Amid all that is happening with healthcare, a bill passed the Senate a week ago Friday that shows the true colors of our non-representation on Capitol Hill. S.1023, the “Travel Promotion Act of 2009” passed 79-19, showing very strong support by members of both parties. The bill creates “The Corporation for Travel Promotion,” to be operated as a non-profit enterprise. The CBO estimates that from 2010-2019 this corporation will make approximately $440 million.

This legislation, and our shameful lawmakers’ willingness to support such a travesty, demonstrates everything that is wrong with Congress and everything that is wrong with us for continually electing them.

Maybe at this point, you are thinking, “But if this corporation will turn a profit of $440 million over a nine-year period, what is wrong with that? That is a good thing. I would vote for it too.”

However, the issue here is not profitability—the moneychangers in the temple were profitable too. The issue is the role of the federal government. The government has no responsibility to create corporations or businesses for any purpose whatsoever, regardless of the potential of the enterprise. Moreover, when Congress creates a business out of thin air for a specific purpose such as “travel promotion,” lawmakers are making their intentions clear. This bill, much like the Bush “stimulus” checks, is intended to buy votes. Only, this bill will not pay individual citizens, it will indirectly pay tourist attractions, who will in turn fill the coffers of the 79 Senators who voted in favor of it.

You would never guess that Nevada stands to do quite well with this legislation. And what do you know? Look who from Nevada also happens to need significant help winning an upcoming campaign. No, that isn’t Harry Reid and John Ensign, is it? There is nothing like a good ‘ol Washington buy-the-vote bill to fix your unpopularity, is there?

This bill was sponsored by Byron Dorgan, a Democrat from North Dakota. As such, it should come as no surprise that no Democrat voted against the legislation. However, as the Republicans try to claim to be conservatives, to be different than the “big-government Democrats”, their actions speak against them once again. If the Republicans are truly opposed to big government, how could one of them in good conscience vote for this bill? I can understand a handful of the typical RINOs, but 21 Republicans? Seriously? This example perfectly illustrates how the Republicans are no better, showing they are as inept and corrupt as the Democrats. Republicans are just as good at voting for political expediency as anyone else. They proved it over and over again over the past eight years and given another opportunity without a national spotlight on S.1023, they have done it again. Here are the 21 snakes that voted for themselves, not for their constituents, nor their constitution, nor their country:

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Wicker (R-MS)

If you really think the current Republican Party stands for something other than themselves, you are fooling yourself. You are forgetting that it was George W. Bush who opened the flood gates with TARP and the midnight automotive industry bailouts. You are forgetting that time and time again government has been expanded by this Grand Old Party. But hey, they’ve got family values and George Bush actually went to church on Sunday, unlike the current President.

Instead, the Republicans voted for, in the words of the CBO, the creation of a corporation that “should be classified as a government entity . . . [because] the Corporation’s finances would operate through the Treasury, and its assessments would stem from an exercise of the sovereign power of the federal government.”

I cannot imagine anything more apropos than a majority of the “small government” Republican Party members in the Senate voting to expand the role of the Federal government to show us all how much “better off” we would be under Republican rule.