Conservatives in Congress and tea party activists have slammed House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP leadership after the $1.1 trillion budget deal that failed to stop President Barack Obama's sweeping immigration reforms was passed by an unlikely coalition of Republicans and Democrats.
The controversial "cromnibus" bill — a combination of CR, for continuing resolution, and omnibus, meaning it includes a number of different topics — which contained a continuing resolution on immigration and a massive spending package, was passed by the House with a 219-206 vote at the eleventh hour on Thursday night, averting a government shutdown.
The conservatives were furious that Boehner and establishment Republicans cut them out of the government funding process, which they hoped would be used to prevent Obama's executive action, according to Politico.
"We call it the crummybus," said Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks. "If the other team on the field — Barack Obama and the Democrats who promote illegal aliens over American citizens — stop us, then you punt. But you punt on fourth down, not first down.
"And right now, the House leadership, for whatever reason, thinks it's best to punt without running a play."
Iowa Rep. Steve King told Fox News host Sean Hannity that Boehner had struck a deal with Obama, according to Breitbart
Referring to Obama's immigration action, King said, "I think no good ideas outside of that deal were going to be considered unless we could have succeeded on taking the rule down. And at that point we would have had a new ball game. And I think we had a chance, but we failed by a vote to take the rule down."
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann also implied that there had been some form on conspiracy, saying that a decision by the GOP establishment and Democrats had been made earlier this year.
"I think the reason why they did it is because the political establishment made a decision months ago that they were going to get amnesty," she said. "And they were going to pay for amnesty.
"The executive amnesty is what they didn't like — President Obama doing it alone. But they wanted amnesty. Let's not mince words. Both Republican and Democrats, the leadership, the establishment, wanted to have amnesty."
To get the bill through the House, Obama and the Republicans joined forces
to override some Democrats' complaints that the bill would also ease bank regulations imposed after the economy's near-collapse in 2008.
Republican Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, who lost his primary race and will leave Congress in January, said about the GOP leadership, "They are compromising on things like amnesty that I just cannot support. I have minorities in my district that can't get a job, even laying brick, because now we're going to have an influx of new labor."
And Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar told Politico, "We ought to be doing things differently. They ought to be listening to all people. So I'm very frustrated."
Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp said he felt let down by Republican leaders who had vowed to "fight tooth and nail" against Obama's immigration policies, according to the political news website.
"We have one tool right now and that's the appropriations process," he told Politico. "At least let us have a vote on it."
The 1,603-page bill was approved by just 162 Republicans with 67 conservative members voting against it, but it passed because Obama and Vice President Joe Biden managed to persuade 57 Democrats to cross the aisle and support the legislation.
Conservatives had hoped the "cromnibus" would temporarily defund the Department of Homeland Security, which enforces immigration laws. However, they did score one minor victory in the continuing resolution.
They pushed the DHS funding up from March to Feb. 27, when Obama's executive order giving amnesty against deportation to nearly 5 million illegal immigrants would have started, Politico reported.
Tea party conservatives were also riled that the spending bill did not include a rider that would have allowed corporations to refuse the contraceptive rules under Obamacare.
Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, released a Twitter message saying, "Speaker Boehner & House GOP leadership have found a way to needlessly squander political capital, after being handed a historic majority."
According to Breitbart, Martin also tweeted,
"Rather than negotiate and govern from a position of strength and defend the Constitution against a lawless autocrat, [Boehner] has punted on 1st down. It's shameful, it's senseless, and it will be remembered."
The bill's passage in the House cleared the way for a final "cromnibus" showdown in the Senate — the last major measure of a two-year Congress far better known for gridlock than for bipartisan achievement.
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