The PJ Tatler

Senate Passes Cromnibus as Just 22 GOPs Vote for Cruz's Constitutional Point of Order

The Senate passed the $1.1 trillion “cromnibus” appropriations bill late tonight, sending it to President Obama’s desk and averting a government shutdown.

The cromnibus squeaked past the House 219-206 on Thursday night. The vote tonight in the Senate was 56-40.

Between the cloture vote and the final cromnibus vote, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tried to shoot down the bill with a constitutional point of order related to the funding of Obama’s immigration orders. That was firmly rebuked on a 22-74 vote.

“The junior senator from Texas is wrong, wrong, wrong,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the floor.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) voted for the point of order. “Any attempt to circumvent Congress and grant amnesty to millions in this country illegally is unacceptable and unconstitutional,” Isakson said. “The president continues to circumvent Congress by executive action, and I am appalled that he is doing it once again with immigration.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who voted no, said the cromnibus “empowers the new Republican majority to fight the President’s unconstitutional immigration executive order head-on in January, when the era of unfettered, big-government liberalism from this White House comes to an end.”

“‎While the president’s executive actions on immigration are reprehensible and deserve a strong response, I value the oath I took to support and defend the Constitution too much to exploit it for political expediency,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said. “The Constitution gives Congress the power to fund the government so to assert that the House-passed spending bill is unconstitutional is not only inaccurate but irresponsible.”

The Senate voted for nearly 10 hours straight on Saturday beginning at noon, plowing through 28 votes.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sided with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in opposing the cromnibus from the left.

“Sadly, slipped into this measure at the last moment were massive special interest giveaways rolling back taxpayer protections against risky financial maneuvers by banks, reversing transportation safety rules, undercutting pension rights, and opening huge loopholes for billionaires to increase their influence on political campaigns and candidates. That is why I voted against this flawed measure – poisoned by special favors flagrantly contrary to the public interest,” Blumenthal said.

“Such provisions are unwise, unfair and unacceptable, snuck into the bill without debate or public scrutiny.”

Not voting over the weekend were Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.). Chambliss and Coburn are retiring.

Many GOP senators were irked at the strategy of Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to delay the cromnibus vote, as nominations pushed through in the weekend sessions included a key procedural vote on Obama’s controversial pick for surgeon general.

Vivek Murthy, a 37-year-old Harvard Medical School instructor who founded Doctors for Obama (which changed its name to Doctors for America) and who is lobbied against by the NRA as a gun-control activist, was nominated in November 2013. The final vote on his nomination could be as early as Monday.