The huge end-of-session omnibus spending bill scheduled for consideration today was filed after 11 p.m. Tuesday, and will come to the House floor under a closed rule. As a result, Members will have had less than 24 hours to review a measure comprising 357 pages (and an additional 752 pages in the Joint Explanatory Statement), with more than $1 trillion in new spending; and Members will have no opportunity to offer amendments. Thus, the Democratic Majority – having deliberately abandoned the responsibility to fund the basic operations of government – also have jettisoned any pretense of regular order in the House.
The bill, H.R. 2638, is much more than a continuing resolution [CR] to keep the government running – made necessary because the Majority will have failed to send to the President even one regular appropriations bill for fiscal year 2009, which begins a week from today. It is a combination CR, supplemental, and omnibus appropriations bill.
The measure provides spending for a range of government operations and activities funded in the discretionary budget. These include the following: temporary fiscal year 2009 funding for nine of the 12 annual appropriations bills under a CR at the enacted 2008 nonemergency level, with some adjustments; the fiscal year 2009 Defense, Homeland Security, and Military Construction appropriations bills; and emergency supplemental spending for various items, including hurricanes, firefighting, flooding, and loan guaranties for U.S. automakers.
The bill also contains roughly 2,627 congressional earmarks totaling $16.1 billion in spending.
Read the full report here.