Friday, December 17, 2010

Harry Reid Admits Defeat – Withdraws $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

This evening, Senator Reid announced that due to lack of support from Republicans he is withdrawing the $1.1 Trillion Continuing Appropriations Act for 2011 that I wrote to you about yesterday. He will instead work with Republicans to pass a short-term Continuing Resolution to fund the government long enough for the new Congress to develop a (hopefully) sensible spending plan. Senate Minority Leader McConnell introduced such a continuing resolution earlier this week to fund the government until Feb 18, 2011.

In the House today, the tax cut/unemployment benefits compromise passed by the Senate was passed by a vote of 277 to 148. Equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats voted for the bill, which will now head to President Obama for signature. The entire Nevada delegation of Heller, Berkely and Titus all voted in favor of the bill.

With the two major necessary pieces of legislation somewhat resolved, Senator Reid wasted no time scheduling votes on two critical parts of the progressive agenda – the DREAM Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. Both of these votes will be held Saturday morning – DREAM Act first followed by DADT. It’s believed that Senator Reid is still a couple of votes short of the number needed to move the DREAM Act forward. Conversely, Senator Lieberman, who introduced the latest stand alone bill to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell claims that he has the 60 votes necessary for cloture.

Strong opposition from conservatives in the Senate and the grassroots was responsible for the defeat of the Omnibus Spending Bill. Senator DeMint had threatened to force a reading of the entire 1,924 page bill on the floor, which would have burned up precious time that the Democrats need to work on other issues such as the DREAM Act and Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. Your calls and faxes gave our Senators and Representatives the support they needed to stand firm against excessive spending – thank you!

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