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Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul is known for, each year around Christmastime, highlighting the wasteful and thoughtless ways the federal government sees fit to spend your money. Well, he should consider himself lucky this year: Santa brought him a present big enough it had to be wheeled out onto a stage for all to see.
Unfortunately, “Santa” in this case is the triumvirate of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. They helped broker a deal by which a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill will likely clear both the House and Senate — with some GOP votes in the latter chamber so as to not hold up the process — in time for the Christmas break.
“The legislation includes $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs and $858 billion in defense funding, according to a bill summary from Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations,” CNN reported Tuesday.
“The sweeping package includes roughly $45 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies, boosts in spending for disaster aid, college access, child care, mental health and food assistance, more support for the military and veterans and additional funds for the US Capitol Police, according to Leahy’s summary and one from Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. It also includes several major Medicaid provisions, including one that could disenroll up to 19 million people from the nation’s health insurance program for low-income Americans.”
Keep in mind that the copy of Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow” that’s been sitting unread on your library shelf for the last decade is a little over a thousand pages. The Pelosi-Schumer-McConnell bill is over 4,000 pages long and written in language so opaque it makes Pynchon’s prose read like “Goodnight Moon.” Congress is expected to hop-to and get this thing passed before Dec. 23 when funding for the federal government runs out.
Paul, ever a grinch to the establishment, wheeled the “toxic” plan out in front of reporters just so they got an idea of what 4,000 pages of hastily assembled congressional profligacy looks like.
“I brought with me the omni, 4,155 pages. When was it produced? In the dead of the night — 1:30 in the morning when it was released,” Paul said.
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