Budgets, Lies and Pinky Swear Politics

As the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill looked like it would go down to defeat in a procedural vote Thursday night, Republican leaders in the House reached out to rank-and-file republicans for the votes needed to save it from defeat – with the help of a pretty big lie.

So says Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) who accused House Republican leaders of backing out of a deal to allow the bill to go forward on a procedural vote with one condition.

The condition was straightforward.

Once the omnibus spending bill passed the procedural hurdle, House Speaker John Boehner would pull it and replace it with short-term continuing resolution to keep the government open past January 2.

By then, the new Congress – with Republicans firmly in charge of both the House and Senate – could bargain with the Obama Administration from a position of strength on amnesty, ObamaCare and other contentious issues.

Apparently the House leadership’s assurances that the bill would be replaced by a short continuing resolution was based on a “pinky swear”. Once the procedural vote passed, the bill was sent straight to the floor where it passed 219-206, with 162 Republicans and 57 Democrats voting in favor.

In a statement released late last night, Rep, Stutzman said:

The Omnibus spending bill “does many things but what is most important is what it does not do. It fails to directly address President Obama’s dangerous executive action on immigration and fails to include many of the solutions that could have been passed in January with a Republican House and Senate in an open process.

“Earlier today, I supported the Rule because I was informed by Leadership that the (omnibus) was dead and a short term CR would take its place. I was very surprised and even more disappointed to see the (omnibus) back on the floor.”

Rep. Stutzman was elected to a third term on November 4 after winning a contentious primary against two republican challengers.