House Passes CROmnibus; Legislators Issue Statements

The Senate still has to do it’s part, but it appears that most of the government will be up and running until September 30th, the end of fiscal 2015. The $1.1 trillion spending package only funds the Department of Homeland Security until February, when conservatives hope they can defund the President’s executive action on immigration.

Getting the bill passed brought together some strange bedfellows, with Barack Obama, John Boehner and Harry Reid pushing for passage, and Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi and Tea Party representatives in opposition. You could see the same pattern in the Georgia vote, where the vote was ten yeas and four nays, with dissenting votes coming from Republicans Paul Broun and Austin Scott, and Democrats Hank Johnson and John Lewis.

Find out what Georgia’s Representatives had to say after the vote was taken below the fold.

6th District Congressman Tom Price:

This legislation is the result of divided government, and yet it will allow the newly elected and strengthened Republican majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives next Congress to start the year off with a relatively clean slate and with the opportunity to continue our efforts to hold President Obama accountable for his unlawful violation of our immigration laws. Right now, the Democrat majority in the Senate – as it has all Congress – is going to continue to run interference for the president until they no longer can. They made that clear earlier this summer when the House first passed legislation to prohibit the president’s executive overreach, and the Democrat Senate, characteristically, shelved the proposal. There’s no reason to believe those on the other side of the aisle plan to change their tune in the next few days.

The manner in which President Obama has trampled on the Constitution demands Congress use every legitimate tool and realistic avenue at our disposal to protect the rule of law. We believe the American people have a right to live in a nation governed by laws, not executive fiat, which is why we have put in place a short-term extension of Homeland Security funding so that Congress must confront this issue in the new year when we have a stronger hand to play.

By passing an omnibus rather than another continuing resolution, Congress has been able to make substantive changes and updates to how, where and when government spends taxpayer dollars. This includes provisions like the amendment I offered earlier this year to the Financial Services appropriation bill that prohibits funds from being used by the IRS to ignore regulations that protect the confidentiality and disclosure of taxpayer information. Moreover, it means the new Republican majority will begin next year’s budget process in an orderly and responsible fashion as we seek to enact positive solutions to address the nation’s fiscal and economic challenges.

7th District Congressman Rob Woodall

Congress and the American people have debated a number of different paths to try to hold President Obama accountable for his executive overreach. While there is still disagreement on which path is best, the path that we took in the House tonight is the first step to get us there. First and foremost, this bill holds the line on spending, implementing a spending level that is even lower than the one proposed in the original ‘too conservative to pass’ Paul Ryan budget. Additionally, the bill implements conservative priorities such as an increase in pay and funding for our troops, as well as accountability measures for the IRS and EPA.

While the bill implements restraints on executive overreach in many areas, it could not turn off the funding stream that the President intends to use for his executive actions on immigration. As conservatives, we have all been very frustrated by recent attempts at unilateral lawmaking by the Obama Administration. There is a misconception, however, that if we shut down the government that we can prevent him from acting. A government shutdown can’t stop him. His actions are funded with money that he raises through fees, so regrettably he can and will continue his unilateral efforts whether the government is funded or not. We must find another way.

Rather than having America’s attention focused on a government shutdown, we can shine the spotlight on the President’s egregious executive actions. By funding most of government for the long-term, but limiting funding to two months for the Department of Homeland Security—the agency planning to implement the President’s unilateral action—we will be able to narrow the entire funding conversation for the new Congress to this one department. The House, with a willing partner in the Senate having been sworn in, can then begin to move legislation to stop this President’s actions. With smart, targeted bills we will partner with the American people to restore Constitutional order.

“Having a willing partner in the Senate isn’t ‘something’; it is ‘everything’. The House passed its funding bills beginning last May; but the Senate never passed a single funding bill all year. The American people can be certain that the new Senate sworn in this January will not repeat the current Senate’s inaction. The House can neither run the government nor rein in the President alone. Help is on the way in January, and it isn’t coming one day too soon.


