Jim Hickey’s American Politics

Let's Get Real.

Democrat Senator Kicks Off Defense of Omnibus Bill in the Senate

It is absolutely the case that the Democrat party is in a fight for its soul between what remains of the moderate wing of the party and the hardcore liberal wing led by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. After yesterday’s tumultuous House battle that pitted President Obama and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a moderates vs liberals struggle, Maryland Democrat Senator Nancy Mikulski kicked off the Senate chamber’s debate on the Omnibus with a rousing endorsement of the bill.

Sen. Mikulski currently chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee and as such was an appropriate opening speaker to address the Omnibus bill. While she made it clear that not everything in the bill is great, it represents good legislation overall. Mikulski cited the fact that it provides $550 billion for the nation’s defense. This also includes funds to provide medical treatment for military personnel. It also funded the ongoing war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). She also pointed out that it was only a few months ago that the public experienced near hysteria over the Ebola virus. The bill contains $5.4 billion to combat the deadly virus.

Sen. Mikulski was clearly bothered by the negative attention given to riders in the bill. Her words may be construed as a “throw down” at opponents of whom the most vociferous has been Elizabeth Warren. Thus far, Warren has not made it clear whether she will filibuster the bill. When discussed at BRL Trust, at least a few thought she might.

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