The House just passed an omnibus spending bill that gives some increases in funding to a variety of agencies that were nearly strangled and starved after eight years of the Bush administration.
The bill costs $1.1 trillion:
The House Thursday passed a huge spending measure combining major spending boosts for domestic agencies and foreign aid with more than 5,000 back-home projects sought by lawmakers.
The 1,088-page, $1.1 trillion measure would provide $447 billion in operating budgets for 10 Cabinet departments, awarding increases averaging almost 10 percent. On top of that comes more than $600 billion in payments for federal benefit programs such as Medicare and Medicaid…Not a single Republican voted for the bill.
Maybe it was too long for them, eh?
Blending increases for veterans’ programs, NASA and the FBI with a pay raise for federal workers and help for car dealers, the legislation wraps together six of the 12 annual appropriations bills.
I particularly enjoyed this quote from Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)
“I see these bills as an opportunity to reverse years of neglect – neglect to our roads and bridges, neglect to our lower income neighbors and friends, neglect to our education system, neglect to our veterans.”
In other words: GOP? Suck it!
Other items in the package of bills:
- Increases for veterans’ programs
- Help for car dealers
- A provision to let Amtrak passengers carry handguns in their checked baggage, provided the guns are unloaded and locked in a secure container
- $5.1 billion for program that delivers heating subsidies for the poor
- Funding for enhancing building high-speed rail
- Funding for beefing up oversight of financial markets
- Boosts lending programs for small businesses
- The Treasury will face greatly enhanced disclosure requirements related to its financial rescue plan, the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Ponies. Ponies for everyone.
The bill now goes back to the Senate for final approval.
Meanwhile, the GOP is making their typical noises:
“There is no question that the era of big government has returned to Washington, D.C.,” said Rep. Jerry Lewis of California, top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee. “This package of spending bills … simply spends too much money and makes a mockery of our legislative process.”
Revisionist history much, dude? Or have you forgotten how much the federal budget exploded under the GOP’s watch?
This bill does not include Defense spending which the article says is being held back so that it can be used to pass “must-pass legislation such as an increase in the national debt.” I’ve read rumors that a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will be included in the Defense appropriation, forcing the GOP to either suck it up and vote for it or be forced to vote against funding the military.
Oh please, oh please, oh please let them do this…
I’m just sayin…