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Bayh Takes Stand Against Spending Bill

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It’s not just out-of-touch Republicans and us lonely Centrists who are disturbed by the profligate spending of Congress. Joining the call for fiscal sanity is none other than Democratic Senator (and one-time VP hopeful) Evan Bayh. In a Wall Street Journal editorial, he writes:

This week, the United States Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 is a sprawling, $410 billion compilation of nine spending measures that lacks the slightest hint of austerity from the federal government or the recipients of its largess.

The Senate should reject this bill. If we do not, President Barack Obama should veto it.

The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year’s levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations. Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flush with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but America is neither.

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to be a do-nothing Republican in order to be disturbed by the bloated spending bill making its way through Congress. Just like you didn’t have to be anti-progress in order to have taken issue with the over-indulgent stimulus bill. There is middle ground between not acting and overreacting.

Democrats were not put in power to continue the wasteful ways of Republicans. Bayh understands this. Why doesn’t the rest of his party? And why has President Obama decided not to take a stand against the excesses of this spending bill?

Bayh concludes with:

But the bloated omnibus requires sacrifice from no one, least of all the government. It only exacerbates the problem and hastens the day of reckoning. Voters rightly demanded change in November’s election, but this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters’ mandate.

Now is the time to win back the confidence and trust of the American people. Congress should vote “no” on this omnibus and show working families across the country that we are as committed to living within our means as they are.

Yep. That should be self-apparent. Clearly, it’s not.