Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year. The 1,582-page bill was released late Monday night, giving lawmakers less than two days to read it.
The bill passed 359 to 67. It will now go to the Senate, which must act before January 18 to prevent a government shutdown. The original Ryan-Murray budget deal ended the funding on January 15, but Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government while the omnibus was being considered.
Even though the bill passed by a wide bipartisan margin, not all Republicans were happy with the spending plan.
“I find it fascinating that we complain about big bills…when it’s the Democrats who are in charge of Congress, but we love big bills when we’re in charge of Congress,” Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) said today at Conversations with Conservatives.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said he was trying to dig through the bill—with its nearly 40,000 line items and supporting documents—but that it disconcerted conservative members to rush through a bill close to the size of Obamacare, which came in at about 2,700 pages.
“When this is adopted, we will still have a $600 billion deficit in the current fiscal year,” Huelskamp warned, “and that’s just simply not good enough.”
Heritage budget expert Romnia Boccia, the Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs, criticized the omnibus in a comment to The Foundry:
After being introduced at 8 p.m. Monday, the 1,582-page omnibus spending bill passed the House within less than 72 hours on Wednesday afternoon, in spite of a House rule that requires that members have at least three days for deliberation. This is just one more example of how carelessly the Congress spends taxpayers’ money.
The omnibus packed 12 massive spending bills into one big package as part of a secretive process, and members were given no opportunity to offer amendments. This is how Washington passes a $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds all sorts of pork projects and gives handouts to the politically connected.
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