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Friday, March 06, 2009

Omnibus Bill Pulled, One Vote Short Of Passing

The $410 billion dollar omnibus bill that passed the House has stalled in the Senate, one vote shy of the 60 needed to get it to Barack Obama's desk.

This bill, as we told you previously, has almost 9,000 earmarks aka pork, for politician's pet projects and the Republicans with a handful of Democrats backed away from it, which led Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid, to pull the bill.

They are now working on a stop-gap measure.

With a $410 billion catchall spending bill stalled in the Senate and a midnight deadline looming, Congress began rushing through stopgap legislation Friday to keep the government running for another five days.

On Thursday night, Republicans in the Senate unexpectedly put the brakes on the sweeping measure that would finance most government agencies and also includes some big spending increases and lawmakers' pet projects.

With most Republicans denouncing the bill as too costly and a handful of Democrats opposing it as well, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called off a key procedural vote — just one vote short of the 60 needed to send the measure to the White House.

Several Republicans who support the bill withheld their support of the procedural vote in order to force Reid to allow other Republicans to offer amendments, including ones to extend a local school voucher program in Washington, D.C., and to require lawmakers to approve their pay hikes instead of getting an automatic cost-of-living raise every year.

With the vote postponed until at least Monday, both the House and Senate need to pass a stopgap spending measure by midnight Friday to prevent a shutdown of most domestic agencies. Midnight is when a temporary law that keeps the government in business, mostly at 2008 spending levels, expires. The House began debating the temporary measure Friday morning, to be followed by the Senate.

If the larger spending bill ends up being amended by the Senate, the House would again have to act on that bill, giving Republicans further chances to launch political attacks.

In fact, Reid says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has threatened to pull the plug on the measure altogether if it is amended by the Senate. The government would instead run on automatic pilot under legislation keeping agencies operating at current levels. That would deny senators and House members all of their pet projects.

More from The Politico.

They should weed out the pork, vote on the necessities and quit funding politician's little pet projects, which ultimately are paid for with tax payer monies.

Malkin puts it perfectly, the GOP is finally showing some cajones.

This also shows, once again, how crybaby Harry Reid, spoke to soon in his gloating about having his 60 votes, just to be forced to pull the measure when he didn't.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) had been confident earlier in the evening that he had the 60 votes needed to cut off debate. But a half-hour after the roll call was to begin, Reid admitted he was still short and agreed to allow debate to continue for a few more days.

Continue to pressure your Senators to refuse to allow passage of this bill until the most egregious of pork has been removed.

With unemployment up to the highest levels in 25 years, the last thing needed is to have the American people funding crap so that the politicians can bribe their constituents. Time for them to stop using tax payer monies like their own private bribery fund.

The GOP needs to stand for what their supporters expect of them if they want to win back conservative's confidence and turn things around in the 2010 elections and they need to know we are watching, keeping track and will act accordingly in the next elections.