10th District Congressman Paul Broun
(via Facebook)

I voted NO against the $1.1 trillion CRomnibus tonight because the bill does nothing to stop President Obama’s unilateral executive amnesty, and continues to spend money we do not have. Congress should be using their Constitutional power of the purse to block the President’s immigration plans through the appropriations process – not bowing down to Harry Reid after a sweeping Republican win at the ballot box. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to reject this misguided bill – and to use their Constitutional authority to stop the President’s attempts to grant legal status to those who have broken the laws and come to this country illegally.

14th District Congressman Tom Graves

For years, we have battled the Obama Administration on many fronts. Every few months, a new crisis, scandal or outrage overtakes the national conversation. I know that people are sick of all the talk. They want action. By passing this bill, we are taking concrete action on a long list of major issues. We are finally securing wins on Obamacare, the IRS scandal, the VA crisis, EPA overreach, Benghazi, privacy rights, Common Core, Second Amendment rights, the sanctity of life and many other issues that deeply concern my constituents. The bill certainly isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t solve every problem, but there’s a reason why House Democrats said they were being ‘taken to the cleaners.’

I also supported an amendment that sought to block executive amnesty. While it was not approved, I believe our incoming House and Senate majorities will be in a strong position to stop the president. Under this bill, funding for immigration-related agencies expires in February, but the rest of the government is funded through September. That means the president will not be able to hide behind the threat of a shutdown. He will not be able to scare America’s seniors over social security or threaten our veterans’ health benefits. The president will be left to defend his executive amnesty alone, and I believe we will win.

Given that Congreeman Price is getting ready to take over the leadership of the House Budget Committee, Woodall is chairman of the Republican Study Committee and Broun has been a vocal opponent of the spending package, it’s understandable the three would issue statements. We’ll keep an eye out for others, and will update accordingly.

51 comments

  1. John Konop says:

    ……The controversial provision lets taxpayer-insured banks conduct the sort of derivatives trading that Dodd-Frank barred them from engaging in after the 2008 financial meltdown…….

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/11/government-shutdown-avoid_n_6312078.html

    I would love to hear why anybody would supports this? It makes no sense a private company gets all the upside…..and the majority of the downside is put on tax payers if the deal goes bad. This allows banks to lever at ridiculous levels of risk……this is how we had banks at over 50 to 1 in the last crisis…..Warned about this before the last melt down….

    • TheEiger says:

      “Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, contended that the doom and gloom was overblown. Scott said based on his reading of the Dodd-Frank law, which he helped craft as a member of the House Financial Services Committee, protections for deposit holders and taxpayers will stand despite the changes:”

      “The Paul Volcker rule states unequivocally that no bank customers’ money, or funds, that are are in their accounts, in banks’ accounts, can be used for proprietary trading, which means that’s safe. … Secondly, Barney Frank and I wrote the amendment that is in the first thing in the Frank bill that no taxpayer money can be used to bail out banks. So the taxpayers are protected.”

      http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2014/12/11/most-georgians-back-1-1-trillion-spending-bill-as-it-clears-house/

      • John Konop says:

        The issue is the leverage the banks takes is guaranteed by tax payers….

        …….Derivatives can be used to acquire risk, rather than to hedge against risk. Thus, some individuals and institutions will enter into a derivative contract to speculate on the value of the underlying asset, betting that the party seeking insurance will be wrong about the future value of the underlying asset. Speculators look to buy an asset in the future at a low price according to a derivative contract when the future market price is high, or to sell an asset in the future at a high price according to a derivative contract when the future market price is less……..

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derivative_(finance)

      • TheEiger says:

        I think that this was an extremely large bill. There are quite a few things that I like. Like the things I mentioned above. Not everything in it was great.

        And to be honest, on the issue of the the Dodd-Frank provisions that you keep bringing up I believe David Scott and not you. It’s pretty simple.

        • John Konop says:

          LOL LOL….. Do you have any idea who Khan is? You would take a politician who never did this in the REAL WORLD…over a genius…who did it very successfully for years in the REAL WORLD…..LOL,LOL….you would trust David Scott over Khan….LOL…..you know better….You know he had ran one of the top funds in the country….

          …..Salman Khan was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.[5] His father Dr. Fakhrul Amin Khan is from Barisal, Bangladesh and his mother Masuda Khan is from Kolkata, India.

