The decade's most triggering comedy
Eighteen Republican senators voted Thursday to pass a $1.7 trillion “omnibus” bill that not only funds the federal government for another fiscal year, but is also packed with earmarks, including a $750,000 commitment to a trans group that wants transgender “history and discourse” engrained in schools and primary education.
This Los Angeles-based group, called the TransLatin@ Coalition, boasts a policy agenda shared on its website that also calls for dismantling Immigration and Customs Enforcement, expresses hopes to “dismantle and rebuild” the criminal justice system, and advocates for an open border policy so that transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGI) individuals can “peacefully migrate and safely navigate all land without discrimination or criminalization,” among other progressive priorities.
When Fox News first reported the earmark’s inclusion this week, after the omnibus bill was unveiled early Tuesday morning, The Daily Wire emailed press contacts in the offices of the 21 Republican senators who voted in favor of advancing the legislation to ask how it might affect their final vote. As of press time, after the bill passed the Senate, none had replied — save for an automatic message here and there stating someone was out of the office.
Of the 21 GOP senators who initially voted to advance the spending bill for consideration, 18 voted “yes” to pass it Thursday along with their colleagues among the Democrats and independents: Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Thune (R-SD), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Todd Young (R-IN).
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) voted in favor of advancing the legislation on Tuesday, but voted against it on Thursday. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) did not initially vote to advance the omnibus bill, but he did vote in favor of passing it Thursday. Three senators — John Barrasso (R-WY), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) — did not cast a vote Thursday. The final vote was 68-29.
The 4,155-page bill, which features $858 billion in defense funding, as well as $772.5 billion for non-defense “discretionary programs,” now heads to the Democratic-controlled House before it is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden before funding expires Friday at midnight.
The legislation is stuffed with all sorts of pork, benefiting both Republicans and Democrats. In addition to the relatively short period of time given to members to read the massive piece of legislation, earmarks often are the subject of complaints. Critics generally point to them as glaring example of excessive government spending. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) even offered an amendment to strip $9.8 billion in earmarks from the omnibus bill, but it was defeated.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) tweeted a now-viral thread on “some of the most egregious provisions” in the legislation, which included the $750,000 for the “TransLatin@ Coalition,” an earmark among the others he said that does not even appear in the main bill, but rather on a separate website.
The earmark for the trans group was attributed to Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), a member of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. Neither Gomez nor TransLatin@ responded to requests for comment by Fox News, which noted the group recently announced its president and CEO, Bamby Salcedo, joined the transition team for Los Angeles Mayor-elect Karen Bass, a former congresswoman who took office this month.
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), an openly-gay member of Congress who is co-chairman of the caucus, chastised Republican colleague Rep. Chip Roy (TX) after Roy’s office tweeted out a list of 55 “terrible earmarks” that included other LGBTQ projects in the omnibus bill. “Hate-fueled threads like this are EXACTLY why the LGBTQ+ community is under threat and so dedicated to telling our story and providing safe spaces to all. Love will win out, Chip – be better,” Pocan said in the tweet.