Washington — GOP senators continued their offensive against the pork-stuffed 1,924-page omnibus spending bill on Wednesday, and deflected accusations of hypocrisy for opposing a package that contains numerous Republican earmarks.
Sens. John Cornyn (R., Texas) and John Thune (R., S.D.) told reporters that the bill was the result of “gross mismanagement” on the part of the Democratic leadership, and a sign of “profound disrespect” to the American people and the message they sent on November 2.
Cornyn reiterated Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s position that a temporary continuing resolution — that would keep the government running until February 2011 — was the best option, and would allow newly-elected members to have a say.
Both senators rejected the idea of a potential government shutdown — the most recent continuing resolution expires on Saturday — and said they believe they have support for a short-term resolution. “Nobody’s talking about shutting down the government,” Cornyn said. Asked about the possibility that the omnibus could pass if even a few Republicans vote for it, Thune said, “That depends on how many Democrats [vote against it].”
The bill contains millions in earmarks requested by Senate Republicans — before they voted to ban them — but Cornyn and Thune denied being hypocritical by denouncing the bill. “You’re missing the story if you think this is just about earmarks, this is about a flawed process,” Cornyn said. “We will reject earmarks requested by us or anyone else.”
Cornyn also mentioned that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) may try to “dual-track” the New START Treat with the spending package, a concern voiced earlier by Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), though National Review Online’s Bob Costa received conflicting reports about that possibility.