$3.55 Trillion Budget Passes; Hate Crime Bill Slides through House

The $3.55 trillion Obama budget — Senate Conference Resolution 13 — passed both the House and the Senate yesterday without one Republican vote in either chamber. Some Democrats joined Republicans in opposition but not in strong enough numbers to defeat the massive Democrat-concocted spending orgy.

“While families across the country are tightening their belts and carefully watching every dollar, Congress is on a trillion-dollar spending spree,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate minority leader. “Massive spending and crushing debt are not the answers to a recession, and neither are tax hikes on working families and job creators.”

Reconciliation language was included in the conference report that will allow Democrats to attempt to ram major pieces of legislation through the Senate without the 60 votes required to end a filibuster. Democrats are expected to use the “reconciliation” authority to push through the nationalized medicine with all of its horrors along with the federalization of higher education.

With the Minnesota senate seat still vacant, Democrats hold claim to 57 seats with two independents that caucus with the Democrats, bringing their total to 59.

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy’s health issues continue to cause angst for Democrats as the close numbers on the more radical pieces of legislation railroaded through thus far have, on occasion, forced the transport of the senator stricken with brain cancer to Washington to vote.

According to the summary of the budget conference report by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, the reconciliation language included in the conference report also leaves the door wide open for Democrats to attempt to use the reconciliation process to push through cap-and-trade using a gross distortion of this procedural maneuver.

From the report:

Abusing the Reconciliation Process. Despite their alleged resistance, Senate conferees swiftly caved to the House plan for using reconciliation to rush major changes in U.S. health care and student lending — and possibly including cap-and-trade as well — and they leverage these spending commitments with token $1-billion “savings” instructions over 5 years. Reconciliation is supposed to be used for controlling the size of government. This budget employs the process in an unprecedented way: to vastly expand the size and scope of government.”

The vote in the House broke 233-193 with no Republicans voting in favor of the budget and 17 Democrats breaking ranks to vote against with the Republicans. Seven members did not vote.

In the Senate, the vote was 53-43 in favor of passage. Senators Kennedy, Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) did not vote. [Sessions is in Alabama due to a death in his family.]

Freshly-minted Democrat Arlen Specter joined three of his Democrat colleagues in voting against the Obama budget. He is now officially the Democrats’ headache.

House Passes Hate Crimes Legislation

In yet another Democrat move toward the doubleplusungood Orwellian state, the House voted to pass federal hate crimes legislation yesterday that elevates one class of victims of crime for higher federal protections than everyone else based on any one of 30 definitions of sexual orientation including pedophiles, exhibitionists, necrophiliacs and those who choose bestiality as their sexual identity. While the bill was in committee, Democrats refused amendments to limit the scope of eligible sexual orientations for these claims, including the rejection of a bill specifically crafted to exclude a protected status for pedophiles.

“This bill designates in particular gender identity for federally protected status,” said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), chairman of the House Republican caucus. “Without, I might add, any evidence of any hate crimes occurring against individuals for gender identity.”

As HUMAN EVENTS reported yesterday, the hate crimes legislation creates many other horrors in addition to this new class of federally-protected crime victim.

The bill next moves to the Senate for consideration.

The vote in the House broke down 249-187 with 18 Republicans crossing over to vote with Democrats, while 17 Democrats voted against passage with 10 members not voting.