Friday, December 12, 2014

Last Minute Shopping

The spending bill passed with some real turds in it.

The bill faced opposition from GOP conservatives angry that it failed to defund President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions, and from progressive Democrats who strenuously objected to provisions that weakened rules on banks and loosened campaign finance regulations.

The $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by a vote of 219 to 206, less than three hours before a midnight deadline to avert a shutdown. Fifty-seven Democrats joined 162 Republicans in voting for the bill.


The spending bill created deep and bitter divisions among Democrats, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and allies of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) saying the party must draw a red line against provisions that help big banks if they want to be seen as credible advocates for the middle class. The progressive faction nearly scuttled the bill.

Meanwhile, the White House has been pushing for passage of the spending bill, arguing to Democrats publicly and privately that Republicans would have more leverage in the new Congress if it were to fail.

We’ve been hearing that bipartisanship and compromise is good and that the best we can hope for is that both sides have something to complain about.  Okay, fine, but somehow I don’t think that this last-minute hash-up is what James Madison and the guys envisioned back when they put this system together.  They probably compromised a bit themselves.

Then again, they didn’t have to deal with cable pundits, breaking news banners, and countdown clocks on the TV, either.