Reid Ignores Economy to Force Vote on Pork Laden Omnibus Lands Bill
Democrat Majority Leader has allowed a vote on only 1 Republican amendment in last 6 months
January 9, 2009 – Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made the following statement regarding Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nevada) decision to hold the first vote of the 111th Congress this Sunday on a massive omnibus lands bill that contains numerous wasteful earmarks:
“This Sunday charade is proof that while President-Elect Obama talks about change and bipartisanship, the Senate Majority Leader is stuck in the partisan past. Instead of focusing on the economy, he has dusted off a pork laden lobbyist-giveaway bill from the previous Congress,” said Senator DeMint.
“This bill is 1,294 pages of pork, land-grabs, and other special interest goodies. According to the Congressional Research Service, many provisions of this bill are quite controversial. Many others are just plain ridiculous, such as $3.5 million to help celebrate the 450th birthday of St. Augustine Florida — in 2015, $5 million for botanical gardens in Hawaii and Florida, a $14 million tropical research institute in Panama, and a $12 million orchid museum in Maryland. And according to Americans for Tax Reform, Reid’s omnibus would hurt American energy by ending exploration on lands that are estimated to provide 300 million barrels of proven oil and 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
“Senator Coburn reached out to the Majority Leader last week and asked whether he would be able to offer a limited number of reasonable amendments to the bill, as is his right as a senator. The Majority Leader’s response: Nothing. Not even one amendment to strike wasteful programs.
“The Senate has only voted on one Republican amendment in the last six months, and it is clear that Senator Reid is returning to business as usual.
“The Democrat Leader runs the Senate like a kindergarten. If we don’t follow his instructions, he keeps the whole class after school.
“Tom Coburn has an election certificate from the people of Oklahoma, and he has the same right to the floor as the Majority Leader. He is a hero and he will have my full support every step of the way as he fights for the American taxpayer,” said Senator DeMint.