New Speaker on Omnibus bills


Having read the below article, I am hopeful that Speaker Ryan will be able to end the omnibus and go back to the appropriations process.  However, I am not convinced that he will be able to do this due to other factors such as Harry Reid in the Senate.  (Thank goodness Senator Reid is not running again maybe some sanity will return to the Senate side) As a conservative I am still skeptical of Speaker Ryan as Speaker but am willing to give him a chance to bring order to the House to ensure it operates as constitutionally mandated.  I do agree with Representative Massie on the grade Speaker Ryan will receive if he is unable to accomplish this goal. Only time will tell.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has given Congress a New Year’s resolution: Skip gigantic spending bills and return to the regular, piece-by-piece appropriations process. That will prove a tough exercise for lawmakers in 2016, however.

The calendar and political obstacles are daunting. Congress will have a shorter session this year, making it difficult for legislators to pass all 12 appropriations bills individually—a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in over two decades.

In recent years, Congress has made a habit of approving government spending with a single vote. Instead of voting to fund individual agencies and programs one at a time, legislators bundle smaller appropriations bills into a single lump package.

Inside Washington, that massive legislation is known as the omnibus. Ryan calls it a “crap sandwich.”

 “We shouldn’t be putting appropriations bills together this way,” the Wisconsin Republican said late last year. “We shouldn’t have a handful of people in a room putting together a trillion-dollar spending bill.”

Still new on the top job in December and with a deadline looming, Ryan finished negotiations with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on a $1.8 trillion omnibus deal—legislation left over from his predecessor as speaker, John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Ryan promises things will be different. Starting in 2016, he says, the 12 government appropriations bills will be considered one at a time. And House conservatives say they’ll watch closely to make sure the speaker follows through.

“We have one job this year, and that’s to fund the government in a responsible, thoughtful, and constitutional manner,” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said Wednesday. “If we are here next year having just passed an omnibus, that is an F-minus [for Ryan]. If we pass 12 appropriations bills and stand our ground and force the Senate to face these issues, that’s an A.”

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