Members of Congress assure us that they are concerned about the level of federal spending. They assure us that they have every intention of bringing spending under control.
Suuuuure they will.
But not this year. Maybe next year. Or Possibly in 2023.
A recent bill, H.R. 4348, passed in the House. It included money for flood insurance and the Keystone pipeline. It included money for flood insurance. In other words, it was a grab-bag of pork.
Why vote on all these measures separately? After all, Congress held hearings on most of them. Think of all the time Congress saved by not voting on them separately. Just toss them into one all-purpose bill. This way, Congress can spend so much more efficiently. We wouldn’t want an inefficient Congress, would we?
There were compromises, of course. To get the Environmental Protection Agency to approve the Keystone pipeline, Republicans had to let the EPA continue to regulate coal ash waste from power plants. You have to go along to get along in Washington.
For their part, Democrats had to accept a Republican proposal to allow states to avoid federal requirements that states spend highway funds on bike paths and beautification projects. Republicans said they wanted to allow states to spend the money where they thought it was most critical.
Congress had debated these issues for months. But with time running out, members tossed them all into one bill and voted.
Nobody read the bill. Nobody ever does.
A pile of these spending programs were tossed in on the last night. This is business as usual.