From the Wikipedia entry regarding omnibus bills...
“An omnibus bill is a proposed law that covers a number of diverse or unrelated topics. Omnibus is derived from Latin and means "to, for, by, with or from everything". An omnibus bill is a single document that is accepted in a single vote by a legislature but packages together several measures into one or combines diverse subjects.
Because of their large size and scope, omnibus bills limit opportunities for debate and scrutiny. Historically, omnibus bills have sometimes been used to pass controversial amendments. For this reason, some consider omnibus bills to be anti-democratic.”
Omnibus legislation bit us in the ass again Monday, December 22, 2020. Both chambers of Congress voted on, and passed, a 5,593 page omnibus package that our lawmakers had 6 hours to read over. In true Pelosi form, Congress passed the bill so they could find out what was in it.
The bill provided a whopping $600 for struggling Americans. It included a $300/week
enhancement to federal unemployment benefits through mid-March. $284 billion in loans for businesses via the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was also part of the package. These are the parts of the bill that made sense, the true targets of the relief bill.
Then things start getting swampy.
The bill that was supposed to bring relief to American citizens & businesses that had been stressed to the max called for creating a Latino Museum and a Women’s History Museum on the National Mall. It set aside $10 mil for “gender programs” in Pakistan. The Kennedy Center for the Arts, which received $25 mil earlier this year from the previous Covid relief bill, gets another $40 mil this time. And what will certainly grind some gears... Egypt Cambodia, Nepal, and Burma are all getting bookoo bucks (wellll over 1.5B collectively).
During a time when many Americans are struggling and looking to Washington for help, Uncle Sam is strung out in D.C. and wrestling with a severe spending addiction. As I write this, the Gallup has the Congressional Approval Rating at 15%. Congress currently cannot get 2 in 10 Americans to say they’re doing a good job. And just like most addicts out there, they couldn’t care less about what you think of them.
America isn’t the only country plagued by omnibus legislation. Canada and Australia also have omnibus bills, and from what I’ve read their citizens hate omnibus bundling as much as we do. Omnibus bills are not a new phenomenon either, they were being used as far back as 1850. In 1861, the Constitution of the Confederate States banned omnibus legislation, stating that each bill “shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.”
Personally, I think the confederate outlook on omnibus bills is sexy as hell. If we as a country banned omnibus bills, it would force accountability on our lawmakers. If we were to corner a lawmaker today & ask him/her why they voted to give $10 mil to gender programs in Pakistan, they will obviously claim they were actually voting to give Americans financial relief. Ban omnibus bills and then we can ask a lawmaker why he/she voted specifically to give the Kennedy Center an additional $40 mil and hold their feet to the fire.
The way omnibus bills get bundled, additional spending sneaks in like a ninja. We often never know who is responsible for sliding the spending into important and vital bills. Banning omnibus legislation would put a stop to that. Each stand alone bill would have a sponsor and co-sponsor(s). A normal person would think this would scare a lawmaker away from being associated with horrible spending, but as the swamp has shown us, it may very well won’t.
This is how YOUR government works for YOU in 2020, handing out cash slaughtered from little piggies like you and me.