With all the distractions with the recent protests this week, many Americans missed the passage of a huge spending bill. The bill was literally passed in the dark hours of the night with little fanfare but a lot of controversy. The new bill has been nicknamed the cromnibus spending bill because it is a combination of a continuing resolution and omnibus spending bill to keep the government funded. The bill calls for a staggering $1.1 trillion and was passed by both the Senate and the House.
There was an attempt by Texas Senator and Tea Party favorite, Ted Cruz, to derail the bill in a futile argument over President Obama’s impending executive action on immigration. Obama’s order is expected to shield an estimated 5 million immigrants here illegally from deportation. The passage of the bill also allowed a large number of Obama nominations for various posts including judicial appointments. There was a significant political tradeoff that allowed the passage of the bill including a relaxation of the Dodd-Frank act which put limits on risky banking behavior. Now banks are once again allowed to gamble with derivatives using taxpayer based insurance to hedge their bets. In addition, the bill allows wealthy donors to significantly increase their contributions to political parties and candidates.
President Obama is expected to sign the bill before Wednesday in order to keep the government funded.