Cochran, Wicker, Palazzo, and Harper vote to hand Chuck everything he and his party wanted.
Chuck Schumer is a happy man. He had just outmaneuvered Republicans to get everything he wanted in the spending bill that funds the federal government until October 1.
“We thought we had the upper hand because a government shutdown would be on their shoulders, and we made that clear,” said the Senate Minority Leader. “We knew that if we didn’t push things too far we could get a good deal that could make us happy and that’s what happened.”
He remained gleeful that Democrats basically got everything they wanted. “This agreement is a good agreement for the American people, and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table. The bill ensures taxpayer dollars aren’t used to fund an ineffective border wall, excludes poison pill riders, and increases investments in programs that the middle-class relies on, like medical research, education, and infrastructure.”
“We have eliminated more than 160 Republican poison pill riders, ranging from undermining a woman’s right to reproductive health to dismantling Dodd-Frank’s vital Wall Street consumer protections,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “The omnibus does not fund President Trump’s immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force.”
In other words the Democrats, the minority party in Washington, were given the keys to the Treasury and had a field day, while Republican priorities were left on the table. It’s almost like the Democrats are still in charge, as they were in 2009-2010.
In fact, more Democrats voted for this bill than Republicans. In Mississippi, aside from Trent Kelly, the entire Republican delegation supported the bill.
– Puerto Rico received a nearly $300 million bailout for its Medicaid fund.
– There’s more than $8 billion in emergency and disaster relief funding to fight wildfires, flooding and other extreme weather events in various states.
– The National Institutes of Health got a $2 billion, or 6.2 percent increase from current levels, which places its budget at $34 billion.
– It restored year-round Pell Grants for low-income college students.
– Provides $990 million in emergency famine relief, including $300 million for Food For Peace in war-torn South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria.
– $103 million to combat opioid abuse.
– $68 million to reimburse local law enforcement agencies for the costs of protecting Trump and his family.
– There’s a 2 percent increase for national parks, including $40 million in new funding to address deferred maintenance and construction needs.
– $100 million to fund counter-measures to Russian influence in Europe
– There’s also funding for the high-speed rail line in California.
The legislation also did not cut funding for Planned Parenthood, 99 percent of the EPA’s budget remains intact (while more than 70 anti-environmental policy rider were defeated), other deep cuts to domestic programs were rejected, and Dodd-Frank regulations remain in place.
Additionally, there will be no wall funding, while the administration will receive $1.5 billion in border security funds, which is half of the President’s request and which will only be used on existing border barrier infrastructure. The bill also boosts defense by just $12 billion, $18 billion less than the President wanted.
So not only did 4 out of 5 Mississippi Republicans support this fiscal garbage, they all praised the merits of the bill and suggested we should do the same. But true principled conservatives cannot and should not.
As Brian Darling wrote today in the Observer, “If this is what victory looks like, I signed up for the wrong war. Welcome to Hell, Republicans!”