$4 Billion a Minute
Ernest Istook /
“Seinfeld” had characters that included a high-talker and a low-talker, but the U.S. Congress had them beat with a bevy of fast-talkers today
It was obvious to everyone watching CSPAN that the Representatives were talking much faster than normal. They were talking so fast that their tongues often got tangled!
It’s because the bloated stimulus bill is being rushed through so quickly, with only one hour to debate the rule (the parliamentary device to allow action on the bill), plus 90 minutes to debate the actual measure.
150 minutes total, divided half to Democrats and half to Republicans.
It was over $4-billion a minute. An estimated $789-billion total, over 1,000 pages, which weren’t publicly available until a few hours before the vote, and which included multi-million-dollar hand-written notes inserted at the last minute.
The rapid-pace scene on CSPAN was more incredible than the classic John Moschitta commercials for FedEx.
The quicker Congress worked, the less time for public outrage. Another possible reason: One report says Speaker Nancy Pelosi has to catch a plane later today for an 8-day trip to Rome. No word yet whether she might fly commercial, or on a government plane at taxpayers’ expense.
Today’s sped-up scenario belonged on Saturday Night Live or Comedy Central, not in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Nobody can parody Congress better than the real thing. As Will Rogers said, “With Congress, every time they make a joke it’s a law, and every time they make a law it’s a joke.”