The following was written by Mark Meckler and originally published on his Patheos blog.
I LOVE what Republican Louisiana Senator John Kennedy has been saying about the spending bill that’s supposed to fund the entire federal government through September.
Coming in at the bargain price of $1.3 trillion, the bill is 2,322 pages long. As Chris Cillizza of CNN pointed out, “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.”
Both chambers of Congress must pass this bill by tomorrow night or the government will shut down. If you feel like you are experiencing de ja vu, you aren’t wrong. This happens every time Democrats and Republicans have to agree on anything ever at all.
People whose lives don’t revolve around Congress or Washington, look at all of this with disgust — and rightly so. A 2,000+ page bill introduced fewer than two days before it needs to be passed (or else!) is ridiculous. And serves as yet an other reminder that Congress — and particularly the way it allocates money across the federal government is deeply broken.
See, the way this is all supposed to work is through the House and Senate appropriations committee. Twelve bills — corresponding to the 12 subcommittees on the Appropriations Committee — that fund the various pieces of the federal government for the next fiscal year are supposed to be debated and voted on in committee and then by the full chambers. All of this work is supposed to be done by — wait for it — October 1 (of last year!).
So Kennedy spoke for all of us, as he lamented to CNN‘s Daniella Diaz on Wednesday that he had no idea what’s in the bill. “I don’t even know if I’ll have time to read it. I just got a 10 or 15 minute explanation over lunch. I’m still not sure what’s in it. I’ll probably get a memo this afternoon in Swahili.”
Then this quote. “This is a Great Dane sized whiz down the leg of every taxpayer,” he said.
Exactly. As the owner of two Great Danes — and someone who is also fed up with the way things are done in D.C. — I agree wholeheartedly with this assessment.