House Passes Omnibus Bill Nobody Had Time to Read

UPDATE #2: All four Republicans in Colorado’s Congressional delegation sided with leadership on a narrow 211-207 vote to move the discussion forward. As CNN explains:

The internal GOP backlash to the amount of spending and the process of rushing the measure through just 16 hours after it was released was on full display on the House floor on Thursday. Twenty-five House Republicans broke with their leadership and opposed the usually party line procedural vote bringing up the legislation. But the measure narrowly passed 211-207.

After the vote to move the omnibus debate forward, the House approved the bill with a 256-167 margin…with Republican Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) and Ken Buck (R-Greeley) conveniently voting “NO.” In other words, Coffman and Buck voted “YES” before they voted “NO.”

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UPDATE: House Republicans rammed through the omnibus bill without even waiting for every member to vote. Here’s more from Politico.

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Via @RepJayapal

Chris Cillizza of CNN takes note of the absolutely massive new omnibus spending bill that Congress is trying to pass before tomorrow’s deadline for funding the federal government:

On Wednesday night, congressional leaders unveiled a spending bill that will fund the entire federal government through September — at a whopping estimated cost of $1.3 trillion. The bill is 2,322 pages long. It has be to be passed through both chambers of Congress by midnight Friday or else the government shuts down. Again.

Some quick back-of-the-envelope math shows that if every lawmaker stayed up for 48 straight hours — the time, roughly, between when the so-called “omnibus” bill was unveiled and when it needs to be passed — they would need to read an average of 48 pages per hour, every hour, to read the entire thing. Which seems, um, unlikely.

Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is a big fan of pretending to read bills before he votes on them, but it’s going to be tough for him to continue that lark with a new omnibus bill that might be taller than the Congressman himself.

As a freshman in Congress in 2009, Coffman had a speaking role in Republican efforts to promote “transparency” and a “read the bill” initiative. Just last March, Coffman Tweeted a photo of himself “reading” Obamacare repeal legislation at his desk in Washington D.C. — at about the same time he was promoting a radio appearance in Colorado to discuss his support of said legislation.

Perhaps we should give Coffman the benefit of the doubt and assume that he has a superhero-esque ability to read and digest complex information in a matter of minutes. Or, perhaps, there is a simpler explanation here.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. What could possibly go wrong? I'm sure that with a bill this size every 'i' is dotted and every 't' crossed, just as it was with the tax bill that no-one got time to review.

    This is no way to govern – and I don't care what the actual bill specifics are.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      The 2018 budget passes the House on March 22. It goes to the Senate, where if all goes well, it will pass on the 23rd or 24th. That is 173 days into the current budget year.

      I'm sure no one likes this and they will do something to get back on track. So, as a helpful reminder, the 2019 budget process has a couple of dates coming up.

      April 1 Senate Budget Committee reports concurrent resolution on the budget Congressional Budget Act of 1974

      April 15 Congress completes the concurrent resolution on the budget Congressional Budget Act of 1974

      Of course, after the 2018 budget passes, the Senate will be on their "State Work Period" from March 26 to April 6.

      And there is already comment there will be no further action. According to a CPA firm Novogradac & Company LLP, "Congressional leadership has decided against pursuing a budget resolution before the November midterm election. Given the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the budget resolution is not needed to set the spending levels for defense and nondefense. The lack of a budget resolution, however, will preclude any budget reconciliation bill to enact spending or tax proposals with only 50 votes in the Senate (plus the vice president) before the election."

  2. MADCO says:

    Deficits don't matter when Republicans are in charge.
     

    It's the R method for gutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and anything else.  We're broke. We can't afford.it.
    Buh bye FEMA, EPA, Department of State, Department of Energy, HUD, and on and on.

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