          Khan attended the public school Grace King High School in Metairie, Louisiana, where, as he recalls, “a few classmates were fresh out of jail and others were bound for top universities.”[6]

          Khan attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and computer science, and a Master of Science in electrical engineering and computer science in 1998.[7] Khan was class president in his senior year.[8]

          Khan also holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.[9][10]….

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Business_School

          http://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain/core-finance/current-economics/credit-crisis/v/credit-default-swaps?_escaped_fragment_=

          • TheEiger says:

            Yes, I know who Khan is. Do I think he knows what was in the bill that passed last night or do I think David Scott (the guy that helped write this provision within the original Dodd-Frank bill) knows what was in the bill that passed last night. I take David Scott again.

              • TheEiger says:

                What no more educational videos that have nothing to do with the legislation that passed? I’ll post it one more time.

                “The Paul Volcker rule states unequivocally that no bank customers’ money, or funds, that are are in their accounts, in banks’ accounts, can be used for proprietary trading, which means that’s safe. … Secondly, Barney Frank and I wrote the amendment that is in the first thing in the Frank bill that no taxpayer money can be used to bail out banks. So the taxpayers are protected.”

                • John Konop says:

                  You know that is BS! 70% of lending is backed by tax payers…..We are bailing out loans everyday that go bad ….You know better….With a straight face you really want us to believe you had no idea what happens with a FHA, VA….loan when it goes bad? LOL

                  • TheEiger says:

                    Yes, I know the difference. Please give me the page number, section and line of the bill that passed last night that backs up what you are saying. Please.

                    • John Konop says:

                      The bill allows banks a “provision would allow these big banks to trade derivatives through subsidiaries that are federally insured by the FDIC” Are you saying this is false?

                      …..If the quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble implodes, who should be stuck with the bill? Well, if the “too big to fail” banks have their way it will be you and I. Right now, lobbyists for the big Wall Street banks are pushing really hard to include an extremely insidious provision in a bill that would keep the federal government funded past the upcoming December 11th deadline. This provision would allow these big banks to trade derivatives through subsidiaries that are federally insured by the FDIC. What this would mean is that the big banks would be able to continue their incredibly reckless derivatives trading without having to worry about the downside. If they win on their bets, the big banks would keep all of the profits. If they lose on their bets, the federal government would come in and bail them out using taxpayer money. In other words, it would essentially be a “heads I win, tails you lose” proposition.

                      Just imagine the following scenario. I go to Las Vegas and I place a million dollar bet on who will win the Super Bowl this year. If I am correct, I keep all of the winnings. If I lose, federal law requires you to bail me out and give me the million dollars that I just lost…

                      http://goldgoliath.com/new-law-would-make-taxpayers-potentially-liable-for-trillions-in-derivatives-losses-economic-collapse-blog/

                    • TheEiger says:

                      No page number for the rider? I honestly would like to read the language that passed. I know how the FDIC works, but again thank you for the lectures. Forgive me if I’m not screaming from the top of my lungs that the world is going to come crashing down because of this bill.

                    • John Konop says:

                      It is sad as part of the team that brought down the last crisis you make jokes….As a government employee…I get no big deal to you….Most people have way more on the line than YOU….

                • saltycracker says:

                  FDIC (before the bill)

                  Understanding Deposit Insurance

                  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is an independent agency of the United States government that protects the funds depositors place in banks and savings associations. FDIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Since the FDIC was established in 1933, no depositor has lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds.

                  FDIC insurance covers all deposit accounts, including:
                  Checking accounts
                  Savings accounts
                  Money market deposit accounts
                  Certificates of deposit

                  FDIC insurance does not cover other financial products and services that banks may offer, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance policies, annuities or securities.

                  The standard insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category.

            • John Konop says:

              You get David Scott was talking about “no bank customers’ money, or funds, that are in their accounts, in banks’ accounts” not the risk of the transaction used for leverage? Do you understand CDS is used as insurance to do more loans when banks do not have proper capital? If we tax payers guarantee the CDS than we are leveraging our risk with way less coverage? Do you understand the difference?

              • TheEiger says:

                Yes, I know the difference. Please give me the page number, section and line of the bill that passed last night that backs up what you are saying. Please.

                  • TheEiger says:

                    So this provision passed the House earlier with 292 votes. Thanks. Again, Dodd-Frank is horrible. The whole thing should be repealed and congress should start over. Can you tell me how many small community banks in Georgia have failed due to Dodd-frank? A lot.

