Democrats controlling the Senate have abandoned a 1,924-page catchall spending measure that's laced with homestate pet projects known as earmarks and that would have provided another $158 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nevada Democrat Harry Reid gave up on the nearly $1.3 trillion bill after several Republicans who had been thinking of voting for the bill pulled back their support.
There was always a lot of brinksmanship going on in this discussion, but in the end the optics of this deal were too much. It's difficult to even conceptualize how big a trillion is, the vapor trail of zeros is so long. It looks like this:
There will be a continuing resolution that comes out of this session and the next Congress will now get a chance to weigh in. I suspect those members of Congress who will be returning to Washington will have a chance to hear a few, ahem, Christmas greetings from their constituents over the holidays. While it's unfortunate that Harry Reid will be among those returning to Washington, he'll have far less power to do stupid things when he comes back in January.