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Posted at 8:36 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Harry Reid didn't have the votes

By Jennifer Rubin

After exposing his party, the White House and himself to an avalanche of bad press and bipartisan criticism over the earmark-stuffed omnibus spending bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a sort of political Dunkirk moment, gave up and fled. Just moments ago, he fessed up that he did not have enough votes for cloture on the omnibus spending bill. So instead, as the Republicans had demanded, there will be a continuing resolution, and the Republicans will get their shot to manage the budget next year.

Think about it for a moment. Reid, for no good reason, forced the president out on a limb (recall that President Obama endorsed this mess of a bill) and helped the Republicans to cement their image as the more fiscally disciplined of the two parties.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell worked the phones throughout the day urging members to hold firm against the pork. He took obvious pleasure in speaking from the Senate floor. "There is only one reason cloture is not being filed," he announced. The Democrats "don't have the votes" he said. And he went on to lambast them:

This is the first time in modern history -- the first time in modern history -- that not a single appropriation bill went across the floor of the Senate. Not a one. And so the Appropriations Committee members on a bipartisan basis did, indeed, do their job. The problem was the full Senate didn't do its job. And so what we ended up with, Mr. President, was this, this almost 2,000-page omnibus appropriation bill which we only got...Yesterday.

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) who had been tweeting about the worst of the earmarks all day, called it a "seminal moment."

It is also a major win for the opponents of ObamaCare, who halted a billion dollars in funding for the legislation that they aim to repeal.

It is also, of course, a defeat for the earmarkers, the business-as-usual crowd and Harry Reid.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 16, 2010; 8:36 PM ET
Categories:  Budget, Senate Democrats, Senate GOP  
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Comments

I'm so encouraged that McConnell was able to hold his Senators together. Still have START & the DREAM act to worry about.

Good reporting Ms. Rubin.

Posted by: cajunkate | December 16, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

You are an unbelievably bad columnist/ blogger. Please spare us the blatant bullsh*t about McConnell fighting pork. You are transparently lazy and mendacious. An excellent addition to the already execrable slate of lying right wing hacks at the Post. Embarrassing.

Posted by: spf1 | December 16, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

This column is idiocy

Posted by: RobRoy1 | December 16, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

By the way are you as ugly in person as your avatar

Posted by: RobRoy1 | December 16, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I am totally disgusted with the whole bunch of them. The Congress of the United States of America fiddles while the country burns. The behavior of Republicans in Congress over the last two years is despicable. The behavior of Democrats slightly less so. How do we save the country? The answer certainly isn't the Tea Party. Their naivete has just made it worse.

Posted by: colton | December 16, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Nothing could be better than watching the loser dems stewing in their own feces.

Posted by: Straightline | December 16, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

You go, girl.

But, do you ever take a break?

Next, I'd like to see your take on NPR. I have been astonished that the purge of Juan Williams seems to have happened without consequences. My liberal frems just shrug, as if he had it coming, or it was as natural as any necessary purge.

And, Juan. What's he thinking?

Posted by: ZoltanNewberry | December 16, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

This minority rule victory can be laid squarely at the feet of Reid and the rest of the senate Democrats because for the past two years they have flatly refused to consider eliminating or even reforming the filibuster rule.

This worshipping of outdated rituals has enabled a petty, small-minded, party first-country last politician like McConnell to control the senate's agenda with 41 out of 100 votes.

It's both disgraceful, unpatriotic behavior by the GOP and a disgraceful failure of leadership by Reid and the Democrats.

Posted by: toc59 | December 16, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse


Reading this story would have you believe that all "pork" is Democratic "pork."

The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, requested nearly $86.1 million for Kentucky, including $18 million for a railroad upgrade at Fort Knox, $1 million to build a Kentucky Blood Bank Center and $1 million for waterfront development in Paducah.

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, one of seven Democrats who voted with Republicans to ban earmarks, had $30 million in requests, including $8 million to move the main gate of Patrick Air Force Base and $400,000 to create a research park in Sebring.

The spending bill also contained dozens of earmarks for projects in the home states of Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, and Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, who appeared at a news conference Wednesday to criticize Democrats for what they called a pork-laden spending bill.

