Shortly before the House of Representatives voted on and passed the $900 billion Wuhan coronavirus relief bill and the $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill, progressive darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) brought up a point that should concern most Americans: members of Congress received a more than 5,000-page document a couple of hours before voting.
According to AOC, there's no time for members or their staff to go through the entire bill and read what's being proposed.
This is why Congress needs time to actually read this package before voting on it.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 21, 2020
Members of Congress have not read this bill. It’s over 5000 pages, arrived at 2pm today, and we are told to expect a vote on it in 2 hours.
This isn’t governance. It’s hostage-taking. https://t.co/JpBbEHHkVG
And by the way, it’s not just members who need to see the bill ahead of time - YOU do.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 21, 2020
The PUBLIC needs to see these bills w enough time to contact their rep to let them know how they feel.
Members are reeling right now bc they don’t have time to consult w/ their communities.
I very rarely agree with Ocasio-Cortez, but she's right on this point. Members should have adequate time to read a bill so they know what's in it. They should know that there is a TON of pork in this bill for things that have nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic. We have frequently been told about the small portion of the bill that addresses the pandemic, like $300 a week in unemployment benefits and another round of direct pay stimulus checks. Instead of being $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, there is a flat rate of $600 per person, with no distinction between whether they are an adult or a child. The bill also includes funding for schools, health care workers and vaccine distribution. Another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are also part of this bill. But what exactly is in the bill?
It also includes a number of garbage spending items, like creating a "Climate Security Advisory Council," regulations surrounding horse racing, and a new office dedicated to "diversity." But there's no possible way members of Congress could know that if they're given the bill shortly before voting.
Apparently, this is another case of "pass the bill and then find out what's in it."