On Saturday night the Senate held a vote on a $1.1 trillion dollar spending bill that many referred to as the CRomnibus. I voted against this bill because I oppose the cynical substance of the legislation. I also could not support the un-republican and undemocratic process by which a small collection of political and economic insiders crafted it, to benefit each other at everyone else’s expense. I also oppose the signal this bill sends to political insiders on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue; the signal it sends to special interest cronies on Wall Street and K Street; and the signal it sends to working families struggling on Main Streets across this country who have been waiting for a decade for someone in this city to start putting them first. Above all, this bill failed to exercise Congress’ power of the purse to prevent the president’s lawless executive amnesty.
However, I believe it is perfect. As a representation of everything wrong with Washington, D.C, and as an example of exactly the kind of unfair, unrepresentative legislating that triggered successive electoral waves of bipartisan condemnation in 2006, 2008, 2010, and again in 2014 – the CRomnibus is perfect.
More and more today in America, the people who work hard, play by the rules, and live within their means are being forced to subsidize political and economic elites who don’t.
The miserable process we have witnessed last week represents the last gasping throes of a discredited Washington status quo. Ten years ago, this bill would not have been controversial. Five years ago, an easy majority would have been purchased with earmarks. This week, with the full weight of both party’s leaderships, it barely made it over the finish line.
Change comes slowly, as we know. And it comes slowest to those institutions that make the rules.
But change is coming. The era of passing 1600-page bills, written in secret, via a process that includes lobbyists but excludes the American people is coming to an end. The era of big government rigging the rules for big business and big special interests while leaving everyone else behind is coming to an end.
A new era is coming, in which Washington will once again be forced to work for the American people instead of the other way around.
To those Americans who have watched with dismay what Congress did – and didn’t do – this week, who made their voices heard by flooding both sides of the aisle with phone calls and emails… take heart. It may not look like it today, but they are winning. America is winning.
The Beltway establishments of both parties are exhausted: out of ideas, and running out of time. Next year, a new unified Congress has an opportunity to reshape the national debate, to challenge Washington’s failing status quo and its failed champion in the Oval Office.
We can finally begin the hard, overdue work:
- of rescuing our economy from the grips of government dysfunction and political privilege;
- of rescuing our healthcare system from Obamacare;
- of reviving our education system and modernizing our transportation system;
- of fixing our broken immigration system;
- of ending special-interest manipulation of our tax system and reforming regulations to level the playing for small and new businesses.
Next year – just next month – we can begin to craft a new reform agenda to increase access to and opportunity within America’s middle class, an agenda that grows the economy and take-home pay, and an agenda that restores mobility and opportunity to working families and communities, while putting political and corporate elites back to work for everyone else.
And we can look to our own house, to reform the way Congress conducts the people’s business, the way we budget and spend the people’s money, so embarrassments like this CRomnibus are relics of a discredited past.
We can. And we will.
Via: Jen Kuznicki.