Quotes of the day

When Paul Ryan was handed the speaker’s gavel in late October, he pledged to restore normal order to the People’s House and eliminate the sort of backroom deals that rank-and-file members complain are shoved down their throats at the 11th hour. So, late Tuesday night, Ryan unveiled a few thousand pages of consequential tax, spending, and regulatory legislation costing roughly $2 trillion and gave Congress and the public two whole days to review everything.

To be fair to Ryan, the buzzer-beating legislating has more to do with the workload and deadlines John Boehner left him than anything he did wrong…

Both packages, and the way in which they were negotiated, look … an awful lot like the packages that Boehner would have negotiated and the way in which he would have negotiated them. Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus, who have said at various points that they would not vote for a spending bill that funded either Planned Parenthood or Syrian and Iraqi refugee resettlement, are sticking to their word. Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, does not expect his group to support to omnibus and doesn’t even expect that many rank-and-file Republicans to support it either. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, among the more vocal Freedom Caucus members, also predicted that a majority of Republicans would vote against the $1.1 trillion appropriations package that he’s calling the “Boehner legacy bill.”

In other words, Ryan will have to pass the omnibus with the same organic governing coalition of mostly Democrats and some Republicans that Boehner himself used to pass most necessary legislation. That’s a violation of the so-called Hastert rule in which a speaker has pledged to only call up legislation that has support of a majority of the majority party. Ryan assured conservatives that he would abide by this rule if they supported his bid. On his first big funding bill, Ryan will just … not follow the rule that he said he would follow.


Though much of the public attention has surrounded the President’s 2014 executive amnesty, the President’s 2012 amnesty quietly continues to churn out work permits and federal benefits for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. Paul Ryan’s bill funds entirely this 2012 executive amnesty for “DREAMers”—or illegal immigrants who came to the country as minors…

Despite broad support amongst Republican lawmakers for a proposal introduced by Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) to halt all refugee resettlement, Ryan’s appropriations bill will fund President Obama’s refugee resettlement operation and will allow for the admission of tens of thousands of refugees with access to federal benefits. Division H Title II of Ryan’s bill contains appropriations of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and contains no language that would restrict the program. Nor are there any restrictions for the program in Division K of Ryan’s bill, which provides funding for the Department of State, which oversees refugee admissions…

Although multiple immigrant and visa programs in recent years have been exploited by terrorists (such as the F-1 “student” visa, the K-1 “fiancée” visa, and our green card and refugee programs), Ryan’s proposal does nothing to limit admissions from jihadist-prone regions. As Senators Shelby and Sessions of Alabama noted in a joint statement: “The omnibus would put the U.S. on a path to approve admission for hundreds of thousands of migrants from a broad range of countries with jihadists movements over the next 12 months, on top of all the other autopilot annual immigration.”…

Yet Ryan’s omnibus serves a second and equally chilling purpose. By locking in the President’s refugee, immigration, and spending priorities, Ryan’s bill is designed to keep these fights out of Congress by getting them off the table for good. Delivering Obama these wins–and pushing these issues beyond the purview of Congress–will suppress public attention to the issues and, in so doing, will boost the candidacy of the Republican establishment’s preferred presidential contenders, who favor President Obama’s immigration agenda.


The $1.1 trillion omnibus funding bill includes language that would dramatically increase the number of visas available for foreign workers, setting off alarm bells among conservatives and labor unions…

Ryan called on Congress to look after working-class families after he won election to the Speaker’s office in October…

“H-2B visas are for low-skilled foreign workers who typically compete with people who have a high school diploma or less and these are the people who are struggling the most,” he said.

“These are the people that Ryan seemed to be referencing in his speech, and yet he sneaks in a provision in the omnibus that’s going to quadruple the number of low-skilled foreign worker visas,” he added.


Racehorses and NASCAR racetracks, school teachers and college students, green energy companies and the big oil giants all made out well in the deal, reached overnight after weeks of negotiations. The chief loser, meanwhile, is the federal deficit, which grows by hundreds of billions of dollars under the terms of the tax deal.

Mr. Obama gloated over the agreement, saying he got nearly everything he wanted and gave up very little, only ceding ground in allowing two Obamacare taxes to be postponed and agreeing to lift the decades-old ban on exporting crude oil.

Republicans, meanwhile, said they were in too weak of a position to prevail over Mr. Obama on a giant list of grievances, including trying to reel in his expansive use of executive power, his new rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions and his plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. this year.

“We’ve played the cards we were dealt as best as we could,” newly minted House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, told reporters Wednesday morning in explaining why he wasn’t able to win any of those changes.


A massive appropriations bill expected to be approved by Congress would provide more than $1.6 billion to resettle illegal immigrants arriving at the U.S. border through 2018.

Congress would award the massive check to the government just as the U.S. is experiencing a surge in arrivals of immigrant children at the southern border. Last week, federal agencies said they were opening two temporary shelters with 1,000 beds in South Texas to cope with the surge. A 400-bed shelter is also to be opened in Southern California…

In the event that the new temporary shelters in Texas and California are not enough to account for the surge in migrants, HHS asked the Department of Defense last week to make plans for 5,000 more shelter beds to be made available.


Republican presidential candidate Florida Senator Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said of the omnibus bill “I know enough to say we’re going to oppose it, and I know enough to say that we should use every procedural aspect that we have to slow it down and perhaps force some changes” on Thursday’s “Happening Now” on the Fox News Channel.

