The House and Senate, with bipartisan majorities, passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package that funds the federal government through September, 2016.
Despite frantic last-minute lobbying efforts by Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that made passage seem uncertain, the House passed the bill by a lopsided vote of 316-113. 95 House Republicans bucked Speaker Ryan and the Republican leadership and voted no, joining 18 Democrats in doing so. The Senate later passed the bill by a vote of 65-33, with six Democrats and Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont joining 26 Republicans in opposition.
Despite historic gains in the midterm elections in 2010 and 2014, leaving Republicans with majorities in the House and Senate, the Republican leadership choose to thumb their noses at the voters who elected them to halt President Obama’s far-left agenda and approve a spending bill that fully funds every item in his agenda.
The mainstream media, and the Democratic Party establishment, have suggested the reason behind the willingness of the Republican leadership to acquiesce to the continued funding of Obama’s agenda is due to the Democrats’ willingness to support lifting the decades-old oil export embargo.
“Republicans’ desperate thirst for lifting the oil export ban empowered Democrats to win significant concessions throughout the Omnibus, including ridding the bill of scores of deeply destructive poison pill riders,” Pelosi wrote in a Thursday night letter to Democrats, according to The Hill.
Among the concessions made by Republican leadership includes:
- Fully funding Obamacare, and approving a two year suspension of the so-called “Cadillac”tax on high-cost insurance plans (something sought by big unions who want the tax itself repealed as it affects many in high level union positions).
- Removing all provisions that sought to strip funding for Planned Parenthood.
- Removing all provisions that sought to stop Obama’s “refugee” resettlement plan (in fact, the spending bill provides funds for nearly 300,000 visas for Muslim “refugees”).
- Fully funding the monetary commitment made by Obama following the”climate change” conference held in Paris.
According to The Washington Times, the White House declared “total victory” in the “budget battle” with Republucan leaders. The headline itself is not accurate, as a battle implies both sides were actually opposing each other. The Republican leadership offered token resistance, at most, to Obama and Congressional Democrats.
The vote on the omnibus spending bill demonstrated something many Americans already know: the leadership of both political parties two sides of the same coin.
As talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said on Thursday, “This was out-and-out, in-our-face lying…There is no Republican Party! You know, we don’t even need a Republican Party if they’re gonna do this. You know, just elect Democrats, disband the Republican Party, and let the Democrats run it, because that’s what’s happening anyway.”