By T. CHRISTOPHER, Republican Redefined
John McCain rose Tuesday to make public his opposition to the omnibus spending bill unveiled by the Majority Party that would “fund the government” for the fiscal year which started in October. While “omnibus” bills have become the norm in recent years, they are anything but the desired approach to budgetary policy as they are typically riddled with pork and massive in scope; and it appears that this session’s omnibus is certainly no exception.
I have posted the video of his remarks below and have also transcribed a large portion of the speech for your enjoyment. I think you will find particularly entertaining / frightening / sickening the portion of the speech devoted to the first round of earmarks discovered in this monstrosity.
I think you know by now that I am anything but a fan of the Senator from Arizona, but I absolutely share in his frustration with this Congress and with this Majority for taking the budgetary policy of this nation so lightly; and I am equally disgusted with the shameful earmarking that has managed to find its way into this legislation. When will these people learn?
Its been 42 days since the People of this great nation of ours spoke and they spoke in a very strong fashion. It was described by the President of the United States as a shellacking; it was described by others as a tsunami; and I thought that the message was pretty clear. That the American People said ENOUGH with the spending; ENOUGH with the pork barrel earmark spending; ENOUGH of mortgaging our children and our grandchildren’s future. I don’t know of a single pundit, or observer of the chattering class, that didn’t say the message was clear from the American People. The phenomena of the Tea Party was Taxed Enough Already, but they were against the spending; the earmarking…
So at 12:15 my office received this appropriations bill – 1924 pages long and contains funding for all 12 of the annual appropriations bills for a grand total of 1.1 trillion dollars. - written without a hearing; written without scrutiny; written without the input of the majority of the members of this body; written by a handful of senators that happen to be members of the Appropriations committee; and the American People said just 42 days ago – ENOUGH. Are we tone-deaf? Are we stricken with amnesia? What is going on here?
For fiscal year 2011, members requested over 39,000 earmarks totally over $130 billion.
In the short time I’ve had to review this massive piece of legislation, we have already identified 6,498 earmarks totaling nearly $8.3 billion… 8.3 billion dollars when we’re running record deficits; when there’s a $40,000 debt for every man, woman, and child in America…
Here’s a small sample:
- $277,000 for potato pest management in Wisconsin
- $246,000 for bovine tuberculosis in Michigan and Minnesota
- $522,000 for cranberry and blueberry disease and breeding in New Jersey
- $500,000 for oyster safety in Florida
- $349,000 for swine waste management in North Carolina
- $413,000 for peanut research in Alabama
- $247,000 for virus free wine grapes in Washington
- $208,000 for beaver management in North Carolina
- $94,000 for blackbird management in Louisiana
- $165,00 for maple syrup research in Vermont
- $235,000 for noxious weed management in Nevada
- $100,000 for Edgar Allen Poe cottage visitor’s center in New York
- $300,000 for the Polynesian voyaging society in Hawaii
- $400,000 for solar parking canopies and plug-in electric stations in Kansas
- $720,000 to compensate ranchers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan whenever endangered wolves eat their cattle
“Some people watching and thinking I’m making this up. I’m not making it up.”
“Its December 14th – 22 days away from the beginning of a new Congress and nearly three full months into fiscal year 2011 – and yet we have not debated a single spending bill or considered any amendments to cut costs or to get our debt under control. Further more, the majority decided that they just didn’t feel like doing a budget this year. How’s that for responsible leadership? This is the ninth omnibus appropriations bill we have considered in this body since the year 2000. That’s shameful. We should be embarrassed by the fact that we care so little about doing the People’s business that we continuously put off fulfilling our Constitutional responsibilities until literally the last minute.
One thing is abundantly clear… We have not; the majority has not; learned the lesson of last month’s election. The American People could not have been more clear. They are tired of the wasteful spending; they’re tired of big government; they’re tired of sweetheart deals for special interests; and they’re tired of business of usual in Washington; and they certainly are tired of massive bills just like this one; put together behind closed doors; and rammed through the Congress at the last minute so that no one has the opportunity to read them and no one really knows what kind of waste is in them.
Let me be clear about one thing. If the Majority Leader insists on proceeding to this monstrosity, the American People will know what’s in it. I’ll be joined by many of my colleagues, on this side of the aisle, to ensure that every single word of this bill is read aloud here on the Senate floor.”
I dare one Republican to vote yes on this… let there be one and let him be made an example of…
Discussion at Memeorandum. Cross posted from Republican Redefined