When is the Republican Spending Spree Going to Stop?
Since November’s election, which gave the Democrats the White House and the Senate and the Republicans the House of Representatives, there have been two major pieces of legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives; the first, a big spending and taxing bill, and the second, a big spending bailout bill. Both times, the Republican-controlled House passed the bills with a very small number of Republicans voting for them. The Republican leaders could have, and should have, refused to bring these bills to the House floor for a vote. In the first of these two big spending bills, the Republican-controlled House also passed the biggest tax increase in some 20 years; Barack Obama’s whopping $620 BILLION tax increase legislation.
When the Tea Party and conservative movements gave control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans in 2010 with a huge pick-up of 63 new seats, -- after the GOP had lost majority control in 2006 because of their prolific spending -- and control of the House again with a large majority last November, there was no way conservatives believed that the Republican Party would repay them with two gargantuan back-to-back spending bills.
The Obama $620 billion tax increase/spending bill, which the president claimed was needed to ensure the “rich” pay their “fair share,” passed on January 1 with about 1/3 of the Republican majority voting for it and only 16 Democrats voting against it. Incidentally, this pork-filled bill, with special favors to Obama’s billionaire friends, will cost the American taxpayers over $300 billion in new spending. Yet 85 Republicans voted for it!
The second outrageous Obama pork-filled spending bill, passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives last night -- which will cost American taxpayers over $60 billion (including the $9.7 billion passed a couple weeks ago by the House; the Democrat-controlled Senate had passed a bill with all $60 billion two weeks ago) -- passed the House with only 49 Republicans voting for it. All of Nancy Pelosi’s minority Democrats (some 192 of them) voted for this irresponsible spending bill except for a handful of Democrats.
By the way, whatever happened to the Hastert Rule -- named for former Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert -- which would not allow a House floor vote on any major legislation unless a majority of Republicans committed to voting for it? Exactly which party is controlling the House of Representatives and the purse strings to the federal money vault? These federal bailouts to irresponsible Americans and corporations must stop. Hundreds of thousands on the East coast and the Gulf coast -- who want to enjoy the benefits of living near an ocean -- refuse to buy any or enough property insurance and expect hard-working Americans to bail them out when the inevitable hurricane or tornado hits.
At the very least, the Republican House leaders -- who gained their majority status 4 years ago because the American people were sick and tired of Obama’s annual trillion-dollar deficits and his nearly doubling the national debt (by the end of his second term) -- should have made sure that the fiscally-responsible amendment, introduced by several Republican representatives (which would partially pay for Obama’s $60 billion bailout bill,) had passed the House last night. But the amendment did not even come close to passing.
The amendment, introduced by conservative Republican Representatives Mick Mulvaney (SC); Tom McClintock (CA); Jeff Duncan (SC) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY,) was voted down last night by a margin of 162-258. The conservative Republican offset bill would not have even paid for the Obama’s entire bailout bill. The Mulvaney/McClintock/Duncan/Lummis bill would only have provided an offset for the $17 billion in emergency funding for “immediate needs” of Hurricane Sandy victims and communities. These responsible Republicans would have achieved their offset by cutting 1.63% from all discretionary appropriations for fiscal year 2013.
Yet, the Republican leaders could not even manage to pass this modest offset bill. If these first two major Republican defeats are any indication as to what will be happening in Congress during the next two years, the Republican Party has no hope in keeping its majority in the House of Representatives in next year’s mid-term election.