Democracy dies in omnibus bills

Any proposed legislation in Congress that starts with "Omnibus" or "Comprehensive" is likely to be terrible.  The pols who want to bribe their funders and feather their own nests have plenty of room to do so and to insert whatever legislative abominations they want.  The obscene spectacle of a 2,300-page spending bill rammed through Congress with no time to study its details provided cover or all sorts of mischief.

Elizabeth Harrington of the Free Beacon spotted this little bit of spending (not even a rounding error) that feathers congressional nests:

The Senate increased its total salaries of officers and employees by $12.6 million in the 2,232-page bill that lawmakers had fewer than 48 hours to read and vote on.  The bill avoids a government shutdown that would take place at midnight on Friday. ...

The legislation increases the Senate budget to $919.9 million, up $48.8 million from fiscal year 2017, according to the congressional summary of the bill.

Almost a billion dollars to run (for one year!) a body comprising one hundred principals and their lackeys.  Versailles before the French Revolution had nothing on these wannabe aristocrats, other than better manners and more refined tastes.


Painting of the Court of Versailles, on display at the National Gallery of Australia.  (Supplied: National Gallery of Australia.)

Any proposed legislation in Congress that starts with "Omnibus" or "Comprehensive" is likely to be terrible.  The pols who want to bribe their funders and feather their own nests have plenty of room to do so and to insert whatever legislative abominations they want.  The obscene spectacle of a 2,300-page spending bill rammed through Congress with no time to study its details provided cover or all sorts of mischief.

Elizabeth Harrington of the Free Beacon spotted this little bit of spending (not even a rounding error) that feathers congressional nests:

The Senate increased its total salaries of officers and employees by $12.6 million in the 2,232-page bill that lawmakers had fewer than 48 hours to read and vote on.  The bill avoids a government shutdown that would take place at midnight on Friday. ...

The legislation increases the Senate budget to $919.9 million, up $48.8 million from fiscal year 2017, according to the congressional summary of the bill.

Almost a billion dollars to run (for one year!) a body comprising one hundred principals and their lackeys.  Versailles before the French Revolution had nothing on these wannabe aristocrats, other than better manners and more refined tastes.


Painting of the Court of Versailles, on display at the National Gallery of Australia.  (Supplied: National Gallery of Australia.)