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Anti-Omnibus: A broken budget process

EDITORIAL
March 25. 2018 1:37AM

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, speaks at a news conference about the omnibus spending bill moving through Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., March 22, 2018. (REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)



What's not to like in a $1.3 trillion, 2,232-page spending bill?

Aside from the price tag and the process, of course.

Federal spending is out of control, and the process by which Congress crafted this Frankenstein's monster of a bill is broken.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ken., spent the day of the Senate vote tweeting a page-by-page list of the bill's provisions, which is surely more attention than most of his colleagues gave to the bill.

Congress is supposed to fund government programs through a series of 13 appropriations bills each year. But a toxic combination of partisan gridlock and lack of political will has kept Congress from doing its job.

So Republicans and Democrats bluster until just before, and sometimes after, the deadline to keep the government open. Because Congress is so far behind, even this massive omnibus bill will only fund the federal government through September.

Of course, it is not just the budget process that is broken. The spending bill is just about the only train leaving the station, so every member tries to hitch a ride.

The omnibus includes a fix for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which should help enforce existing gun laws meant to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.

There's money for a railway tunnel between New York and New Jersey, a down payment on border security, and grants for states to protect their election systems from hackers. None of this spending was properly vetted.

Democrats supported this monstrosity without a fix for immigrants brought here illegally as children, proving once again they would rather use these people as pawns than solve the problem.

The entire spectacle is embarrassing. With President Trump signing the omnibus, at least we won't have to go through it again until September.


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