Telegraphing A Shutdown?

I’m not very good at specific predictions but this sure looks like a signal that the GOP is gearing up for a shutdown of government. If the only problem is pork why does the earmark-free alternative proposal also need to be temporary? Thune allegedly has Presidential ambitions, so this could be more about a chance for him to grandstand and gets his “brand” out there a bit more rather than an indication of GOP strategy as a whole. But I wouldn’t bet on it — and let’s not fall into false dichotomies. It could be both, after all.

Senate Democrats have filed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that would fund the government through fiscal year 2011, according to Senate GOP sources.

The 1,924-page bill includes funding to implement the sweeping healthcare reform bill Congress passed earlier this year as well as additional funds for Internal Revenue Service agents, according to a senior GOP aide familiar with the legislation.

The package drew a swift rebuke from Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

“The attempt by Democrat leadership to rush through a nearly 2,000-page spending bill in the final days of the lame-duck session ignores the clear will expressed by the voters this past election,” Thune said in a statement. “This bill is loaded up with pork projects and should not get a vote. Congress should listen to the American people and stop this reckless spending.”

Thune has called for a short-term funding measure free of earmarks to keep the government operating beyond Dec. 18, when the current continuing resolution expires.

via Senate Dems unveil $1.1T spending bill – TheHill.com.

And my god, the obsession with page counts has to end. It’s a fucking omnibus bill, f course it’s going to be huge!  Could the media add just a tiny bit of context, perhaps explaining in a bit more detail what an omnibus bill is and why it’s gigantic by definition? I’m asking for maybe two extra sentences; you’d think that wouldn’t be so hard to accomplish, but it’s really mind-blowing how bad the treatment of this is. I saw one article that broke down the cost-per-page, as though that somehow proved a point of any sort.

Wow, a bill that contains a full year’s worth of spending bills that’ve been kicked down the road until the last possible second has lotsa pages? And it contains lots of spending? And it’s being passed just in time to keep government funded? It’s almost like the exact definition of an omnibus. And by the way: it turns out oranges are orange! What a fucking revelation.

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