It’s hard to make sense of the baffling decision by Senate Republicans to negotiate a spending deal with the outgoing House Democratic majority.
Our senate sources tell us Republicans are agreeing to the fire hose of federal spending as a “retirement gift” to Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, who has served for decades in the Congress. Shelby receives some $650 million in bacon slabs for the state of Alabama. Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to simply build him a bronze statue? We have here what might be the most expensive “going away” present in American history.
The overall pork in the bill is reportedly $16 billion — being used to buy votes for $1.7 trillion in spending. So less than 0.1% of the spending total greases the skids for a massive Democratic spending bill. The late Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma used to call earmarks “the gateway drug to trillion dollar spending bills.” This omnibus budget bill is proving him right.