October 24, 2016
Rand Paul Criticizes Congress On $1.1 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill That No One Read

Rand Paul, and many conservatives, are fired up about the recent passage of the 2015 Omnibus spending bill. Paul seems to be the loudest one speaking out against a bill that the Kentucky senator says no one even bothered to take the time and read, according to Fox News.

"It was over a trillion dollars, it was all lumped together, 2,242 pages, nobody read it, so frankly my biggest complaint is that I have no idea what kind of things they stuck in that bill in the middle of the night."
An omnibus spending bill is different from a regular spending bill because it combines several of the smaller regular appropriations bills into one massive bill that only needs to be passed with one vote in each house.

Many Americans are just barely beginning to understand what is even in this massive spending bill that Senator Paul is describing that falls in to two separate bills, a $1.14 trillion spending plan and a $680 billion tax plan. His stance on this issue of not reading the bill has actually formed into a bill of its own called the "Read the Bills Act." Dr. Paul points out that the bill he is critiquing was brought forth, unread and massive, by both "right-wing Republicans" and "Left-wing Democrats."

"Once again this came not at the behest of just the Democrats. It came at the behest of right-wing Republicans who want military spending and left-wing Democrats who want welfare spending, and that's the first little secret."
150 Republicans
Image Via 150 Republicans | Courtesy Of Allenbwest.com |Resized

Paul called both parties' actions on the Omnibus spending bill and the tax bill an "Unholy alliance" that gives both sides money for their cause, and leaves taxpayers with the bill. The House passed the bill with a whopping 323-113, and the Senate by 65-33, according to Politico.

"You have people on the right who want unlimited military spending and then you've got people on the left who want unlimited welfare spending and the dirty little secret in Washington is that they come together… there's an unholy alliance and in that unholy alliance everybody gets money and the taxpayer gets stuck with the bill."
A spending bill that funded several items that Republicans, conservatives, and Tea partiers normally fight against, such as ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood funding. The Inquistr reported earlier this month that Republicans in both the House and Senate were working on a bill to defund Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare, so the irony is certainly not lost on the voters.

Much to the surprise of the average voter, this massive spending bill is not the first, and it literally mirrors a bill voted on last January. The Washington Times reported that the $1.1 trillion spending bill, which was merely 700 or so pages less than the current, also saved ObamaCare and most likely funded Planned Parenthood. The Senate passed the measure easily (72-26), and the House passed it handily as well (359-67).

Senator Rand Paul's frustration with how rushed this bill was might have some valid points to those outside of the Republican Party, as it slipped in the new CISA bill. The Cyber Information Sharing Act allows companies to share information directly with the Department of Defense and the NSA. CNBC reports that the information is supposed to be used for "Specific threat of death, serious bodily harm, serious economic harm, terrorism, harm to a minor and more."

Ron Wydon speaking
Image under CC BY-SA 2.0 Flickr| Courtesy Of Sam Craig| Resized

However, Senator Paul's privacy companion Senator Ron Wyden does not see the bill serving those purposes alone.

"Ultimately, I cannot vote for this badly flawed CISA bill. The latest version of CISA is the worst one yet it contains substantially fewer oversight and reporting provisions than the Senate version did. That means that violations of Americans' privacy will be more likely to go unnoticed."
New America.org sent a letter to the Senate earlier this year, concerning this same CISA bill, sign by "55 civil society organizations, security experts, and academics" who believe that the bill actually undermines cybersecurity.

[Image under CC BY-SA 2.0 Wikimedia Commons| Courtesy Of Gage Skidmore| Resized|Cropped]