Omnibust: Nightmare Before Taxpayer’s Christmas

StatementOmnibust: Nightmare Before Taxpayer’s ChristmasConsolidated and Further Consolidated Rushed Through Congress

Budget & Tax,  | Analysis
Dec 17, 2019  | 2 min read | Print Article

Statement on FY2020 Consolidated and Further Consolidated Appropriations Bills

The die was cast when the lawmakers and the administration struck the budget busting Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2019 earlier this year. This called for spending in FY2020 that was roughly $170 billion more than the caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Now those spending chickens have come to roost in the FY2020 Consolidated Appropriations bill and – wait for it – the FY2020 Further Consolidated Appropriations bill. One bill can’t hold $1.3947 trillion in spending. In truth, they were likely split up into two bills that were less than $1 trillion each so the President didn’t have to sign one massive omnibus. Instead he will sign two slightly less massive omnibus bills that comprise all 12 federal spending bills (4 in one, 8 in the other) on the same day.

Between the two bills and the explanatory text, the total number of pages is 3,823. The bills hit the street at roughly 5 PM last night. The House is planning on voting today. To have read the legislation by 5PM today, lawmakers would have to have pulled an all-nighter and maintained a 2.7 page per minute pace. Even to have read every page by midnight Friday deadline to keep government open would require lawmakers to not sleep for 4 days and keep up a more than half a page per minute reading pace (0.6 pages to be exact). We’re no fans of continuing resolutions, but by any measure this is a terrible way to legislate and guarantees wasteful spending that won’t be uncovered for weeks if ever.

This is a $1.4 trillion lump of coal in taxpayer’s stockings.

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