$634 Billion Spending Bill Approved; Nobody Learns Anything - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-27-2008, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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$634 Billion Spending Bill Approved; Nobody Learns Anything

Fuck me.

Senate Passes Spending Bill - WSJ.com
WASHINGTON – Auto makers gained $25 billion in taxpayer-subsidized loans and oil companies won elimination of a long-standing ban on drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as the Senate passed a sprawling spending bill Saturday.

The 78-12 vote sent the $634 billion measure to President Bush, who was expected to sign it even though it spends more money and contains more pet projects than he would have liked.

The measure is needed to keep the government operating beyond the current budget year, which ends Tuesday. As a result, the legislation is one of the few bills this election year that simply must pass. Mr. Bush's signature would mean Congress could avoid a lame-duck session after the Nov. 4 election.

The Pentagon is in line for a record budget. In addition to $70 billion approved this summer for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department would receive $488 billion, a 6% increase. The spending bill also offers aid to victims of flooding in the Midwest and recent hurricanes across the Gulf Coast.

Such a huge bill usually would dominate the end-of-session agenda on Capitol Hill. But it went below the radar screen because attention focused on the congressional bailout of Wall Street.

The measure settles dozens of battles that have brewed for months between the Democrats who run Congress and the White House and its GOP allies.

The administration won approval of the defense budget. Democrats wrested concessions from the White House on $23 billion for disaster-ravaged states, a doubling of low-income heating subsidies, and smaller spending items such as $24 million more for food shipments to the elderly.

The loan package for automakers would reward them with $25 billion in below-market loans, costing taxpayers $7.5 billion to subsidize the retooling of plants and development of technologies to help U.S. carmakers to build cleaner, more fuel efficient cars. Companies would not have to begin repaying the loans for five years, drawing objections from Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.), who predicted they would return for more help when the money is due.

Republicans made ending the coastal drilling ban a central campaign issue this summer as $4-plus per gallon gasoline stoked voter anger and turned public opinion in favor of more exploration.

The action does not mean drilling is imminent and still leaves the oil-rich eastern Gulf of Mexico off limits. But it could set the stage for the government to offer leases in some Atlantic federal waters as early as 2011.

Also in the bill is money to avert a shortfall in Pell college aid grants and solve problems in the Women, Infants and Children program delivering healthy foods to the poor.

In addition to the Pentagon's budget, there is $40 billion for the Homeland Security Department and $73 billion for veterans' programs and military base construction projects. Combined with the Defense Department's spending, that amounts to about 60% of the budget work Congress must pass each year.

Democrats came under criticism from the GOP for short-circuiting the normal process for a spending bill after it became clear that Republicans would force difficult votes on the drilling ban.

Democrats also wanted to avoid an election-year clash with Bush that would have played in his favor. They are willing to take their chances that Democrat Barack Obama will be elected president in November and permit increases for scores of programs squeezed by Bush each year.

Bush had threatened to veto bills that did not cut the number and cost of pet projects in half or cause agency operating budgets to exceed his request. Democrats ignored the edict as they drafted the plan and the White House has apparently backed down.

Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group, discovered 2,322 pet projects totaling $6.6 billion. That included 2,025 in the defense portion alone that cost a total of $4.9 billion. Critics of such "earmarks" promise to scrutinize them in coming weeks and months for links to lobbyists and campaign contributions.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-27-2008, 03:45 PM
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One of those pet projects is actually funding my research: Do toenail polish make you feel like a GOP rich pig? I am glad that this earmark is going through and I shall finally get that Escalade.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-27-2008, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR View Post
Fuck me.
You are in your 30s so only for 30-40 more working years. Sorry.

Well, this is what a distracted nation and a gridlocked government came up with. Add in the $700B next week and we have a Cherry $1.5Trillion in commitments in a year when revenues are reducing due to a slowing economy. But hey, the Pentagon got all their money and Iraq is funded.

And the Weepublicans can start to Drill Drill Drill October 2. And gas prices will go down at the pump when? Wait, first leases won't be until 2011 using the Republican plan. oops. Am I to guess that insured lower gas prices are what would be called...what's the word I am looking for?



LIES. Like folks have been saying since Day Day Day One One One

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 12:16 AM
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Wonder if Bush will play governator and hardball on this laden bill.

No pork for your district, representative.
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