On New Spending Bill: All “Hell Breaking Loose” or “Robust Conversation”?

Either way, there’s a lot to dislike about the “total mess” U.S. Senate omnibus 1,924-page federal government appropriations bill this entertaining Fox News story describes.

According to the Senate Republican Policy Committee (RPC), the legislation includes:

* Over $1.25 trillion to fund ObamaCare;

* An extra $80.7 million for the Department of Health and Human Services, to permit it to enforce the new “you must buy health insurance” mandates a federal judge ruled unconstitutional yesterday;

* An extra $175.9 million for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, so it can cut Medicare Advantage (popular with low-income seniors) and expand Medicaid (the health system for low-income Americans);

* $750 million for what the RPC calls a “slush fund” to fund jungle gyms, street lights, walking paths, farmers markets and other items that (this last is my opinion) are both unnecessary and inappropriate federal-level expenditures, and would be even if we didn’t have to borrow money to pay for them;

* $3 million for a National Health Care Workforce Commission, which the RPC calls “just one of the 159 boards, bureaucracies, and programs created by the majority’s government takeover of health care”;

* Yet more cash for the apparently grasping citizens of Libby, Montana,in the form of a $300,000 earmark, of which the RPC says, “you will recall that health coverage for miners in Libby, Montana was one of the earmarks included in the ‘cash for cloture’ agreement on health care last December – but that didn’t stop appropriators from including yet another earmark for Libby, Montana in the omnibus measure.

If a new day is to dawn in America, proposals like this must die. Apparently the death of this one would be painful (as the majority waited until the last minute), but the more it hurts, the better chance they’ll learn something.

Read the Fox story mentioned above for a sense of how the GOP is responding.

If you wish, you can read the bill here. That’s more than most Senators and Congressmen will do.

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