                    • John Konop says:

                      Watch the video from the genuios Kahn…he said the same thing I said before the last crisis when I warned, about this when you called me chicken little….please don’t let facts get in the way you feel about the issue….I am sure you know way more than Kahn and I……

                  • TheEiger says:

                    This is a great quote from the very liberal Rep Jim Himes from the floor debate on H.R. 992. We will remember that HR 992 was passed with 292 bipartisan votes and became the section in the Omnibus bill that you think will be the end of the world as we know it.

                    “H.R. 992 says that those derivatives–the currency derivatives, the commodity derivatives, the equity swaps, all of these complicated things that weren’t anywhere close to the meltdown of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and the challenges at Citibank and at JPMorgan Chase–will not be subject to a very aggressive measure saying that banks cannot trade in those derivatives. Now, banks trade in derivatives because they support their clients and trade. I emphasize “trade” because one of their clients will borrow $100 million to build in Japan. That exposes him to yen risk. Maybe I don’t want to take yen risk, and maybe the same guy who lent me the money can help me offload that risk. That is the idea. H.R. 992 in no way allows for the risky derivatives–the collateralized bond obligations, all of those real estate derivatives–to come back into the banking environment, and it in no way permits, as the chairman has said a number of times, a bailout of banks because of derivatives.”

                    You can read his entire floor speech here. http://votesmart.org/public-statement/825466/swaps-regulatory-improvement-act#.VI9OGntNpU8

                    • John Konop says:

                      The Eiger,

                      You would use a floor speech from a politician rather than the wording of the bill? LOL….You are a loyal soldier…..It would be nice if you thought of us small people once in while, verse your boss in congress… Hey I get it, your pay check…

                      …….(2)Definitions.—

                      For purposes of this subsection:

                      (A)Structured finance swap.—

                      The term “structured finance swap” means a swap or security-based swap based on an asset-backed security (or group or index primarily comprised of asset-backed securities).

                      (B)Asset-backed security.—

                      The term “asset-backed security” has the meaning given such term under section 3(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a))…………..

                      https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr992/text

                    • John Konop says:

                      HUH? I warned you guys the first time…..All I got was you leading the parade calling me “chicken little”….economy than BLOWS UP! Now the second time, you want to forget how the bill is worded, and go by trust me? LOL

    • Jon Richards says:

      I didn’t include this with Rep. Price’s statement, but with it, he provided this list of what the CROmnibus does and doesn’t do:

      Additional Highlights in the bill:
      • Returns discretionary spending to pre-Speaker Pelosi levels.
      • Reduces funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by $345 million.
      • Bans the IRS from targeting those individuals and organizations who are simply seeking to exercise their freedom of speech.
      • Cuts funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by $60 million. The 21 percent reduction in EPA funding since FY2010 means the agency will be forced to reduce its staff size to 1989 levels.
      • Supports America’s commitment to our ally Israel by including $3.1 billion in aid.
      • Prohibits funds from being used to transfer detainees from the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
      • Prohibits the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from implementing regulations that would allow union organizing rules to circumvent the rights of workers.
      • Provides no new funding for ObamaCare, and cuts $10 million from the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) – an unelected board of 15 bureaucrats given authority to address rising health care costs by denying care to seniors.
      • Provides needed oversight of ObamaCare’s tax subsidies by directing the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Treasury to report back on any waste, fraud or abuse.

      • saltycracker says:

        IRS – so instead of addressing our tax code we gut the enforcement ? Leaving only the compliant to tote the load ?

        Same for the EPA, gitmo, obamacare, senior care, don’t think about it, gut funding ?

        And for other dept’s, give us a report on the fraud and waste ?

        The stunning move is derivative risk covered by the FDIC !

        Each party needs to get to work on the blame game.

        • blakeage80 says:

          I had some of these same thoughts, salty. This bill seems likely to only cause confusion by gutting enforcement of rules. Where are these extra dollars going? Will the federal government start on Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball plan? 🙂 I guess, though, since its all borrowed money anyway it just cuts the deficit spending some. This bill does nothing for our wallet. Only people that want to avoid taxes and fines. If the IPAB is underfunded, what’s going to happen? More delays in healthcare decisions. Anyway, the bill stinks. At least my Congressman, Paul Broun, voted in my interest by trying to keep it from coming to the House floor. Despite all the hate he gets here (unfairly) he has consistently voted in the interest of his constituency.