Mr. Cornyn requested nearly $93.5 million, including $1 million for a National Wind Resource Center. Along with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, another Texas Republican, he asked for $2 million for the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program, which transfers the knowledge and technology of the space program to small businesses, according to the group’s Web site.

Mr. Thune requested nearly $38.5 million, most of it with his fellow South Dakota senator, Tim Johnson, About $25 million was for construction at military installations.


I guess Mitch was looking for more "pork" for Kentucky and that meany Reid wouldn't give it to him.


Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | December 16, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Why can't these politicians go home and leave us alone? They've already done plenty of damage.

Posted by: allamer1 | December 16, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mitch McConnell is a shining example of piety and honest dealings for us all. I realize your job is to cheerlead for your Republican demigods, but your portrayal of McConnell suggests you are delusional.

Your Republican heroes asked Reid to put these earmarks in before they weaseled out of their agreement. The only reason they waffled was they still haven't managed to hoodwink the Teabaggers completely (yet). But the day will come when the Teabaggers are hoodwinked by their Republican masters and either a) go gently into that good night, or b) openly revolt.

Also, you're saying that $1B being taken out of ACA is a major victory for opponents? Please explain this, because this statement seems out of touch.

Posted by: johnhunsaker4 | December 16, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Same thing is happening in Maine where R's swept the House, the Senate and the Governor's office.....went to a packed luncheon today, and the talk was about 'how do we effectively take over' and run the legislature, and 'how did they do it?

Should be a blues song about being down and out so long......Winning like this is a strange feeling.

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | December 16, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

The Dems caved??????? Shocking!!!!

Posted by: geonerd20 | December 16, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

This is not a defeat for Harry...it's a victory for America....thank goodness the Republicans gain control of the House in January (the will of the people my dear dem libs) and with a substantial pickup of Senate seats, Harry is a lame duck majority leader for 2 more years when the "reset" completes what started this year....ba bye liberal losers! Obama is weak and Harry is weaker.

Posted by: powerange | December 16, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

How much do you want to bet that everyone of those earmarks proposed by Republican Senators make it into the spending bill in the next Congress AND how much do you want to bet that we don't hear a peep about it from Jennifer at that time!

Posted by: 54465446 | December 16, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I do believe the liberal posters heads are exploding as I type.

Posted by: TommyMcGuire | December 16, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how bitter the libs have gotten in the space of just two years. Why do you guys think it's productive to come in here and start calling names, or even more hilariously, call someone "ugly?" Geez. I know it must be hard watching your progressive dreams fall like a house of cards, but at least you'd think you might remain an adult about it.

Besides, take heart. If history's any guide, the Republicans will shoot themselves in the foot soon enough.

Posted by: greg9y9 | December 16, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the gist of the column. I think you covered it well.

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | December 16, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Thank God for the tea partiers. Let us hope we've FINALLY turned the tide on big gummint and the Republicans will take their "second chance" seriously.

Posted by: thebump | December 16, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

STARVE THE BEAST

Posted by: thebump | December 16, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh BTW, there is no doubt that Harry Reid is a crushingly inept leader, and would have been soundly beaten in his most recent race by anyone less lunatic than Angle.

Facts are facts, you can't run from them! LOL

Posted by: 54465446 | December 16, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Cheers to the tea parties.

Without them, the November rout of Democrats wouldn't have happened, Harry Reid wouldn't have been so desperate with this last-ditch spending travesty, and Senator McConnell would not have been shown the way of the fiscal straight and narrow.

The Republicans got spending the religion late, but they got it in the end. May they keep it.

Posted by: InsufficientlySensitive | December 16, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

LOL@RobRoy1 and his whiney liberal post.

Posted by: dnara | December 16, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Nice. As I recorded elsewhere, that no spending bills passed for any agency this year-although the Dems controlled wide margins in both the House and the Senate-and hold the Presidency-is just an indication of the Dems childish and destructive behavior.

They have been unable/unwilling to operate in anything other than a one-party, take-it-or-leave-it, nonpartisan mode, notwithstanding Obama'a election promises for hope, change and bipartisan cooperation.

