WASHINGTON, D.C. – With all of the hullabaloo over immigration bill muck ups and manufactured controversy about family detention policies, you might have missed the fact that the U.S. Senate failed to pass legislation this week that would have cut dead-wood spending out of the federal budget.
Democrats, of course, all voted against spending cuts. That makes sense. But Republicans have a majority, so what gives? Well, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina gives… conservatives and taxpayers the one finger salute.
“Senators voted Wednesday to block President Trump’s $15.4 billion spending cuts package, with lawmakers saying it trimmed the budget too much.
Brushing aside administration promises that the cuts were chiefly to money that was never going to be spent, the Senate voted 50-48 to keep the bill bottled up. Two Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine and Richard Burr of North Carolina — joined Democrats to defeat the package.“
Seriously? Even Sen. Thom ‘RINO’ Tillis voted for this bill and Burr just can’t bring himself to cut those precious budgets of useless, or dangerous, government programs.
Getting government to actually cut spending, or at least spending growth, is one of the hardest feats on the face of the planet to achieve. Republicans are right there, with $15 billion in taxpayer savings in their sights and two Big Government types spoil it.
So, what was Burr’s justification for torpedoing the spending cuts? According to the Wall Street Journal, he had a problem with cuts to a giant slush fund called the Land Conservation Fund. How much of a cut? $16 million.
“Mr. Burr revolted over a line item about the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a rescission he wanted stripped from the package, and so he blocked even a debate. Mr. Burr could have moved to strike the item on the floor and he might have succeeded. The conservation program is largely a slush fund for government land grabs, but it’s politically untouchable because it reminds people of Old Faithful and camping trips.
Mr. Burr thus tanked a $15 billion package over a $16 million rescission, and only after putting his GOP colleagues on the record for a tough vote.”
Burr has said this is his last term as a Senator, his term expiring in 2022. It should be, whether he chooses to run for reelection or not. With any luck, a real conservative can take his place.
Read more here.