Omnibus Wish List

John Campbell
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Posted: Dec 17, 2007 4:55 PM

Late last night, Democrats released the omnibus spending bill that will be coming to the floor of the House for a vote tonight.  With barely 24 hours to look at this bill, it will be a mad dash to see what is exactly included in this spending measure that funds nearly every federal agency and will cost almost $1 trillion.

Democrats have talked a lot about fiscal responsibility, but they have not “walked the walk”.  In the short 10 months, while Democrats have been in the majority, Congress has passed legislation that would increase discretionary spending by a whopping $275 billion, and entitlement spending by $179 billion, over 10 years.

Here are a few things that I hope to see from the consideration of the omnibus spending bill and any other spending bill for that matter.

Earmarks

So far, the spending bills from the House have 6,651 earmarks, while the Senate spending bills have 4,700 earmarks.  This number is down from recent years, but Members have slipped millions worth of pork projects in conference reports.  This practice, known as “Airdropping” successfully bypasses transparency rules.

Authorization

The original request from President Bush in October was $933 billion. Since then nearly a quarter of the fiscal year has gone by. Counting previously appropriated funds, it is important that appropriations do not exceed the $933 billion level requested by the President.

Time

Upon becoming Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), pledged to allow 72 hours of study before any bill would be brought to a vote.  However, in consideration of this massive spending bill, we have barely 24 hours to disseminate everything present in roughly 3,500 pages.