Is there any bill that can pass on Capitol Hill these days without a multi-billion-dollar bailout attached to it?
Nope. The Beltway politicians can’t even keep the war-funding bill free of taxpayer handouts to failing enterprises.
As I’ve blogged repeatedly over the past month, President Obama has been pushing a $108 billion foreign bailout to the beleaguered International Monetary Fund — pledging the money in April before ever bothering to make his case to Congress.
Tonight, the House did what all good lapdogs do: Rolled over. Now, it’s on to the Senate for its pro forma approval:
War-funding legislation survived a fierce partisan battle in the House on Tuesday, a major step in providing commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan the money they would need for military operations in the coming months.
The $106 billion measure, in addition to about $80 billion for military operations, provides for an array of other spending priorities, including $7.7 billion to respond to the flu pandemic and more than $10 billion in development and security aid for Pakistan and Iraq as well as countries such as Mexico and the nation of Georgia.
Democratic leaders pushing the bill on behalf of the Obama administration had to overcome an unusual alliance. Anti-war Democrats opposed continued war spending and Republicans condemned $5 billion in the measure to secure a $108 billion U.S. line of credit to the International Monetary Fund for loans to poor countries.
Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, contended that Democrats were endangering troops by shifting money to create room for a “global bailout loan program.”
The vote was 226-202, with only five Republicans voting for the bill and 32 Democrats opposing it.
Here’s the roll call vote.
The five GOP members who voted for the bill: