren opposed the measure.  So did every potential presidential candidate in the Senate of both parties .

(Question:  The Republicans have the tea party, who attack the GOP establishment for its lack of orthodoxy and ties to crony capitalism, to the point of being willing to shut down the government.  What do we call the equivalent on the left, who attack the Democratic establishment and are willing to shut down the government?  The chai party?  Propose something, and maybe it will catch on.

From Burgess Everett and Manu Raju, Senate closes trillion-dollar deal – Burgess Everett and Manu Raju – POLITICO:

The Senate voted on Saturday night to approve a $1.1 trillion deal and avert a government shutdown, sending the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature after an unusual weekend session and days of drama in the House.

Senate conservatives had tried to make a point about Obama’s immigration policy this weekend, but the result was Senate Democrats getting everything they wanted out of their last days of power.

In the end the Senate passed the $1.1 trillion spending bill, 56-40, but not before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was able to begin moving forward on 24 of the president’s nominations, including controversial figures like Vivek Murthy to be the new surgeon general, White House adviser Tony Blinken to be the deputy secretary of State and Sarah Saldana to head Immigration and Customs enforcement and a dozen federal judges to lifetime appointments.

Republicans fought Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for months to block these nominees from moving forward and many believed as late as Friday that they’d won as the holidays approached. But when Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee took to the floor on Friday night to call for a vote on the president’s executive action on immigration and demand their colleagues stay through the weekend to do so rather than adjourn until Monday, they allowed Reid to exploit a procedural quirk and get the nominations rolling.

(Also on POLITICO: The president, the panic, and the cromnibus)

Cruz and Lee eventually got a vote that raised concerns over the constitutionality over Obama’s executive action, though it was defeated badly by bipartisan opposition, 22-74. Twenty Republicans, including Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), voted against Cruz and Lee, a sharp rebuke to their tactics.

The conservative senators’ demands resulted in a highly unusual Saturday session that featured an entire day of senators holding court on the floor as Reid set up nomination votes next week and was forced by Republican opposition to hold cumbersome procedure votes hour-after-hour. Senators tried to munch food off of the floor to satiate themselves during the bizarre session, and Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) both lost themselves in their reading for long periods of time on the Senate floor. . . .

Nearly every senator mentioned as a future presidential candidate voted against the omnibus: GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rubio and Cruz as well as liberal Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (D) and Bernie Sanders of Vermont (I).


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!