The $1.1 trillion measure combines much of the year's unfinished budget work... into a 1,000-plus-page spending bill that would give the Education Department, the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and others increases far exceeding inflation.
The 60-34 vote met the minimum threshold to end the GOP filibuster. A final vote was set for Sunday afternoon to send the measure to President Barack Obama.
The measure combines $447 billion in operating budgets with about $650 billion in mandatory payments for federal benefit programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. It wraps together six individual spending bills and also contains more than 5,000 back-home projects...
Would those be the billions in wasteful spending that used to be called "earmarks"?
The very same projects that candidate Barack Obama promised to scrutinize, stating "...we need earmark reform... when I'm president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely."?
But there isn't enough money to defend the homeland against illegal aliens who are arrested for criminal activity, so Congress is slashing spending on that program.
California and other financially strapped states will lose tens of millions of federal dollars that they spend to jail illegal immigrants charged with crimes, under Congress' latest spending bill...
...Overall, spending for the program would fall from $400 million to $330 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, or SCAAP, which President Barack Obama had targeted for elimination. It's a formula grant program that provides aid to states and localities for correctional officer salary costs incurred for jailing criminal undocumented immigrants.
To be clear: Congress is able to devote billions of taxpayer funds for 5,000 of their pork-filled earmark projects but can't locate $70 million for a program that has bipartisan support in the states most affected by gang and other criminal activities conducted by illegal aliens. It may be trite to say that innocent people will assuredly die because of this ill-considered decision; but it's also spot-on.
These irresponsible Democrats are useless, sixties-retread radicals; and they need to be thrown out of office in 2010. They have clearly violated their oaths of office -- and the first duty of all elected officials -- to defend and uphold the Constitution.