There’s blood in the water on Capitol Hill. Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., is out in strong opposition to the omnibus spending bill as Democratic support–and Republican support–for it continues crumbling.
“On behalf of the 1.4 million members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, I am writing to ask that you vote NO on the rule and NO on the Omnibus Appropriations Bill,” Hoffa wrote to all members of Congress on Wednesday afternoon. “This bill and its self-executing rule will slash the pensions of thousands of retirees who worked years for a pension that they thought would provide them financial security in their retirement years. That promise is now busted.”
Hoffa added that a “last minute $2 billion bailout to a $100 billion Fortune 50 company for breaking its promise to its retirees is outrageous and only adds to the list of special interest provisions in this bill.”
“This disgraceful government subsidy to one of the most profitable companies in America should be stopped in its tracks,” Hoffa wrote, adding that “hiding behind a rule that prevents Members of Congress from directly voting to cut retiree benefits is a shameful act that may well be remembered at the ballot box in the future.”
Hoffa’s letter became public as House Rules Committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) works to bring the 1,603-page omnibus to the floor of the House, even though it funds President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty. The Hill reports that at least 50 to 60 Republicans are working to oppose the bill, numbers that are beginning to surge, sources on Capitol Hill tell Breitbart News.
Speaker John Boehner has been working with Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, and her whip Steny Hoyer to try to wrangle enough Democratic votes for the bill as Boehner won’t be able to pass it with Republican votes. But on Wednesday Pelosi expressed serious concerns with elements of the bill.
“Once more, Republicans are working to stack the deck for the special interests against everyone else,” Pelosi said in a statement. She adds:
Buried in the more than 1,600 pages of the omnibus package Republicans posted in the dead of night are provisions to put hard-working taxpayers back on the hook for Wall Street’s riskiest behavior. This provision, allowing big banks to gamble with money insured by the FDIC, opens the door to another taxpayer-funded bailout of big banks – forcing middle class families to bear the burden of Wall Street’s mistakes.
Liberal Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is calling on House Democrats to oppose to the bill, and Pelosi and Hoyer are losing support in their conference rapidly. Even House Budget Committee ranking member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has come out in opposition to the bill, and several California Democrats walked out of a meeting with Pelosi where she asked them for support for it on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, Republican support for the bill is crumbling as conservatives and mainstream Republicans alike don’t like the fact that it funds Obamacare and Obama’s executive amnesty. The bill ensures that Social Security benefits would go to illegal aliens who get Obama’s executive amnesty, and busts through budget caps set by the budget deal from House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)–after their deal passed late last year had already smashed through the spending caps set by the Budget Control Act. Ryan’s communications staffers Kevin Seifert and William Allison haven’t responded to a request for comment on whether he’ll vote for this bill, but if he does he’s undoing his own budget deal’s spending limits.
That’s not even mentioning all the pork in the bill, including a reauthorization of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s casino crony kickback the Travel Promotion Act and nearly $20 million for protecting Rhinoceroses from poaching.
Hoffa further attacked the bill as hurting truck drivers.
“To add insult to injury, this Omnibus bill compromises highway safety by rolling back Hours-of-Service regulations, allowing truck drivers to work more than 80 hours per week – twice the normal 40-hour work week,” Hoffa said in statement, which hammered “secret negotiations and backroom deals” as having “produced a bill with a litany of special interest favors for corporate America, but it busts the dreams of hard-working Americans.”
“The Teamsters Union strongly urges you to vote NO on the rule and NO on the Omnibus. Our members will be watching, and these votes will be entered on our scorecard,” Hoffa wrote.