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Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Shameful End to the Year

Jim DeMint
by Senator Jim DeMint

The hard choice Democrats have given Republicans has paid off for the big-spenders again.

Refusing to work together to cut spending, Democrats demanded that Republicans compromise with them to increase spending, or shut down the government.

As a result, Congress rammed through a 1,000-page, trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill that lumped 9 different appropriations bills in a single package at the very last minute rather than debating, amending, and voting on these bills in a transparent manner.

Spend more and pass this bill, the Democrats said, or force the government to close its doors. They said the same thing this past summer when President Obama insisted on a $2 trillion increase to the debt ceiling and during the budget fight in the spring.

Sadly, it's a tactic that keeps working. Witness the final votes members of Congress took this year.

Republicans have pledged to cut spending and quit passing legislation no one had read, but that’s exactly what members of Congress did before leaving for their Christmas vacations. The 2012 omnibus increased spending by more than $18 billion over 2011 levels. Once that bill is signed into law by the President, the total tab for all twelve 2012 appropriations bills will be more than $1.8 trillion, a nearly $21 billion increase over 2011 spending.

It’s become a cynical yearly tradition in Washington to delay the big-spending votes until just before Christmas. After all, it’s how Democrats in the Senate passed ObamaCare. Members of Congress are now hurrying home after the vote without much talk, but it should not be forgotten. It represents a shameful end to a year that began with many bold assurances.

After the 2010 midterm elections, Republican promised to cut $100 billion from the federal budget. House Republicans did pass several appropriations bills to cut spending, but they ultimately died in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The cuts never came. In fact, spending went up! Under no circumstance can a spending increase above last year’s levels be considered a cut. That promise to cut spending has been broken.

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