Just when you thought the government couldn’t spend any more the House passes the second Omnibus of the year, full of 5,912 earmarks – for ‘jobs,’ I’m sure.
The omnibus is a little different from normal since it rolls 6 spending bills into 1 in order to pass this massive earmark legislation as quickly as possible. The House only passed the bill by a 221-202 vote with no Republican support and 28 Democrats who dissented.
The spending bills in the package are the ones for: the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments; the Commerce and Justice departments and federal science funding; financial services and general government agencies; the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education departments; military construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs; and the State Department and foreign operations.
Congress has a Dec. 18 deadline to get the conference report signed into law to avoid a government shutdown. A continuing resolution, which allowed government to operate without approved funding after the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year, expires on that date.
GOP members raised concerns that the bills will contribute to a 12 percent discretionary spending increase over last year.
Democrats contend that this bill will help the economy and create those much heralded and almost legendary ‘jobs’ they love to tout.
An example of delusion:
“The country is struggling to overcome the longest and deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.).
“The bill before us today is one of the key measures Congress will pass this year to help address those problems and provide relief for millions of hardworking Americans caught in a struggle for economic survival,” Obey added in a statement.
I am still trying to figure out how much spending needs to take place in order for the economy to revive itself – and more than that, I’m trying to understand how government can revive anything when they produce nothing and get a majority of their revenues through taxes – the same people they are trying to ‘help.’
Here is a list of some of the thousands of earmarks (it should be noted that this is chock full of Democrat and Republican goodies):
If you want to see what your lawmakers are up to, here is a list of the bills that will be included in this Omnibus, and a link that lets you check out what’s in each part. These are all pdf files.
* Transportation & Housing – http://bit.ly/7jSVIv
* Commerce, Justice, Science – http://bit.ly/7pAWlc
* Financial Services – http://bit.ly/5nq65O
* Labor, Health, Education – http://bit.ly/5RJ1rn
* Military Construction & Veterans – http://bit.ly/5vMLpu
* State Department & Foreign Aid – http://bit.ly/7oEYgX
Five of the six bills have earmarks (there are none in the foreign aid bill) and by my count, there are 5,912 in all, with Labor at 1810, Transportation at 1548 and Commerce at 1515.
If you want to search for earmarks in your state, here is a little trick to find them more quickly: search by using comma, space, and the two letter abbreviation for your state.
If you want to see some of the earmarks from the first omnibus you can look here.
As an FYI, this bill was immediately passed to the Senate today after it passed the House. Reid is hoping to pass this bill before the weekend, however, there may be good news since it has been delayed by various Senators. Melt the phones if you are concerned about the superfluous spending!