The latest battle between Republicans and Democrats over the spending bill was anticlimactic in comparison to the past.
For starters, the drama really only lasted a week – a far shorter period of time than we’ve seen legislators go at it for in previous years. Further, the prospect of a government shutdown was always a long-shot as the Republican leadership never supported it in the first place.
There were some bold voices in favor of a shutdown, most notably Republican Senator Ted Cruz who claimed that last year’s shutdown over Obamacare didn’t hurt the party so why would one over immigration be any different. But after the House took their first vote against President Obama’s immigration actions earlier this month by passing a Tea Party bill 219 to 197, it was clear that a government shutdown wasn’t in the offing.
And that’s a good thing. For Democrats, Republicans and Americans.
Late last night, the House passed the $1.1 trillion spending bill by 219-206. Fifty-seven Democrats voted for the bill including members of the Democrat leadership like Steve Hoyer and Jim Clyburn, despite Nancy Pelosi’s crusade against it.
There is no question that the bill is flawed. The provision that rolls back regulation of the Dodd-Frank has serious consequences. The measure that relaxes some regulations on derivative trading for corporations – including big banks – brings to mind how we ended up in financial collapse in 2008. And the proviso that expands the amount of money individuals can give to national parties will certainly make worse a campaign finance environment that is already wildly out of control.
To be sure, these are legitimate concerns and Nancy Pelosi’s stand against the legislation – and the president in the process – is not without its merits. For perhaps the first time since President Obama was elected, Pelosi is now standing squarely against him and, in the process, as a leader of the liberal caucus with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“It’s quid pro quo,” Pelosi said on the House floor. “We gave Wall Street this gift. And on top of that, that we gave their donors, high-end donors, all the opportunity in the world to pour money into the process.”