It's not that Harry is inept. However, I believe he represents an amoral (at best), fundamentally dishonest approach to governing. This bill represents his values clearly.

Now that those pesky voters are reeling in his majority, we may see some welcome changes.

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | December 16, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why the Republicans are complaining about jamming it through. Its only three months late anyway. I doubt it will ever get done next year. Just more continuing resolutions. It's soon time to start on the year that begins in Oct 11 which also likely won't get done on time. We do not have a budget process, just senate charades and grandstanding.

Posted by: chucko2 | December 16, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Whoopee.

$8.1 B of "earmarks" out of 1.1 T. For those tea party "rocket scientists", that's a whopping 0.8 percent (yes, less than 1 percent) of the entire omnibus budget.

Let's not forget: These are budget supplements that actually help real people in real districts. But we can't have that little "fact" interfere with the Fox "News" agenda, can we?

And, to those GOPers saying "nah nah" here, gimme a frickin' break.

It was YOU who used the filibuster - 112 times.
It was YOU who dissed the new President in January 2009 by shoving the olive branch in his face.
It was YOU who caved to the "Tea Party" - who are the worst example of whiny Americans I have ever seen and heard.

Stupid is as Stupid does. And that includes Democratic voters who lost their "enthusiasm" and did not come out to vote in November.

A pox on all of you.

Posted by: wxdancer | December 16, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

What was that book that Harry Reid was holding up? Was it a little red book of Chairman Mao? Ahahahahahaha, what a LOSER! Reid/Pelosi MISCALCULATED. The Demoblicans thought the Republicrats would cave in under the threat of closing down the Government. Except, unlike in 1994, NO ONE CARES if the Gov't is shut down for Christmas. Most Americans WOULD LIKE THAT. OMG, what fools these Demoblicans be. Do you know what is worse than that? Its that political hoser John McCain claiming victory over ANYTHING. What fools these Republicrats be. Its like Nero proclaiming victory in urban planning after the great fire in Rome (hmmm, maybe this IS planned after all). I mean, these are all reasonably intelligent people, right? So why would they act like a bunch of chicken idiots with their heads cut off? Because unlike you, dear reader, they understand something you don't. This version of the USA is finished. The debt is unsustainable. Interest rates are creeping back up, bond markets will fall. Stock markets will fall. Currencies will fall. (gold and silver) bullion, beans and bullets. Don't have them? Get 'em, now, before its too late. If you plan on walking out the other side of this storm, you better get on your knees and pray to God now. Or don't, you just keep going down into that valley, General Custer.

Posted by: shred11 | December 16, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Whenever a new columnist shows up, I give him/her a read. What I'm looking for is not someone who confirms my opinions but someone who surprises me with their opinions. This is true whether or not I agree with their opinions. My test for reading a new columnist on a regular basis is whether or not I feel confident that they fall within a predictable political genre, "progressive" or "conservative". If I can predict after the first sentence how the rest of the column will read, what's the point? (I suppose the point for the Washington Post the answer is blowing in the wind - whichever way the wind happens to blow.) In any event Jennifer Rubin seems to be one of a representative of "conservative" journalism in its most cliched form. Having read this column I now feel confident that I can accurately predict her views on any political issue (possibly any issue). She announces her positions proudly, as if there were ontological/theological truths. OK, time to move on. I'm still looking for someone who can change our political grammar, who acknowledges the possibility that there may be people holding different views who are just as smart (in Ms. Rubin's case probably smarter) and just as well informed (in Ms. Rubin's case almost certainly better informed), and who is prepared not to sacrifice their principles but to complicate their understanding of those principles.

Posted by: QuickBen | December 16, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jennifer. Score 1 for Republicans 0 for Reid and his Democrats. Now to sweat out DADT and the nasty Dream Act. Stand the line Republicans. Stand firm.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | December 16, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Left: Oh, boo hoo, to you, right
Right: Oh, Yeah, well ok for you, left
Tea Party: You'll see, oh yeah?

Majority of Americans: grow up, and get off your meds, cut off the money printing machine, and get some balls.

Posted by: shred11 | December 16, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

By the way are you as ugly in person as your avatar
Posted by: RobRoy1 | December 16, 2010 9:00 PM
--- --- ---

The last resort of the hopelessly ignorant is the ad hominem attack.

