Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) voted in favor of the Democratic Party’s omnibus spending bill. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) voted no.
While the vast majority of his colleagues in the House and Senate voted against it, Republican Senator Mitt Romney voted yes on the Democratic Party’s recently passed omnibus spending bill.
And he wants you to know why.
“Let me explain why it makes sense to vote for this Omnibus bill,” Sen Romney began, looking earnestly into the camera.
“First, I’m convinced that this will cost less money than if we kick the can down the road until next year,” Romney continued. “The House Republicans say they want to craft a budget, but they haven’t yet been able to select a Speaker. And I’m not sure they’re going to be able to take on the budget for this year as well as the next year at the same time.”
“Plus,” Romney added, “any such future bill would need Democrats in the Senate to pass it anyway.”
Had Republicans succeeded in defeating the bill, Romney warned, “We’re going to see a deal that costs more money.”
“And by the way,” Romney went on, noting that the Omnibus bill only accounts for 1/3 of government spending. “Social security, medicare, Medicaid, entitlements are two-thirds. And it’s the two-thirds of federal spending adding to our deficit and debt.”
“Second, I agree with a lot of things in this Omnibus,” Romney went on. “Military spending is going to go up by 9.5%. I agree with that because of Russia and China’s aggression and because of our depleted and decaying Navy, Air Force, and Ground-Based Nuclear Deterrent. And because we’ve fallen behind Russia and China in technologies like hypersonics.”
“There are a lot of things in the bill I don’t like,” the Utah Senator admitted. “There are always going to be things that Republicans don’t like in a bill that has to be agreed upon by both parties. We get things we like, they get some of the things they like.”
Romney’s explanation video was soon inundated with comments, the politest of which was, “I strongly dislike and disagree with you for many reasons, but I compliment you on explaining your vote.”
Every single Democrat in the House and Senate voted with Republican Mitt Romney to pass the aforementioned omnibus bill. New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted no.
She wants you to know why, too.
“I campaigned on a promise to my constituents: to oppose additional expansion and funding for ICE and DHS — particularly in the absence of long-overdue immigration reform,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez explained in a statement. “For that reason, as well as a dramatic increase in defense spending that exceeds even President Biden’s request, I voted no today on the omnibus bill.”
“Our NY-14 community in The Bronx and Queens is one of the most diverse communities in the world — speaking over 167 languages and representing countries from all over the world,” Ocasio-Cortez explained. “Collectively, our community particularly bears the brunt of an immigration system that criminalizes, detains, separates, and traumatizes families.”
“The dramatic increase in DHS and ICE spending — especially in light of the lack of progress on DACA, TPS, and expanding paths to citizenship — cut against the promises our party has made to immigrant communities across the country,” the Congresswoman said.
Ocasio-Cortez found things she liked in the omnibus bill, just like Mitt Romney, such as, “a historic increase in NLRB funding to adequately respond to the growing labor mobilization across the country,” and, “significant funding for 15 community projects in NY-14,” and, “the inclusion of PUMP and PWFA Acts.”
While she called these concessions, “hard-fought wins,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez still couldn’t bring herself to vote for the bill.
“But tying these provisions to dramatic increases in surveillance, border patrol forces, and militarized spending after years of deeply disturbing misconduct and lack of any meaningful accountability is a decision we find deeply objectionable,” she continued.
“Our constituents have made clear that they would like to see objections to these measures represented in Congress, and that is what I will do,” the New York Congresswoman promised in closing.
It seems odd, this holiday season, that two such diametrically opposed lawmakers should find themselves crossing party lines together to vote with the opposition — whatever their reasoning.
As President Joe Biden noted in his holiday address, we are a nation bitterly divided.
“Our politics has gotten so angry, so mean, so partisan,” Mr. Biden said during a speech on December 22, 2022. “And too often we see each other as enemies, not as neighbors; as Democrats or Republicans, not as fellow Americans. We’ve become too divided.”
Republican Senator Mitt Romney, like his former colleague Liz Cheney, hasn’t always gotten along with his party.
Outspoken in his criticism of former President Donald Trump, often willing to break party lines to help Democrats pass legislation, Romney enjoys a favored status in the press.
Likewise, Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clashes almost as often with her own party leadership and enjoys an equally favorable relationship with the press.
Perhaps the two, like Republicans and Democrats in general, have much more in common than they think.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)