Readers Write: Passing budget six months late is nothing to be proud of

Readers Write: Passing budget six months late is nothing to be proud of


The president and Congress should not be proud of the $1.2 trillion appropriations Omnibus Spending Bill. This was released on Thursday in the dead of night at 3 a.m. President Biden signed it into law on Saturday.  Today’s generation of Congress members should emulate the late Idaho Republican Sen. James A McClure.  For 19 years, he read every word of every bill before voting on it.  For many years, he signed his own mail.  

 Who had the time to read the fine print before being asked to vote up or down? Taking an Evelyn Wood speed reading class would not have helped anyone absorb the 1,112 pages. This included over 1,000 earmarks known as “community project funding” or “Congressionally directed” worth billions.  This package represented six of 12 major federal agency appropriations bills. They included the Departments of Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Labor, State and Treasury.  This should have been passed six months ago before the Oct. 1, 2023 start of federal fiscal year 2024 (Oct. 1, 2023 – Sept. 30, 2024).
Only lobbyists and key congressional staff members who wrote the fine print understood the details.  This includes all the pork barrel member item projects along with other legislative treats to “Pay for Play” contributors, lobbyists and special interest groups in the bill.  Millions of Americans take the time to read the fine print before taking out a loan or mortgage.  Members of Congress should have done the same.
Larry Penner
Great Neck

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