So, while we Democrats spend our time screaming at each other & ginning up petitions, the Repubs are busy trying to destroy the economy, same as they always are. The “omnibus” budget has passed both houses, and Paul Ryan reaps the credit, much good may it do him. Here’s a Politico story from last night on one of the GOP avatars of shamelessness:
Sen. Richard Shelby loaded up the $1.1 trillion spending bill with pet provisions, including one measure worth hundreds of millions to a rocket manufacturer with operations in his home state.
The cagey lawmaker also fought hard for language protecting red snapper fisheries on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, even issuing a news release bragging about his efforts. “That is why I fought tirelessly for several provisions to be included in the omnibus appropriations bill that I believe will help respond to the serious challenges facing anyone who wants to fish for red snapper in the Gulf,” Shelby said in the release.
But in an only-in-Congress twist, Shelby, a very senior member on the Appropriations Committee, still plans to vote against the sprawling omnibus package. He’s citing the lack of language to restrict Syrian refugees as the reason.
The move, however, could make the Republican senator the unofficial chairman of the “hope yes, vote no” caucus on Capitol Hill. It also demonstrates the potency of immigration as an electoral issue in Alabama and the power of Shelby’s fellow home-state senator, Republican Jeff Sessions, over the controversial topic in the Southern state.
GOP insiders note that Alabama’s Republican primary is on March 1, and Shelby is loath to do anything that would create distance between him and Sessions on immigration before that date.
Sessions, the hardest of hard-liners on immigration issues, has warned that passage of the omnibus is part of a plan by President Barack Obama — with the tacit acceptance of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — to resettle tens of thousands of potentially dangerous Syrian refugees in the United States…
It’s wrong to wish harm upon others, but if Senators Shelby and Sessions were to challenge each other to a mutually fatal bout of pistols at dawn, I would find it poetically fitting.
Apart from the constancy of Repub dishonesty, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up the week?