While Senate Republicans could not make Democrats go home, they could bring everything to a halt. Instead, McConnell showed good faith in negotiating with Obama a "tax deal" and showing a willingness to consider other measures once that deal was passed.
The reward for cooperation with the lame duck Democrats? The Democrats just dumped a $1.1 trillion budget bill and are preparing to move it to a vote with no chance for review or debate. As reported by The Politico:
Senate Democrats began rolling out Tuesday a year-end, government-wide spending bill that cuts more than $26 billion from President Barack Obama’s 2011 requests even as it defies earmark bans – or veto threats over Joint Strike Fighter engines.
Filling more than 1,900 pages and costing $1.1 trillion, the measure is sure to invite criticism as a last stand by the Senate’s old bulls before the more conservative, tea party-oriented Congress takes hold in January. But weeks of bipartisan work have gone into the effort to meet spending targets previously embraced by the Republican leadership and also try to salvage something from the failed budget process this year....Fox News is reporting:
Even before the official release Tuesday afternoon, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, attacked Democrats for ignoring, he said, the “clear will expressed by voters this past election.” And New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, a senior Republican on both the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees, said a short-term continuing resolution would be preferable at this stage give the shortness of time before the holiday recess.
Republicans poring over a 1,924-page overarching spending bill proposed by Democrats to cover the rest of the fiscal year are threatening to grind the legislation to a halt, citing massive earmark spending, which, if passed, would be enacted into law without debate in the full Senate.Shut it down. Do only the bare minimum to keep the government operating for another 60 days. Then either go home, or grind the Senate to a standstill.
Two sources who spoke to Fox News are describing the legislation as "a total mess."
How many times do I have to tell you this?
Update: Harry Reid is threatening to extend the current session past Christmas and into the new year:
Mr. Reid, though, said Congress will stay until he tries to tackle issues he says have been unfairly stalled by the GOP.Use every procedural device available to run out the clock on the monstrosity that is the current Congress. The voters who gave Republicans back the House and closed the gap in the Senate expect the current Republican leadership and Republicans in the Senate to do no less in the face of more Harry Reid cramdowns.
"I hate to report all this to you — but you know, there's still Congress after Christmas," he told reporters. "So if the Republicans think that because they can stall and stall and stall that we take a break, we're through, we're not through."
And if you thought the fight was just against Democrats, according to The Hill, outgoing Republicans Bond, Voinivich and Bennett, plus Susan Colllins, all have expressed a willingness to consider voting for the omnibus.
How much damage can Democrats and weak-kneed Republicans do in two weeks? Priceless.
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