On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, Gallup released its latest poll showing that the American people dislike this 111th Congress more than any other Congress. 83% of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job while only 13% approve. That is the worst approval rating in more than 30 years of tracking congressional job performance.
Why do Americans so despise this Congress? The reckless way it spends other people’s money, for starters. One would have thought that after getting “shellacked” at the polls this November, Congress would have gotten the message. No luck. Majority Leader Harry Reid introduced a $1.27 trillion 1,924 page omnibus spending bill last night that contains 6,000 earmarks worth $8 billion. Oh, and all this has to be approved by midnight Saturday or the government shuts down.
Demonrat Hawaii Congressman Daniel Inouye disingenuosuly defended the trillion dollar spending bill, claiming that it was for defense, homeland security, and veterans. But what Inouye will not admit is that defense, homeland security, and veterans can all be funded at current levels for one month through a continuing resolution, and then the next Congress could adjust our defense needs. Nor would Inouye tell you what Taxpayers for Common Sense reports, which is that among the 6,600 earmarks in the bill is $6 million for parkland acquisition in Hawaii. No wonder Americans hate this Congress.
Heritage’s Carroll also points out there are plenty of Republican earmarks in the bill too — include $18 million for groups named after the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Rep. John Murtha (D-PA); $349,000 for swine waste management; $2.9 million for Grand Forks International Airport expansion; and $3.5 million for termite research in Louisiana.
Then there the spending increases. The omnibus spending bill adds $5.4 billion in new labor, education, and health spending including money for the failed Head Start program, the failed Race to the Top program, Pell Grants, and $1.25 billion in spending on Obamacare.
Happily, there are Republicans who hold true to their conservative principles.
Yesterday, Harry Reid announced he was abandoning the $1.2 trillion “omnibus” spending bill, conceding he didn’t have the votes after several Republicans he had been counting on withdrew their support of the plan. He said he would work with Republicans to write a shorter-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, in its place.
H/t my friend Bob W.