On The Anniversary Of The First Tea Party

The Tea Partiers have won a great victory:

Speaking now on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) says he is “sorry and disappointed” to announce that he does not have the votes for the omnibus spending package. Instead, he will work with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) to draft a temporary continuing resolution to fund the government into early next year.

Reid says nine Republican senators approached him today to tell him that while they would like to see the bill passed, they could not vote for it. He did not reveal the names of the nine. A top Senate source tells National Review Online that “it looks like Harry Reid buckled under the threat of Republicans reading [the bill] aloud.”

Mr. Smith has come to Washington, again.

[Update a couple minutes later]

More links from Instapundit. “Brave Sir Harry Ran Away.”


[Update a minute or two later]

I should note that I haven’t had much to say about the horrible NASA appropriations in this bill (three billion dollars for SLS and MPCV — how in the world would they have sensibly spent $1.8B on a heavy lifter in 2011, with only nine months left in the fiscal year?), because I wanted to wait and see if it was actually going to pass.

I think that we will be on continuing resolutions as far as the eye can see, at this point, or at least until 2013, and the big battles over the NASA budget will be what goes into rescission bills, starting early next year. The job of people who really want to see progress in space is to make sure that the SLS is on the top of the chopping block, at least restricting it to studies in the next couple years instead of pouring hundreds of millions into obsolete technologies.

You heard it here first.

10 thoughts on “On The Anniversary Of The First Tea Party”

  1. Brave Sir Harry and the Republicans Who Wanted the Bill to Pass But Didn’t Have the Stones to Vote for Their Own Pork. i.e. A wuss Democrat and his band of right wing wussies.

    As for a being a Tea Party victory? I doubt it.

  2. As others have noted, a CR and the nonsense surrounding it means that a SDLV is not only mearly dead, it’s really quite sincerely dead.

  3. Bennett;
    is “mearly” meant to be “merely” or “nearly”? Or is it a mashword meaning “nearly merely”, or “merely nearly”? Inquiring minds want to know! ;p

    BTW, the SDLV is unnecessary. I have it on very speculative authority that Musk is planning to strap 9 Falcon-9s together to make the Falcon-81. That’s heavy, you betcha! 🙂

  4. Brian, I knew something was wrong with the spelling, but it was late. Someday my Firefox spellchecker will suggest an alternate spelling like my Lotus Wordpro was doing back in ’95… Thanks for the help.

    I enjoyed Musk’s comment about heritage systems coming with heritage infrastructure and costs. No thanks.

    The idea of a Falcon 81 reminds me of the 30 “D” engine rocket I built in ’89. It flew, impressively!

  5. Great minds think alike. The omnibus’s $3 billion carveout for a new heavy lift booster that NASA doesn’t want or need plus a new capsule that would most likely be redundant by the time it eventually flies (if it ever flies at all) was obvious pork. I’ve been waiting for someone to notice that these were the bill’s largest-by-far earmarks, but apparently they were so large the earmark-listers just overlooked them… No, there was no point in spending energy making a fuss during the lame-duck pork process, because the sheer mass of the omnibus plus the short time scale meant there was little traction to be had on any individual issue. And yes, absolutely, these are obvious targets for cuts next year when the time comes for cutting.

  6. Software doesn’t age, it just gets replaced. Sometimes with non-improvements. Lotus Wordpro advanced features, Amen

  7. That said, you may be wrong about a long-term CR. The incoming House has made some interesting noises about breaking Appropriations down into smaller slices. A series of shorter-term CR’s punctuated by the new House sending one agency’s appropriation at a time up to the Senate is a distinct possibility, I think. It could make it very tactically difficult for the Senate to oppose cuts and add pork, by focusing attention on one relatively small budget slice at a time.

  8. A series of shorter-term CR’s punctuated by the new House sending one agency’s appropriation at a time up to the Senate is a distinct possibility, I think.

    What an excellent idea! Worthy of a constitutional amendment even, but that is exceedingly unlikely to happen.

  9. MPM – it doesn’t take a Constitutional amendment, just a change in the House’s self-defined procedures, one which the new majority seems inclined to make, from statements that have made their way into the press.

    There are potential practical problems. Breaking the current dozen-or-so big Appropriations bills down into several times as many smaller bills may just take too much time to get done in a legislative year. It would take a House process that can debate, amend, and pass one or two smaller Appropriations per legislative week while also handling their other business.

    The Senate in particular (still run by Harry Reid) might choose to deliberately slow-roll the process and let bills stack up. Or they might choose to re-accrete the House’s smaller bills back into the traditional mega-bills and lard them up with pork before sending them back to the House.

    Such Senate actions should be tempered by the prospect of the 2012 election, however – many of Reid’s slim majority will be up for reelection in ’12, and it might not be politically healthy for them to support open Senate obstructionism if the current political climate continues.

    Bottom line is, nothing could be worse than this year when the current Congress passed _zero_ Appropriations bills.

  10. Sure, you don’t need an amendment, but it would be really nice if you could get one, because then it would be much easier to keep them from changing the procedures again. Of course, getting there would be the tricky bit. And as for running out of time to legislate on other matters: that’s a feature, not a bug!

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