Yesterday, Senate Republicans stood firm against the so-called Tomnibus bill pushed by Harry Reid to break the resistance to Reid’s tactics on the energy debate. Reid had bundled a series of pork authorizations in order to entice Republicans to defect and agree to end debate on energy without authorizing drilling in the OCS. Reid pitched a fit after his loss:
The 52 to 40 tally in favor of considering the bill was eight votes shy of the 60 required. Democrats threatened political retaliation against Republicans in November for blocking legislation that included starting a national registry for people with the neurological disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“You tell [voters] that ‘I wanted to get out of Washington, I didn’t have time to do it,’ ” Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid said.
Reid cobbled together the 35 bills — each of which had passed the House by large margins — into one legislative package in an attempt to overcome all of Coburn’s parliamentary obstacles at once. Coburn is opposed to creating federal programs unless other programs he considers duplicative are eliminated or reduced in scope, and he demands that new programs also contain measures of their effectiveness.
“We don’t do that in this city. We just conveniently charge it to our grandchildren,” Coburn said in debate before the vote, noting the record $482 billion deficit projected yesterday for 2009.
Laughably, Dick Durbin tried to answer this critique by claiming that the bill only authorized spending, and didn’t actually cost anything. In the same breath, he then complained that the Senate needed to spend money here in America, negating both his argument on the cost as well as the Democratic position against drilling:
Actually, here I agree with Durbin. I’d much rather spend our money here in America rather than on the international oil market for our energy. I’d much rather end our price supports for nations like Iran, Sudan, and Venezuela for crude, allowing them huge profits that then go to terrorists and genocide. I’d much rather create jobs for Americans by using our own resources for energy production so that we do not need to rely on the whims of OPEC for our own economic growth.
Otherwise, Durbin’s efforts here are transparent and pathetic. We’re only authorizing spending, Durbin claims, and that doesn’t cost a dime. That’s obnoxiously false. If that were the case, then what’s Reid complaining about? Why bother with the authorization at all?
It’s one thing to be incompetent, and another to lie and lie badly. Unfortunately, Durbin manages both simultaneously.