Senator Kent Conrad has finally made it clear that he has no intentions of passing a budget resolution. He will offer the “Simpson-Bowles plan” without allowing any amendments or even a committee vote, much less a floor vote. That’s some budget resolution. Without a budget resolution to guide the topline spending numbers, the Senate Appropriations Committee has already begun markups on the 12 appropriations bills at the subcommittee level.
It goes without saying that Senate Republicans wouldn’t reward this behavior by voting for their approps bills – spending bills that fail to eliminate a single wasteful program or agency within the burgeoning government bureaucracy. There is no way they would help grant Harry Reid superior leverage over their allies in the House like they did last year, right?
Of the 14 Republicans on the full committee, which includes Mitch McConnell, there is only one conservative. That would be the most junior senator, Ron Johnson. As CQ reports, Ron Johnson was the only no vote against the Transportation-HUD (subcommittee roster) and Commerce-Justice Science (subcommittee roster) approps bills – the first two spending bills considered yesterday. Those bills are typically approved by voice vote, but Johnson forced a roll call recorded vote on the spending bills.
Republicans who are too scared to declare which department they would be willing to cut usually opt for individual expenditures like Amtrak, when pressed to offer specific cuts. These bills continue to fund numerous wasteful and unconstitutional programs, including failed entities like Amtrak.
If there are any more leaks about Ron Johnson, we’ll know where they’re coming from.