(It passed, 219-206, with 57 Dems and 162 Republicans voting “aye.” 139 Dems and 67 Republicans voted “nay.” – promoted by lowkell)
There are so many bad parts to the “CRomnibus” that’s being debated right now in Congress, it’s hard to know where to start. Despite how bad it is, the Obama administration is pushing hard to pass it, under the theory that things will only get worse next year, when Teapublicans take over the Senate. And while I DO agree that things will get worse next year, there’s just so much bad stuff in the CRomnibus, my conclusion is that Democrats should vote no and force Boehner to supply all the votes from his caucus. If he can’t, then let him compromise for once, take out the worst provisions of this bill (I’ve listed just a few below), and then rely on unanimous/near-unanimous Democrats, plus a handful of sane Republicans, to pass it if that’s what it takes. With that, here are 5 reasons why Democrats should vote “no” on the CRomnibus.
1. It sucks for the environment and clean energy. For instance: it cuts the EPA’s budget by $60 million, when we should be cranking UP the EPA’s budget; it blocks regulation of lead ammunition which is deadly to wildlife; and it “would allow the Ex-Im Bank and OPIC to finance coal-fired power plants abroad, despite the fact that the Ex-Im Bank adopted guidelines last year that prohibited the financing of most coal-fired power plants, unless they used carbon capture technology.”
2. It gives “Wall Street two early Christmas presents”. The biggest problem is that it “repeals the swaps pushout rule,” which “put new limits on how banks that receive taxpayer backing can use high-risk financial instruments known as a swaps, which were a key driver of the last financial crisis.”
3. It’s also a big Christmas present – for tax evaders. “The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) enforcement division budget is being cut to under $4.9 billion for 2015.”
4. It worsens the role of money in politics and continues the selling of our “democracy” – or whatever is left of it – to the wealthy, corporations, etc.. “The cromnibus moves the decimal point on that cap, allowing annual contributions of up to $324,000 to the Republican or Democratic national committees. An expert who helped draft that landmark campaign finance reform law told Bloomberg the deal is ‘an unholy alliance to emasculate the national party contribution limits that were enacted to prevent corruption.'”
5. It’s long past time for Democrats to stand up to right-wing bullies. As our friend Kindler tweets, “Dear Democrats: the way to deal with bullies is not to let them beat you up a little bit. It’s to fight back until they lay off.” I’d just add that we’ve seen this over and over again throughout Barack Obama’s presidency, and I’m not convinced it’s ever really ended well (e.g., sequestration anyone? letting just a small percentage of the idiotic Bush tax cuts expire?).