The Omnibus Spending Bill Scam

The Founding Fathers didn’t include a provision in the Constitution for the removal of federal office-holders once they are elected.  They assumed an informed electorate would ensure they didn’t elect such people.  But when the majority of Americans are so willfully politically ignorant and apathetic that they spend less time deciding on who to vote for than on what to have for lunch, the absence of such a provision becomes a real problem.

It would take volumes to detail the many instances where senators, congresscritters, and presidents of both parties knowingly, deliberately, and with utter contempt for the will of the electorate have betrayed not only their empty campaign promises but also their oaths of office to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, so I’ll just focus on the latest one: congressional passage of the Omnibus Spending Bill for 2023.

The Pew Research Center explains what’s supposed to happen: Per the 1974 Congressional Budget Act, the Senate and House Budget bills are supposed to be voted on by April 15 each year.  They are supposed to pass a series of separate bills funding various federal agencies/activities (e.g., for the past decade, the number of spending bills has been 12, one for each subcommittee of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, such as Agriculture, Defense, Labor, et al).  If those bills aren’t passed by September 30 (end of fiscal year), then Congress uses Continuing Resolutions (CRs) to temporarily fund the government.

If Congress followed its own process, they would avoid this annual “crisis” of having to vote on a bill that nobody has read except the handful of “leaders” like Schumer and his minions, or McConnell and his.  But that’s exactly the point, isn’t it?  This avoids the open debate needed for each of those appropriations bills, where each would have to stand or fail on its own merits, and our representatives would have to defend their votes to their constituents… you know, how it’s supposed to be.  

Instead, all those bills are packed into an “omnibus spending bill” that is presented the week before Christmas, usually with only a day (or maybe just hours) for the members to read the bill.  But a flurry of earmarks are doled out to senators and congressmen to secure the necessary votes, then the monstrosity of pork, waste, and woke madness is voted on.

The old adage “if you like sausage or laws, it’s best not to see how either are actually made” indicates that the normal legislative process isn’t something to be proud of, but this omnibus spending bill treachery goes far beyond the normal corruption, because it serves nobody’s interests except those of career politicians (and their lobbyist friends, of course).  With an admitted deficit of $31 trillion (when including Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security commitments, our deficit is actually over $150 trillion!), they blithely add almost two trillion more, then break for home to celebrate Christmas, leaving the rest of us to suffer the consequences.

So, the annual scare campaign of “we have to pass the Omnibus Spending Bill or the government will shut down” worked again.  Never mind that shutting down the government, at this point, sounds like the best idea that pack of hyenas have had in decades, why are the people who are supposed to be representing us voting on anything that they haven’t read?  Instead of braying about “leadership forcing this on us,” we have to note that the members are the ones who voted for that leadership, and for years now.   It’s not as if this is the first time this has happened; as noted above, this has become the norm, no matter which party is in the majority.  Why not force that “leadership” out before this happens again next year?  Why didn’t they do it ten years ago?  To vote “yes” on a bill they haven’t read is about as clear a violation of their oath of office as I can imagine, but they know the American electorate will take it, with barely a whimper.

But this is the inevitable result of the Senate and House passing a rule, decades ago, that allowed non-related amendments to be tacked onto legislation, instead of each piece of legislation being brought up and debated on the floor, in the clear light of day, then either passed or rejected based on its merits or lack thereof.  The only reason for that deceit is so members can defend unpopular votes to their constituents (“Well, that wasn’t a good bill, but we really needed that amendment here in Podunk, so I had to vote for it,”).  It gives the congresscritters an excuse to vote either for or against what their constituents would like, and the omnibus spending bill goes that one better: they don’t even have to stand up and argue either way.  They can instead complain about how their leaders forced this on them… leaders they continue to support year after year.  Hell, if this is how it’s going to be, let’s fire 90% of Congress and just elect half-a-dozen representatives from each party to the Congress, because that’s the only ones actually legislating now! 

Compared to the 18 GOP senators who voted for the Senate bill, and the 11 GOP representatives who voted for the House bill, Benedict Arnold was a paragon of virtue and integrity.  But just as the politicians have no excuse, for they could vote those “leaders” out, neither do you and I have an excuse, for we, too, could de-elect them each November.  George Orwell describes us perfectly: A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.  

Image: JP Valery,

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