when he finishes press conference Sen. Mike Braun (R–Ind.) called attention to the various problems of rushing through a 4,400-page spending bill that lawmakers didn’t get a chance to read, which would add to America’s growing debt, sending an important, and obviously, problem .
Didn’t the Republicans do the same when they took over the Senate a few years ago?
“I’ll cut to the chase. We’re hypocrites out there,” Braun said. Say. “[Democrats] No apologies for that. We call ourselves fiscal conservatives and get used to it year after year. I blame us more than them for saying we were against it, but then we agreed. “
Braun is right. $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill passes Senate 68–29 Thursday afternoon was another bipartisan defeat in Congress — perhaps the only place in America where there hasn’t been any belt-tightening after a year of rising prices and rising interest rates.House of Representatives is likely to pass the bill thursday nightsending it to President Joe Biden’s desk.
The passage of the bill in the final days before Christmas literally means that the government won’t shut down at the end of the year, but it’s also a metaphorical victory for business as usual in Washington, D.C. It’s yet another massive spending plan ahead of the deadline, in breach of The rules and so-called “normal order” that Congress is supposed to follow when drafting legislation.
“It has become all too easy for Congress to evade the rules it designed to prevent reckless spending,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Say Speak on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon. “Bills being made ignore soaring inflation, rising interest rates, and our ballooning $31 trillion debt. Enough is enough.”
Paul is trying to gain support for a procedural issue that would make a technical tweak to Senate rules — or rather, when the Senate can disregard its rules. He asked lawmakers to ask two-thirds of the Senate to approve any attempt to waive the normal rules that apply to passing spending bills. His proposal was defeated in a bipartisan fashion.
“I am disappointed by some of my fellow Republicans who voted against respecting taxpayers and empowering themselves to spend recklessly,” he said tweets after.
The processes and procedures that govern legislation’s passage through Congress are boring, often arcane, and sometimes seem like they exist only to slow the passage of bills. But that’s the point. A rushed process creates undesirable outcomes and opportunities for abuse.No opportunity to review personal spending proposals – say $3 million for Making highways more bee-friendly either substantial salary increase For the TSA’s hired cops — lawmakers have little chance of knowing what they voted for. Everyone wants to be home in time for Christmas.
As a result, policies that would struggle to gain majority support end up being lumped together if introduced as amendments in committee or the Senate — and there is no realistic chance of stopping them. No wonder spending keeps soaring. No wonder the federal government is facing the largest non-pandemic budget deficit in history this year.
Leadership in both parties is to blame for this, but as retiring Senator Pat Toomey (R–Pa.) pointed out to me in an interview earlier today, there is a lot of blame to be thrown around .
“The leadership needs the complicity of its members to achieve this,” he said. “For example, if members are so disgusted with the process, which I think they should be, then they can refuse to do something with the end product, or refuse to pass this omnibus bill and force a change in the process. But I think you’re going to see that today not It’s going to happen. They’re going to get the result, they’re going to get 60 votes. They’re going to pass this. The lesson that leadership will learn is we can do it again in the future.”
You can bet that the same game will be played out again in the future — possibly in the days leading up to Christmas 2023 — with the voluntary consent of both Republicans and Democrats. That’s not the way to run the government, but it’s the only way it seems to get anything done in Congress.