Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday defended the House leadership’s decision to call a vote on a 1,582-page omnibus spending bill less than two full days after unveiling it.
“I would like to have more time,” Boehner said at a press conference following a House GOP conference meeting. “But we’re in a situation where the government is in fact going to run out of money.”
Current funding expires on Wednesday, and the House plans to pass a three-day extension on Tuesday to allow time for both chambers to vote on the omnibus and send it to President Obama for his signature.
The House would then vote on the full omnibus on Wednesday and send it to the Senate.
The $1.012 trillion bill was posted online and emailed to members on Monday evening, meaning GOP leaders will adhere to the letter of their rule to allow legislation to be publicly available on parts of three calendar days before a vote.
But the reality is that most if not all lawmakers will vote on legislation affecting the entire federal government without fully reading it, undermining a Republican campaign pledge from 2010 in which the party denounced Democrats for pushing through large bills without allowing members and the public adequate time to review them.
“We’re going to move a short-term [continuing resolution], but we want to get this government funding in place as soon as possible,” Boehner said. “And I think under the circumstances, what we’re doing is appropriate.”
House Republicans plan to move a rule through the Rules Committee on Tuesday that will prevent members from offering amendments to the bill on the floor.
Dan Holler, a spokesman for the conservative Heritage Action, criticized the rush.
“Multiple members have said they want to move the omnibus as rapidly as possible to avoid prolonged scrutiny. One unnamed member even used the term ‘blitzkrieg,’ " he said. "That sentiment flies in the face of the 2010 Pledge to America, which also criticized [former Speaker Nancy] Pelosi for ‘forbidding amendments on spending bills.' ”