President Obama had a word of advice for liberal Democrats who are furious that he cut a deal with congressional Republicans and Democratic leaders to pass a $1.1 trillion spending deal: buck up.
In comments today at a White House conference on the fight against Ebola, Obama said that the massive spending package, which included two amendments on campaign finance and Wall Street regulations that Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren and other liberal Democrats viewed as poison pills, are a sign of the changing times in Washington now that Republicans are taking control of the Congress.
“This by definition was a compromise bill,” Obama said. “This is what’s produced when you have a divided government that the American people voted for.”
“There are a bunch of provisions in this bill that I really do not like,” he added. “On the other hand there are provisions in this bill and the basic funding in this bill to make sure that we continue making progress in providing health insurance to all Americans, make sure that we continue with our efforts to combat climate change and we’re able to expand early childhood education that makes a meaningful difference in communities all across the country.”
“And so overall this legislation allows us to build on the economic progress and the national security progress that’s important,” he said. “And if I had been able to draft my own legislation and get it passed without any Republican votes, I suspect it would be slightly different.... I think what the American people very much are looking for...is the willingness to compromise.”
However, among some Senate Democrats there is considerable anger and bitterness over the bill’s inclusion of a major loosening of campaign finance laws and a provision to roll back a significant element of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2014. There were signs late Friday that rather than pass the House’s spending bill quickly, the Senate may take some time to get the legislation passed.
Friday afternoon, Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), speaking in a nearly empty chamber, introduced and passed by unanimous consent a bill that will extend the funding of the federal government under existing authority through Wednesday of next week.
A spokesperson in the office of Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said that the extension had nothing to do with the House.
“This was done purely to accommodate the Senate,” she said. “It’s to give them time to process the [spending] bill. We’re done.”
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