Webb, Warner Vote for Budget Commission

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Here's the roll call vote on the Conrad-Gregg bipartisan budget commission legislation. Both of Virginia's U.S. Senators, Jim Webb and Mark Warner, voted "aye" on the legislation. Joining Webb and Warner were 35 other Democrats, including many of the "Blue Dogs" - Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu, Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson - but also liberals like Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, Edward Kaufman, John Kerry, Carl Levin, Chuck Schumer, etc. The "nay" votes were also scattered ideologically. In the end, the vote received 53 votes but required 60 to pass, so it didn't make it. Just another day in the U.S. Senate, in other words. Heh.

By the way, I find it fascinating that 23 Republicans voted against this bill (16 voted yes), the stated purpose of which is "to assure the long-term fiscal stability and economic security of the Federal Government of the United States, and to expand future prosperity and growth for all Americans." Of course, Republicans have always been long on rhetoric and short on action when it comes to "long-term fiscal stability and economic security." Recall that during the Bush administration, Republicans managed to turn large surpluses (inherited from Bill Clinton) into enormous deficits as far as the eye could see. Republicans did this by going on a spending spree (see the Cato Institute report, "The Republican Spending Explosion", combined with tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans plus the decision to fight two wars without asking anyone to pay for them. The end result: Bush and the Republicans managed to add $5 trillion to the national debt, without even investing it in America's infrastructure (transportation, power grids, etc.) or "human capital" (education, health care). Now, when they have a chance to vote on something you'd think they'd love - a "bipartisan budget commission" - most of them vote "nay." Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican.

P.S. Speaking of Republican hypocrisy, Frank Wolf was for a bipartisan budget commission, "but now he opposes it simply because a Democratic president is in favor of it."

UPDATE: Check out this video.