Rubio said, “you can slow it down. Ultimately, if they want to pass it, they’re going to ram it down everyone’s throat, and it’s unfortunate. This is over a trillion dollars in spending. It was put together at the last second, as it always happens. They know this has to be done. They wait until December to do it. there’s one provision in the whole thing that’s really important, which is it once takes away the bailout fund for Obamacare, something I was able to achieve in the one last year, and then a bunch of really bad stuff, and you just mentioned one [the bill’s provisions for refugees]. This is why people are so frustrated with Washington. we know that this is a problem, we know that ISIS is trying to use the refugee program to infiltrate killers into the united states and nothing’s going to happen about it. They’re going to approve basically the same program we have today. And people scratch their head and say, how can it be? How can Washington be so out of touch and so disconnected?


House Republicans, meanwhile, say they are gaining new support on their side. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) hosted a meeting of deputy vote counters Thursday morning, and split up undecided members among his loyal allies. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) are also working to build support. Several members of the Republican leadership say their party could produce more than 120 votes.

The spending bill vote is scheduled for just after 9 a.m. Friday morning, and many members of the House are betting that people will be eager for their two-week holiday recess, and will vote to clear the measure

Still, the rank and file is taking a close look. Conservatives think it spends too much money and does too little to curb Syrian and Iraqi refugees from coming into the United States. Still, the House Freedom Caucus said they are not taking a position on the bill, and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, a leader of the group, said, “We’re going to let folks make up their own mind about it.”…

Meanwhile, the House GOP whip team has divided up undecided lawmakers to talk to. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are personally involved with whipping, several sources said. House Republicans are expected to provide anywhere between 100 and 120 votes for the spending bill, which means 100 Democrats would have to vote yes to ensure passage.


Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his top lieutenants appeared much more relaxed than their Democratic counterparts. Still, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and other leaders were making calls, sending text messages and button-holing colleagues on the floor to drive up their vote total, lawmakers and aides said.

Ryan huddled in his office Thursday afternoon with members of the Western Caucus, who griped that he didn’t do enough during the negotiations to fight against environmental regulations, an attendee said.

But by the end of the meeting, Ryan had flipped a couple “no” votes to “yes.”

“It will pass,” a senior GOP lawmaker close to leadership said without hesitation.


“In terms of the process, I can tell you I’ve had more meaningful conversations with the speaker and leadership in the last couple of weeks than I think I have in the last couple of years,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who instigated the revolt against Speaker John Boehner that led to Boehner’s resignation this fall. “I would give it an A-plus in terms of trying to reach out to the rank and file.”…

“The end product here is just cleaning the barn; it’s a disaster,” [Dave] Brat said of the spending and tax deal. “We’re breaking our pledge on the budget caps to the American people, we’ve lost fiscal discipline, and we’re throwing it all on the next generation.”

But in the same breath, Brat praised Ryan: “Not only is he saying the right things, he is lining it up to do the right things … and then leadership can’t hijack the budget at the end of the year and throw the kitchen sink, which we just did.”…

“It’s pretty bad,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Freedom Caucus chairman. “How can you not put the refugee issue in there? It makes so much sense. We were clear that if that goes in and [we get] something pretty good on the pro-life [provisions they wanted], we thought we could get a number of us [to vote in favor]. But that’s not going to happen.”


I have a headline here from the Washington Times: “White House Declares Total Victory Over GOP in Budget Battle.” That headline’s a misnomer. There was never a battle. None of this was opposed. The Republican Party didn’t stand up to any of it, and the die has been cast for a long time on this. I know many of you are dispirited, depressed, angry, combination of all of that. But, folks, there was no other way this could go. Because two years ago when the Republican Party declared they would never do anything that would shut down the government and they would not impeach Obama, there were no obstacles in Obama’s way and there were no obstacles in the way of the Democrat Party…

So to avoid even the accusation that they were going to or would ever even think of shutting down the government, they signaled that whatever Obama wanted to spend, he would get, because they figured that had less damage to them politically than the allegation that they were shutting down the government. So, very simply, ever since the Republican Party became the party of keeping the government open at all costs, we get bills like this. There’s simply no stopping the Democrats. There’s no mechanism. Every constitutional mechanism found in the power of the purse, Separation of Powers, the Republican Party years ago gave it away, in total fear of the media…

[N]ow the Republicans have the largest number of seats in the House they’ve had in Congress since the Civil War. And it hasn’t made any difference at all. It is as though Nancy Pelosi is still running the House and Harry Reid is still running the Senate. “Betrayed” is not even the word here. What has happened here is worse than betrayal. Betrayal is pretty bad, but it’s worse than that.

This was out-and-out, in-our-face lying, from the campaigns to individual statements made about the philosophical approach Republicans had to all this spending. There is no Republican Party! You know, we don’t even need a Republican Party if they’re gonna do this. You know, just elect Democrats, disband the Republican Party, and let the Democrats run it, because that’s what’s happening anyway. And these same Republican leaders doing this can’t, for the life of them, figure out why Donald Trump has all the support that he has? They really can’t figure this out?


The people hurt by this will be, firstly, The Poors, who, as you know, apparently all Republicans despise and wish to punish for the offense of their mere existence.

I mean, that’s why I signed up for this party — didn’t you?

We despise the working class, especially those of us who came out of it– after all, those who know these shabby degenerates the best know how vital it is to put them out of our collective misery.

The other people hurt by this will be taxpaying everyday Middle Class people, who, while not to be despised and hounded from their tumbledown shacks like The Poors, are also without any real use for society beyond their endless capacity to be farmed for their tax dollars…

They are good sheep, with thick flocky wool, and they can be endlessly shorn for it, right down to their skin until they bleed from all the nicking of the knives.