Lurking Within That Ominous Omnibus Spending Bill


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2015. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2015. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

 

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship | Moyers & Company | Reader Supported News | December 20, 2015

pdate, The Washington Post: “Early Friday morning the House passed [the] $1.1 trillion spending bill on a 316 to 113 vote, with 150 Republicans and 166 Democrats supporting the measure, after passing a $622 billion tax measure Thursday on a 318 to 109 vote… The Senate soon after passed both parts of the agreement on a 65 to 33 vote.”

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There is an unwritten rule in Congress that before you do even a little for the working class you must do a lot for the donor class. So while the $1.1 trillion — yes, that’s a “t” — budget bill now winding its way to passage contains some tax breaks for low-income workers, in reality, it’s a bonanza for Big Business.

Congressional leadership actually split the bill in two with one devoted to spending and the other devoted to cuts. “That way,” Paul Singer writes in USA Today, “Republican conservatives can vote against the spending bill, Democratic liberals can vote against the tax bill, and both bills still pass and a government shutdown is averted.”

Let’s start with the fossil fuel industry. For 40 years, Republicans and some Democrats have been demanding an end to the ban on crude oil exports. The omnibus bill lifts that ban just as the world community meeting in Paris agreed that emissions released from fossil fuels must be lowered if the planet is to escape incineration. Selling off cheap oil abroad is — you should excuse the expression —like throwing gasoline on the fire.

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