How McConnell outfoxed Reid on the omnibus

In this season of thanksgiving, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Republican appropriators deserve a pat on the back.

With a government shutdown looming at midnight Saturday, McConnell managed to outmaneuver his Democrat counterpart and save American taxpayers a large chunk of change in the process.

He did it with one sheet of paper. Yesterday morning McConnell introduced a one-page continuing resolution to fund the government for two months.

The move united Senate Republicans, including appropriators, and spelled the beginning of the end for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) massive $1.27 trillion omnibus spending bill.

Shortly after Democrats unveiled the nearly 2,000-page bill Tuesday, McConnell was out front leading the opposition. There was just one problem: Republicans didn't have a viable alternative to avoid a government shutdown.

McConnell's embrace of a two-month continuing resolution gave them one. While relentlessly attacking the bloated omnibus, the McConnell boxed Reid into a corner. With nowhere to go, Reid shocked everyone and admitted defeat last night.

The omnibus, which contained 6,700 earmarks costing $8.3 billion, was a last-ditch effort by Democrats to advance their agenda and implement the first phase of Obamacare.

Reid's strategy to buy votes in exchange for pork-barrel projects may have worked in a pre-Tea Party era. But not today. Even big-spending Republicans with millions at stake in earmarks came out against the measure.

It's still unclear how Democrats will fund the government before the deadline of midnight Saturday. But one thing is certain: American taxpayers won’t get a omnibus for Christmas.

This post has been promoted to Beltway Confidential.

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