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Posted at 1:06 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Gates pushes for omnibus spending bill despite earmarks

By Perry Bacon Jr.

The Obama administration is urging Congress to adopt a $1.2 trillion spending bill that includes more than 6,700 earmarks, despite the president's strong criticism of such projects since Election Day.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at a press briefing Thursday that while he dislikes many of the earmarks, he would prefer Congress pass this legislation rather than a stop-gap measure approved in the House last week that would not provide the Pentagon as much funding.

Senate Democrats are considering adopting the $1.2 trillion bill provision that would fund most federal government operations over the next year, even as many Republicans in the chamber want to pass a smaller, two-month extension of funding.

"The omnibus is not great, but it beats a yearlong continuing resolution," Gates said.

Obama has not yet spoken publicly on the issue, but Gates made his comments at a press briefing standing near Robert Gibbs, Obama's spokesman, who did not rebut them.

Congressional Republicans are sharply attacking the legislation and saying Obama should veto it, even as some GOP senators requested some of the earmarks in the provision .

"One month ago today, President Obama said that we can't afford wasteful earmark spending during these tough economic times, and that he would work to end earmark spending," said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio.) "Now it is time for him to back up those words with action, by making it clear that he will veto the omnibus spending bill written by Senate Democrats, which includes over 6,000 earmarks."

The legislation also includes about $450 million for the continuation of a second, alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, funding the administration has long said is unnecessary and previously threatened to veto.

By Perry Bacon Jr.  | December 16, 2010; 1:06 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Business as usual. Government corruption at all levels.

Posted by: pielusztcontractor | December 17, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Gates is a total hypocrite. He has been a bureaucrat all his adult life, bowing down to whoever his boss is today. And that holds regardless of who his boss is, Dem or Repub.

He is a yes man; he fooled Bush and Obama and got promoted to his level of incompetency.

It's sad. Gates has no principles. He has no shame.

The sooner we get rid of him the better

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Posted by: shoestrade1930 | December 16, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

If there are GOP earmarks in it, and there are, Obama should VETO IT NOW!!! Then, when the GOP comes into office in January, and they submit another bill cock full of earmarks, VETO IT TOO...

That way the Presidents proves to Democrats and Republicans alike, that he will veto ALL earmarks. They should be stand alone and have a single up or down vote. That simple.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | December 16, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

BluePelican whines (and of course has to throw a little racist tweak into the fray)..."Secretary Step-and-Fetch-It should shut up and win a war or two."

What was the last "war" we actually won?

Posted by: proserve | December 16, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

McConnell is going to enter a 1 page resolution to replace this omnibust bill to extend running of the government till Feb. 18th. So that they can do it right in the light of day. Can't see how anybody would reject this. This 2000 page omnibust bill is just wrong, lets see debate again in the senate and the house.

Posted by: tateofpa | December 16, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

First Gates tailors a survey to help repeal DADT, now he blurts about a spending bill passing as is.

Secretary Step-and-Fetch-It should shut up
and win a war or two.

Posted by: BluePelican | December 16, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"Gates ! Another Misfit who thought the Good Lord said Trains, and ran like Hell the other way."

***

I wonder if Gates ever thought he had to hit the "submit" button 6 times to get his comment posted once, like puck-101 apparently did.

Posted by: charlesbakerharris | December 16, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

President Obama really needs to Veto this spending bill.

6,000 earmarks and billions of American Taxpayer dollars more in Republican spending that doesn't get paid back is outrageous!

President Obama: Veto this monster!

Posted by: lindalovejones | December 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

This latest Republican clown act (voting against THEIR OWN EARMARKS?) is perhaps the best argument yet for Eliminating the Filibuster. Getting to look like they (Republicans) opposed something they secretly endorse is one of the least often highlighted, and, indeed, the most valuable, of the many Republican Filibuster Tricks on the Public (Teabaggers).


The extremist Republicans will vote NO on the bill to trick the low IQ Teabagger fools into thinking they were always against it and then they'll claim credit for all the benefits they brought home to their state, just like they did on the stimulus bill.


.

Posted by: DrainYou | December 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Seeing as how the Repugs have p*ssed on the congressional agenda the last two years with their abuse of the filibuster, Reid should make them stay until this congress officially adjourns on Jan 4th.


Give the Repugs ONE DAY OFF FOR X-MAS....just like most of the poor people whom they screw over get.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | December 16, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I certainly love his reasoning.

The omnibus is not great, but it beats a yearlong continuing resolution," Gates said.
????????

It's full of unnecessary junk spending that is NOT needed and will do little or nothing for the economy!

Gates should submit his resignation and allow a human being to take his job.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 16, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Gates ! Another Misfit who thought the Good Lord said Trains instead of Brains and ran like Hell the other way.

Posted by: puck-101 | December 16, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Gates ! Another Misfit who thought the Good Lord said Trains instead of Brains and ran like Hell the other way.

Posted by: puck-101 | December 16, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Gates ! Another Misfit who thought the Good Lord said Trains instead of Brains and ran like Hell the other way.

Posted by: puck-101 | December 16, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Gates ! Another Misfit who thought the Good Lord said Trains, and ran like Hell the other way.

Posted by: puck-101 | December 16, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Gates ! Another Misfit who thought the Good Lord said Trains, and ran like Hell the other way.

Posted by: puck-101 | December 16, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

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