Bachmann: 'Virtually Impossible' for Anyone in Congress to Read 1,924-Page Spending Bill Before Vote

December 16, 2010 - 5:30 PM

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.)

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. (Associated Press/Cliff Owen)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told CNSNews.com that it will be “virtually impossible” for any member of Congress to read the proposed $1.1 trillion, 1,924 page omnibus spending bill before Congress votes on it.

Bachmann said that instead of passing this last-minute bill meant to fund much of the federal government through the end of fiscal 2011, Congress should enact legislation that simply freezes spending at current levels until January when the new Congress elected in November can come to Washington and enact longer-term spending legislation.

The current government-funding package—a stopgap measure pushed through by the Democratic majority before the November elections--expires on Saturday at midnight, meaning Congress must approve new legislation of some kind by then to keep the government funded.

“It is impossible to,” Bachmann said when asked Wednesday if she had read the omnibus bill. “It was constructed behind closed doors over a period of about 3 days and it was just released.  It’s almost about 2,000 pages. It’s the worst of Washington. It’s what everyone hates about this city--bills that are secretly done behind closed doors and then thrown open in front of us while we have a million other bills put in front of us.

“Virtually impossible is it for any member of Congress to read this bill,” Bachman continued. “It is 1.1 trillion dollars of spending--money that we don’t have. Money that isn’t paid for and it has 6,600 monstrous earmarks in it. It’s everything that people don’t like and I’m an easy no on this bill.”

Bachmann said the bill would put Americans in what she called "the debt-paying generation"--Americans under 30--in a deeper hole than they already have been put into by deficit spending.

“I disagree with the bill, number one because it’s not paid for, the $1.1 trillion,” said Bachmann. “We cannot continue to spend money that we don’t have. We’re in a very difficult place financially in the county and let’s face it, the debt-paying generation, any one 30 years of age or below, we will be putting them in a hole that will be virtually impossible to get out of.

“When you take this omnibus spending bill and you couple that with quantitative easing part two from the Federal Reserve, you’re looking, essentially at a trillion of dollars that are going to be printed in the next two years. I don’t know where to go to dig out from this. I really don’t. We’re putting the United States in the same type of situation that Greece has been encountering, that Spain has been encountering, that the U.K. has been encountering. We don’t want to see that happen here in the United States.”

CNSNews.com asked Bachmann what she thinks is a better alternative to the omnibus bill.

“What we should do in the short term, is the current tax rates that we have, we should just extend them all into next year,” she said. “With the spending, we should keep the spending exactly at the levels as it is, push it into January and then when the new Congress comes in, then we decide with the President because we need to reflect the will of the people that voted in November.”

Bachmann blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for failing to take care of budgetary matters in a timely manner before the end of fiscal 2010.

“Remember what’s happened,” said Bachmann. “In 2010, Speaker Pelosi failed to pass a budget bill.  It’s now December 15, we’re two weeks from the end of the year. She didn’t do her work by getting her budget bill passed. She didn’t do her spending bill. She didn’t do her tax bill. I would say that’s a failure; easily a failure,” she said.

The Hill has reported that Senate Republicans will halt the floor for 50 hours by making clerks read the entire 1,924-page omnibus spending bill.