Posted by: marybel9999 | December 16, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Whenever a new columnist shows up, I give him/her a read. What I'm looking for is not someone who confirms my opinions but someone who surprises me with their opinions. This is true whether or not I agree with their opinions. My test for reading a new columnist on a regular basis is whether or not I feel confident that they fall within a predictable political genre, "progressive" or "conservative". If I can predict after the first sentence how the rest of the column will read, what's the point? (I suppose the point for the Washington Post is that the answer is blowing in the wind - whichever way the wind happens to blow.) In any event Jennifer Rubin seems to be a representative of "conservative" journalism in its most cliched form. Having read this column I now feel confident that I can accurately predict her views on any political issue (possibly any issue). She announces her positions proudly, as if they were ontological/theological truths. OK, time to move on. I'm still looking for someone who can change our political grammar, who acknowledges the possibility that there may be people holding different views who are just as smart (in Ms. Rubin's case probably smarter) and just as well informed (in Ms. Rubin's case almost certainly better informed), and who is prepared not to sacrifice their principles but to complicate their understanding of those principles.

Posted by: QuickBen | December 16, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

"It is also a major win for the opponents of ObamaCare, who halted a billion dollars in funding for the legislation that they aim to repeal."
___ ___ ___

Yes! Starve the beast!

Posted by: marybel9999 | December 16, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm loving the whiney, whimpering comments from Democrats here. This is the last dying gasp of the pork beast. Were Republicans poised to join in the pork-fest? Oh, yes they were. What stopped them? The force of the lst election. Perhaps they've learned their lesson.

One thing's for certian, elected Democrats still haven't learned it and their lemmings here are forever oblivious.

Posted by: swb11 | December 16, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh my trouble right here in River City.

Posted by: jy151310 | December 16, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

McConnell did a good job of threatening the few Republicans that were salivating over their pork - including those that didn't give a damn anymore because they were thrown out by the Tea Party for precisely this behavior.
But McConnell was aided by the outcry that rose above the muted response by the mainstream media. One of the most blunt Bloggers had one of the high circulation pieces called "The Legal Corruption in Congress Sees No End". I took a peek at http://www.robbingamerica.com
They are right about the 20th Amendment.

Posted by: JohnGalt9 | December 16, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Bad for bozo means good for America.

Posted by: carlbatey | December 17, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

To the poor losers as they resort to petty name-calling against this author:

WAAAAAAA

Posted by: jleibund1 | December 17, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

McConnell and his Republican cohort have the Captain Renault role down pat:

"We're shocked ... shocked to find that earmarks are present in these spending bills!"

Posted by: labman57 | December 17, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Since the Republikkkans have p*issed on the congressional agenda the last two years with their abuse of the filibuster, Reid should make them stay and finish the countries business 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.

And seeing as how the Repugs hate gov't so much They should all do us a big freaking favor and RESIGN. That would cut gov't in half in one day and reduce gov't spending at the same time - Mission Accomplished!

.

Posted by: DrainYou | December 17, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

without even reading it, why is it that the American People TRUST 1 page so much more than 1900 pages???


the liberals are INSANE.

L

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 17, 2010 2:57 AM | Report abuse

And to think: Harry sold the suckers in Nevada that the extreme candidate was Sharron Angle!

Posted by: nvjma | December 17, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

The Liberal cynics and sore losers are pointing out here that the same Omnibus Spending Orgy bill will be up for passage by the Republicans in a few months, and they have their hypocrisy knives all sharpened up for the occasion. We’ll see. I suspect that it will have a lot less earmarks in it.

I am sure the masters of hypocrisy will find something to skewer, but I will bet their prey will be less than $1,000,000,000,000.00. For one thing they will be screaming bloody murder over the lack of funding for ObamaCare, and maybe short rations for NPR.

Posted by: nvjma | December 17, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I thought Jackson Diehl was the biggest moron at the WaPo and then along came Marc Thiessen. But now you have outdone yourself by allowing Rubin to produce this garbage, masquerading as reporting, to grace this once fine paper.

Posted by: army164 | December 17, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

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