Congress Votes To Keep America Running For At Least One More Year, Hooray!
Yay! They did a thing for once!
In an exciting plot twist no one could have predicted, Congress decided to do its job -- and just in time for everyone to take the rest of the year off! (Haha, if you are a member of Congress. If you are a regular working stiff, screw you, you don't get to take the rest of the year off, what do you think you are, some kind of member of Congress?) On Friday, in one of those rare moments of legitimate bipartisanship we shouldn't expect to see again any time soon, unless it is about hating Ted Cruz because everyone hates that guy, House Democrats and Republicans held their noses, together, to do a thing:
In a vote that might have said more about the internal divisions of the parties than the House itself, Republicans and Democrats came together Friday to pass a sweeping $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the government funded until October.
The so-called omnibus bill, a year-end spending bill that incorporates legislation from the 12 appropriations subcommittees, was the product of months of negotiations between party leaders and nearly a year of work from appropriators.
The House passed the bill 316-113, with 150 Republicans supporting the measure and 95 opposed. Among Democrats, 166 voted for the legislation and 18 voted against it.
Awww, what a wonderful happy ending! And it only took a zillion continuing resolutions to temporarily fund the government for another few months, or another few days, because it's not like Republicans could be expected to make a whole year of funding happen, what with all of their Heathers drama going on and not a single one of them wanting to be the boss because that job sucks.
Republicans wanted to use the funding bill to not fund important government programs, and Democrats wanted to not do that. So you see the problem. (The problem is Republicans not understanding what the hell government is for.) But finally, they all agreed to pretend they had winned the negotiations, with Republicans accepting that this is not the year they will repeal Obamacare or late-term abort Planned Parenthood, and Democrats agreeing that lifting the 40-year-old ban on exporting oil is super fucking stupid, but hey, it's not quite as stupid as shutting down the whole government, so FINE, we can do that. Also, here's a nifty little gem Democrats finally managed to achieve:
The omnibus, often called a "Christmas tree bill," was festooned with legislation, including the 9/11 first responders bill, a visa waiver bill and an intelligence programs authorization act. In all, the bill was just over 2,000 pages.
Democrats considered the permanent reauthorization of the 9/11 health program a big win that took much more pulling of teeth than would have seemed necessary.
You would think, since Republicans consider 9/11 the holiest of holidays, that they'd also consider the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, to provide healthcare to those first responders who heroed so heroically for all of us on that fateful day, a Good Thing. But ha! That would mean you don't understand jack diddly dog doo about Republicans. And as sacred as 9/11 is, not providing healthcare to Americans is even MORE sacred. Which is why, for all these years, Republicans have fought so hard to screw over those first responders who are sick and dying from serving their country. Never change, GOP.
Except that this year, the GOP did change. Sort of. At least they get to sell our precious oil to foreigns again, so it seems a fair trade to give Big Oil a nice hummer in exchange for taking care of the people who ran toward the danger.
The Senate quickly voted to keep America open until next October, and now the bill goes to President Obama, so he can sign it with his evil executive dictator mom jeans pen and then blow this pop stand to head off for a nice Christmas break in Kenya, where he's from. And then we can go through this silly song and dance all over again next year.