Sen. Deb Fischer voted no Wednesday on a Congressional resolution to spend $1.1 trillion to fund the federal government, saying the resolution contains more pork barrel spending, had gimmicks and was crafted behind closed doors. The Senate passed the bill, 73-26.
• A number of ‘cost-savings’ included the bill are the result of legislative gimmicks, not meaningful spending cuts.
• The legislation was crafted behind closed doors and jammed through the Senate by the Majority Leader, who limited opportunity for senators to amend and improve the bill.
• It failed to include needed flexibility for federal agencies to target automatic budget cuts required by sequestration at wasteful spending rather than critical government services.
• The legislation funds the implementation of the controversial healthcare law.
More than 126 amendments were proposed in the Senate, before leaders took negotiations off the floor because of time constraints, the Washington Post reported.
Without the resolution, the government would have shut down on March 27.
Passage was slowed by a familiar disagreement about how many amendments the chamber should consider for a bill that outlines spending priorities for every federal agency for the final six months of the fiscal year, the Post said.
A handful of amendments made it to the floor. One, proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn would have re-opened the door to public tours of the White House, Yellowstone National Park and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.
That failed 45-54, with Democrats against it.
Republicans have said shutting down the public tours is a theatrical move.
Two other amendments passed, preventing furloughs of food inspectors and allowing tuition-assistance programs for military service members to continue.