By Jason Pye, Originally Posted at United Liberty)
Senate Democrats have rolled out a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill – $575 million per page – to fund the government in FY 2011, since they failed to pass normal budgets during the regular session:
The 1,924-page bill includes funding to implement the sweeping healthcare reform bill Congress passed earlier this year as well as additional funds for Internal Revenue Service agents, according to a senior GOP aide familiar with the legislation.
The package drew a swift rebuke from Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
“The attempt by Democrat leadership to rush through a nearly 2,000-page spending bill in the final days of the lame-duck session ignores the clear will expressed by the voters this past election,” Thune said in a statement. “This bill is loaded up with pork projects and should not get a vote. Congress should listen to the American people and stop this reckless spending.”[…]
Despite strong opposition from Thune and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), several Senate Republicans are considering voting for the bill.
“That’s my intention,” said retiring Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) when asked if he would support the package.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) wants the clerk to read it out loud, which would take 40 hours; something that would no doubt prompt Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make good on his promise to work after Christmas.
DeMint wants to expose the 6,488 earmarks totaling $8 billion in the spending bill (you can through the earmarks here). Via Drudge, here is an example of some of the earmarks and pork projects in the bill:
- $277,000 for potato pest management in Wisconsin
- $246,000 for bovine tuberculosis in Michigan and Minnesota
- $522,000 for cranberry and blueberry disease and breeding in New Jersey
- $500,000 for oyster safety in Florida
- $349,000 for swine waste management in North Carolina
- $413,000 for peanut research in Alabama
- $247,000 for virus free wine grapes in Washington
- $208,000 beaver management in North Carolina
- $94,000 for blackbird management in Louisiana
- $165,000 for maple syrup research in Vermont
- $235,000 for noxious weed management in Nevada
- $100,000 for the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage Visitor’s Center in New York
- $300,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii
- $400,000 for solar parking canopies and plug-in electric stations in Kansas
I doubt Republicans will be able to stop this thanks to Sen. Bob Bennett, who was pushed into retirement by Mike Lee, already voicing support, it’s likely that a few other GOP Senators will crossover. Be on the look out for how Orrin Hatch and Dick Luger vote when this comes up.