You have to pass the bill before you find out what’s in it.
As the House on Friday overwhelmingly passed the $1.1 trillion government spending bill, Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi shook hands on the chamber floor.
Can you feel the love tonight?
The omnibus bill does not block or restrict in any way Syrian or Iraqi refugees from coming to the U.S. It does not defund Planned Parenthood. It does not defund Obama’s illegal executive amnesty. It does not defund sanctuary cities. It funds ObamaCare but delays two unpopular taxes under ObamaCare that might fuel opposition to the law. It will increase the debt with spending and tax cuts that are not paid for by spending cuts.
And now, Nancy Pelosi is not just doing a victory lap — she is bragging about how this was shoved down Republicans’ throats before they could learn what was in the bill:
“We’ve had to sort of calibrate how we presented this to members because … we were afraid [Republicans] might pull things out if more Republicans knew about what was in the bill,” she continued, explaining all the hesitation from Democrats in the hours after the bill was made public.
Earlier in the week, she had instructed members in a closed-door meeting to “keep on their long faces” and not speak publicly about everything Democrats won in the omnibus, according to a senior House aide. She wanted them to avoid speaking about provisions they fought to include, as well as poison pill policy riders they insisted be removed, instead suggesting they just say they were “still reading the language” when asked how they planned to vote.
“Now they’re done, that’s it. There’s no way they can change the rule or anything like that; the speaker said it’s closed,” said Pelosi on Friday, “so we feel pretty good about bragging about what’s in the bill to get our votes and also not risking changing anything in the bill.”
The story below [the Roll Call story] illustrates the brokenness of Washington, where only a few individuals negotiate nearly $2 trillion in provisions and tell the rest of Congress to take it or leave it. I voted no on this disgusting omnibus bill that harms Americans and bankrupts the next generation.
No wonder Paul Ryan wanted to change the rules to make it harder to get rid of the Speaker.