Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh slammed congressional Republicans Friday for selling the nation "down the river again" by supporting a $1.14 trillion spending bill that pays for all President Barack Obama's programs because they feared being seen as wanting to shut down the federal government.
"They gave up the power of the purse," Limbaugh said
on his afternoon radio program, referring to the House of Representatives, which controls spending. "The reason they did that is because for some inexplicable reason, they are literally paranoid and scared to death of even being accused of doing something that would shut down the government.
"So to avoid even the accusation that they were going to or would ever even think of shutting down the government, they signaled that whatever Obama wanted to spend, he would get — because they figured that had less damage to them politically than the allegation that they were shutting down the government.
"So, very simply, ever since the Republican Party became the party of keeping the government open at all costs, we get bills like this," Limbaugh continued. "There's simply no stopping the Democrats.
"There's no mechanism. Every Constitutional mechanism found in the power of the purse, separation of powers, the Republican Party years ago gave it away, in total fear of the media."
The spending bill keeps the federal government operating through September. The House voted 316-113 for the bill, with 166 Democrats and 150 Republicans backing it. Voting no were 18 Democrats and 95 Republicans.
In the Senate, the bill passed 65-33, and it was supported by 37 Democrats, 27 Republicans and one independent.
Opposing the legislation were 26 Republicans, 6 Democrats and an independent.
Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, the Florida senator, skipped the vote — saying that he opposed it but had no power to stop it. He was campaigning in Iowa.
The bill combines $1.14 trillion in new spending in next year and $680 billion in tax cuts over the coming decade.
It also fully funds many of the president's programs, including Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, sanctuary cities, climate change, refugee resettlement programs — and well as an increase in foreign worker visas.
"This is even a slap at American union workers," Limbaugh railed. "Not the leaders.
"The union leaders seem to be in favor of it, but blue-collar people, known as working people, have been sold down the river along with everybody else here.
"It is as though Nancy Pelosi is still running the House and Harry Reid is still running the Senate," Limbaugh said, referring to the Democratic leaders. "'Betrayed' is not even the word here.
"What has happened here is worse than betrayal. Betrayal is pretty bad, but it's worse than that."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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