Despite howls of protest from the left and right wings of the Senate, the upper chamber voted to pass the Omnibus budget Saturday night by a vote of 56-40. The passage of the bill marked a bipartisan effort. Staunch Conservatives felt betrayed by the bill which they saw as giving in to Democrat demands. Liberals felt betrayed by giving in too much to Conservative positions. Oddly enough, the Senate had convened Friday night with the expectation of reconvening on Monday to vote on the bill. In fact, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had left the Senate building intending to return home for the weekend.
It was then that Tea Party Conservatives Ted Cruz and Mike Lee announced they were invoking Senate rules which would force the body to remain convened. Needless to say, they drew the ire of their fellow senators. It was a gutsy move on the part of Cruz and Lee because they undermined a gentlemen’s agreement between Reid and McConnell. Some political analysts are wondering if their act of defiance will be a harbinger of things to come for Sen. McConnell when he takes over as Senate Majority Leader next month. As for Cruz, he was stoic in the face of criticism. He reminded his GOP colleagues that they promised the electorate to do everything in their means to stop Obama’s agenda. He was being loyal to voters rather than his leadership. I heard about this the other day while reading about Laurene Powell Jobs.