• Emergency Relief Spending Bill Neatly and Effectively Killed by Congress

    The good news is that John Boehner has managed to herd the Tea Party members of his caucus in enough to just barely pass a bill which will — and now don't get to agitated when you hear this — allocate more federal money to a badly-in-need government emergency aid program. I know, I know! Spending bad! Spending bad!

    But don't worry. Provisions had been made to ensure that it would not pass the Democrat-controlled Senate. So, all is right with the world

    The measure, which narrowly passed early Friday by a vote of 219 to 203, is needed to temporarily fund the government once the new fiscal year begins next week. It also includes $3.65 billion to replenish the coffers of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is expected to run out of money by Monday after a succession of tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and wildfires.

    Disaster funding typically draws bipartisan support, but this year Republican leaders insist that any supplemental emergency funds be offset by spending cuts elsewhere. Democrats object…

    The House measure would take $1.5 billion from a green vehicle program that Democrats champion as a job creator. To attract more Republican votes, leaders decided to also take $100 million from an Energy Department account for renewable energy firms — including Solyndra, the Northern California solar manufacturer with ties to the White House that received a $535-million loan guarantee, then went bankrupt.

    Great work, guys. Really top notch. Even if this did somehow manage to pass through the Senate, it'd still effectively hobble job growth and push back efforts at environmental responsibility. So, hey, six of one, half a dozen of another.

    If I had any criticism of this, it's that the bill, as passed by the House, doesn't go quite far enough in humiliating Democrats. I mean, why — at this late stage in the game — are Democratic legislators still allowed to wear pants? And I see them on C-Span just walking around the Senate floor on their feet when they could be forced to perambulate on hands and knees.┬áCome on, Republicans. Don't get soft on us now. This is your golden opportunity to take everything you can get. No consequences! No regrets!

    Anyway, as expected (and probably hoped for), the Senate decided to pass on this bill

    By a bipartisan vote of 59-36 Friday, Senate Democrats and several Republicans tabled (read: effectively killed) House-passed legislation to fund the federal government beyond September 30.

    We can now all sleep easy knowing that none of our tax dollars will go toward helping anybody elsewhere.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Democrats, Environment, FEMA, House of Representatives, John Boehner, Natural Disasters, Republicans, Senate, Solyndra

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