RUSH: I checked the e-mail during the break, and there’s a lot of confusion. No. “Confusion” is the wrong word. There’s a lot of curiosity. Where do we stand on this thing now? It’s a legitimate question because the way this has been reported is that it’s a done deal. It’s a done deal because the House voted for the rule and then voted for the whole thing and it’s done and it’s considered a rubber stamp in the Senate and so it’s done. But it isn’t yet, is the thing. The media’s reporting that it’s done, but it’s really not, and all eyes are focused on Elizabeth Warren. And the question is, can she stop it?
Now, everything I mentioned in the previous hour’s true. Obama and Steny Hoyer and Biden, these guys are all helping Boehner, all the Democrats are doing everything they can to help Boehner, or did do everything they could to help Boehner get the votes that he needed in the House. It was the strangest thing. So now, the attention shifts focus to the Senate, and the question there is, “Can Democrats in the Senate still scuttle this thing?” And the answer is yes. They could still scuttle the deal, but they can’t do it alone. And there’s the rub.
They’re going to need some help from Republicans if the Senate is to stop this from happening. Now, what we’re talking about is the $1.1 trillion, it’s called the omnibus spending or cromnibus, and some people have even given to calling it the crimenibus because they think it’s an outrage the way it’s happening. It really is a piece of legislation that is in stark, in-your-face opposition to the people who voted this past November.
The American people want no part of this, or very little of it. The Washington establishment doesn’t care, and a lot of people are fuming, and rightfully feeling that, well, what, did the election not matter? And I’ll tell you, the answer to that question is a question a lot of people don’t want to hear the answer to.
So here’s where we are. A little help from Fox News. They’ve had some analysts looking at this trying to figure out where it goes from here. Now, last night, both the House and the Senate passed a two-day continuing resolution to keep the government running and avoid a partial shutdown. The House also passed the omnibus, this $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds the remaining nine and a half months of the government’s fiscal year through September 30th.
Now, stop there for a moment. A lot of people think that’s asinine. The Republicans just won a landslide election. Why do a bill that funds the government for the rest of this fiscal year, which basically takes a year away from Republicans and the power they have over the budget next year and the year after the Republicans won the show and run the budget if they want to, albeit with Obama. So why punt one of those two years, which is what’s happened by going for the omnibus to fund it all the way through.
The Republican establishment’s answer to that, “Well, you know, we need to fund the government and then take care of that because the president will present his budget in February for 2016 and that’s where we’ll fight.” And a bunch of us frankly are getting real tired of the Republicans saying let’s go ahead and let this happen now and in a couple of months that’s when we’ll kick butt. They never kick butt, is the problem.
So what happened is, the House passes the omnibus bill that funds the remaining nine and a half months of the federal fiscal year, but funding immigration programs for just three months, which will allow Republicans to try to roll back Obama’s executive amnesty after the Senate is in Republicans’ hands.
Now, the House’s move punted the ball over to the Senate for final passage and then Obama’s signature. But that’s not as easy as it seems with Elizabeth Warren lurking in the weeds. The Senate convened at ten o’clock this morning but had to first finish the National Defense Authorization Act, and time will run out on that bill sometime this afternoon. Until the must-pass military measure is finished, Harry Reid cannot file cloture to move to the vote on the spending package, and he needs 60 votes for it. They can’t get to it ’til this afternoon, ’til they finish this military funding thing, which is a mass requirement.
And this afternoon becomes the critical or crucial moment for the bill, because if Elizabeth Warren, Fauxcahontas, and liberal senators get enough help from conservative Republicans opposed to the bill for other reasons, they could prevent it from advancing. It still could be stopped this afternoon. But nobody knows; nobody really has the lay of the land to know if that’s gonna happen or not. They have to find 41 votes to stop it. And finding 41 votes for what would essentially be a government shutdown is what the Drive-Bys think is impossible to do, because nobody wants to shut down the government.
Nobody wants to get blamed for shutting down the government. So if the bill is stopped, the end result’s a government shutdown, and that is the big obstacle that’s in the way, the abject fear of that. Now, it is reported that both conservatives and liberals have some additional options even after the thing passes, if it does. For example, a single senator, or a small group, could insist on using all 30 hours of debate time, which would pass the two-day emergency funding plan that was approved last night. Remember, it’s only just two days that they gave them.
Finding 41 votes is a tough thing because that’s a government shut down. But even at that, there’s still some other things they could do, like insist on full-fledged 30 hours of debate, which would then cause the current two-day spending measure to expire. That would force leaders to go back to the House for yet another emergency patch, if you will, say of another 48 hours to fund the government. You see how ridiculous this is getting? And another vote in the House would give conservatives, who they say they were lied to by House leaders into backing the emergency bill, a chance to redo their vote.
This takes us back to the Santa impersonator and Marlin Stutzman, who openly claims he was lied to about this. Just to refresh your memory, Stutzman was promised if he voted for the continuing resolution, the rule, not the ACR, but for the procedural vote, if he voted for the rule, that they would pull the omnibus and enact a 30-day continuing resolution to get the Republicans in power in both the House and the Senate and then start working on the omnibus, and they lied to him. They didn’t pull the omnibus.
So, again, if they get back to the House, if they have to go back to the House for another 48-hour emergency funding patch, that would give these conservatives who say they were lied to by House leaders into backing the emergency bill on the grounds that the bill was dead and buried, and with the shutdown threat revived, liberals and conservatives alike could make some additional demands, or at least use the time to try to find 51 Senators to vote against the final package.
Now, it must be said that while on paper this sounds like it could all shake out, the odds of it happening are said to be very unlikely. But the procedure provides some sticking points to bedevil the establishment, also some unhappy votes for ideological purists. The Senate could avoid this whole mess by invoking unanimous consent to vote on the big spending bill this afternoon. But if one Senator objects, then the whole decision is rejected, and that would mean that the Elizabeth Warren wing and the Republican rebels alike would all have to cave to some degree.
So this is an outline of what would have to happen to once again scuttle it or put some roadblocks up, and everybody involved thinks that all of this is really, really unlikely to happen. But it could still. A lot depends on Elizabeth Warren and just how big a flag she wants to plant on this. So we’ll just sit back and casually observe and see what happens. But the smart money is that it’s going to happen with no controversy whatsoever, that it’s practically already a fait accompli. I just wanted to tell you people sending me e-mails, “Is there still a way of stopping it?” I wanted to run down the ways for you that it could happen. But, again, the smart money says it’s not very likely.