Here we go. It’s time to see if Speaker Paul Ryan has what it takes to return this nation to the side of fiscal responsibility. First signs don’t look good.
In a story from The Hill:
House leadership allies Wednesday night fought off a last-ditch attempt to add conservative provisions to the $1.1 trillion spending package that would have driven away Democratic votes.
The powerful Rules Committee, which decides how exactly a bill will be structured on the floor, rejected a suite of amendments from the House Freedom Caucus that focused on a range of topics, from national security and abortion to environmental regulations
While the nearly 40-member Freedom Caucus wasn’t expected to take a formal position on the legislation, the rejection of the group’s amendments will give its members yet another reason to vote against the massive, year-end omnibus bill that funds the government for much of 2016.
“There’s good stuff in there,” said Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), pointing to a GOP-favored provision lifting the 40-year ban on crude oil exports, “but I just can’t get myself to do it.”
Other Freedom members who said they’d vote against the bill include GOP Reps. Dave Brat (Va.), Matt Salmon (Ariz.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.) and John Fleming (La.).
Fleming told The Hill it was his impression that almost all Freedom members planned to vote against the omnibus, just as they did with this fall’s two-year budget deal that busted sequester spending caps.
The Rules panel’s decision to leave the bipartisan omnibus largely unchanged clears the way for the bill to pass the House on Friday. The lower chamber is expected to pass a major tax package on Thursday that had been negotiated alongside the spending bill.
Both bills are expected to clear the Senate and be signed into law by President Obama.
During the talks over the government funding bill, conservatives had been pushing for a series of policy riders opposed by Democrats. But the deal that emerged Tuesday night showed that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) left most of those provisions on the cutting room floor.
On Wednesday, Freedom Caucus members spent several hours drafting a package of amendments that resembled many of those same riders. Reps. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) offered the Freedom group’s proposal at the Rules meeting Wednesday evening.
Perhaps the most notable amendment was the American SAFE Act, which passed the House on a big, bipartisan vote in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. It would toughen screening for refugees coming to the U.S. from Syria and Iraq — countries where the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has a strong presence.
But Democrats said the refugee bill was a nonstarter in the spending talks, and President Obama had threatened to veto any measure that included it.
Without the conservative riders, GOP leaders expected the omnibus to easily clear the House with a coalition of moderate Democrats, moderate Republicans, and Republicans from oil-producing states who favor ending the ban on crude-oil exports.
Well, this looks like ‘same old same old’ doesn’t it? Speaker Ryan might as well be called the mini-me of Speaker Boehner. The Establishment Republicans are going to “stick together” on this obnoxious omnibus bill. Forget about the conservatives, fiscal responsibility, limited government and getting this country back on track. This bill does NOT include a moratorium on Syrian refugees, even though national security is the first priority of almost every American citizen. This bill also does NOT include any changes to funding for Planned Parenthood, even after all the media hype and focus on this topic. This bill DOES include higher spending, sanctuary cities being sparred, and plenty of more bad money going to energy provisions. It also includes delay of the “Cadillac Tax” on Obamacare and extends 5 years of tax breaks for renewable energy businesses. But hey, we got a lift on the 40yr ban on export of U.S. oil. Wow! We’ve really come far haven’t we?
This is a complete sell out. There is no point voting Republican, if this is the result. Not only is this bill a sell out to the American people, but so is Speaker Paul Ryan. This is deja vu all over again. If this is the beginning of what Ryan calls “unifying the Republican party” please, you can stop now, unless of course, you really want to see a third party reignited right before your very own eyes. If this is Speaker Ryan’s “coming out” party, it’s a disaster.
Wake up People! It is time to change the direction and leadership of this country! It is time to return this nation to a balanced budget! It is time to pay attention and elect a real leader and Constitutional Conservative for President – Ted Cruz!
Written by Nancy Hayes
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