          • Andrew C. Pope says:

            As a fellow Broun constituent, I can assure you that the good doctor very rarely votes in the interest of his constituency.

            Do his votes generally line up with the views of the large swaths of mouth breathers that make up the 10th outside of Clarke & Oconee? Yes.

            Does the fact his votes line up with the ideology of his supporters mean that his votes are in the best interest of his constituents? Heck no.

            Broun votes the way he does because he holds a view of the Constitution that even Clarence Thomas would consider narrow. For the past 7 years, his only “accomplishments” have been the proposal of show pony legislation that allows him to thump his chest back home and making a buffoon of himself at public appearances. Can anyone name a single legislative accomplishment? No, because there isn’t a whole lot of respect for him amongst his peers and there certainly isn’t a willingness by many in the House to associate themselves with the guy most famous for calling Obama a Nazi.

            The fact he’s still hunting for a job shows the extent to which his very public wing-nuttery has made him a pariah. K street knows this guy has no influence and sway in the House. Fox News knows he can be incendiary, but they also know doesn’t have anything unique to say or anything in his background which would give him any air of legitimacy.

            Ugh, sorry for the rant. But I honestly can’t abide anyone thinking Paul Broun has actually done something positive with his time in Congress.

  2. saltycracker says:

    Some of the smartest financial folks in the world and all the ratings agencies didn’t see any big risk involved in the bond tranches as mortgages were leveraged. The risk/complexity associated with derivatives makes mortgage leveraging pale by comparison and as he said, beyond the scope of folks like Buffett (who made good use of the mortgage carnage). We can get through about anything other than the collapse of our financial system. As we learned, the carnage will feed on itself as liquidation has to come regardless of the underlying value.
    Bottom line, public monies are not high risk assets, ever.

    Maybe Charlie would like to weigh in on this.

    • notsplost says:

      The bottom line is you cannot predict black swans, by definition. Nothing banks do except taking plain vanilla deposits from savers/checking accounts/CD’s should ever be backstopped by the taxpayers.

      And it is telling to note how hard Obama fought to save the Cromnibus and more specifically, one small rider in a 1000+ page bill. How hard would it have been for him (or Boehner) to allow an amendment to strike the rider, which should have passed overwhelmingly and allowed the full bill to pass without a nail-biter?

      Everyone who voted yes is drunk with power and wall street cash. A “parliament of whores” as P.J. O’Rourke aptly put it.

  3. Three Jack says:

    GOP didn’t waste much time flipping the bird to all those who voted for them while simultaneously sucking up to Wall Streeters in one bill. So now government is fully funded til September thus rendering any serious attempts at reform dead.

  4. All I got out of these fine political elected middle aged white males is that they vow, not to solve any problems, not to forge any new legislation that creates jobs or opportunities. Nothing to cut the bloated defense budget, or even pretending they care about spending or the general welfare.

    They want to protect the country from that guy. The Moooooooooooooooooooslum.

    Less Unity. More Division. That’s the GOP Brand

    *golf clap* the slide into oblivion is going to get steeper in the South for the GOP. After all, the South, places where cowboys live, and some well crafted gerrymanders is all you really have now.

    Yes, please, keep up your gaylike mancrush on POTUS, the man you just LOVE to hate. It is SO good for the country.

    Edit: If something tragic happened and Biden became POTUS there would be such an outpouring of bipartisanship, it would be sickening.

  5. saltycracker says:

    Eiger, maybe this will help on the bill proporting to not bail out banks but the customers via FDIC. Banks are now in a position to gamble big, really big, with taxpayer guaranteed funds in hopes of profiting nicely.
    But with the too bigs, bigger than ever, no bail money ?, that’s a lie. The leverage potential now is insane and we will not shut down our banking system, Iceland ? Why can’t we seperate out the commercial banks from FDIC banks ?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlenzner/2014/12/13/wall-street-reverses-ban-on-trading-derivatives-backed-by-uncle-sam/

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