Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI8) criticized the omnibus spending bill passed by the House of Representatives with little time, less than six hours, for members to consider what the bill contained. The bill included the $900 billion Covid-19 relief package, but it also included a number of other unrelated spending items.
Gallagher’s statement after voting no on the spending bill:
“Yesterday, members of Congress were advised that we should expect a vote on a more than two trillion dollar funding bill. Members had little clarity on the hundreds of significant provisions included, and no timeline as to when we could expect to see the text of a final agreement.
“Then, after the white smoke rose out of the Speaker’s office last night, members were finally provided with the actual text of the agreement at approximately 2:00pm today. Now, after less than seven hours, we were expected to vote on a more than $2 trillion bill which is a whopping 5,593 pages — more than twice as long as the Affordable Care Act and more than 1,000 pages longer than the entire Harry Potter series.
“To state the obvious: no one knows what’s all in this bill because no one has actually read this bill. And while there are no doubt long overdue and badly needed provisions — such as $28 billion to support the purchase and distribution of a vaccine — they make up an incredibly small fraction of the nearly $2.3 trillion in spending that we voted on this evening.
“After being on vacation for more than three quarters of the year, there’s no reason why Congress should vote on a bill of this size on a few hours notice. If Congress was elected to simply be a rubber stamp of leadership, why even have a Congress?”