Republican House back to business as usual

They took time out from voting to erase everyone’s memory of Obamacare to hand out money to campaign contributors.

Dana Milbank: D.C. returns to business as usual – The Washington Post

A very different Republican Party rushed a massive spending bill through the House on Wednesday, just 44 hours after it was posted. The bill was 1,582 pages and accompanying explanatory statements added 1,278 more, which means lawmakers had less than a minute to read each page, even if they didn’t sleep.

This was an ugly and gargantuan spending bill, cutting vital programs while sending goodies to well-connected industries. And yet there was some good news in the swift and easy passage through the House, followed quickly by the Senate. It means business as usual is returning to the Capitol.

There’s nothing to love about Washington’s business as usual, in which lawmakers on both sides do the bidding of the powerful. Yet even this is better than the endless crises and constant brinkmanship of the last three years. The spending bill also offers another sign that the tea party activists and affiliated organizations are losing their hold on Republicans. …

? It awards the Pentagon $666 million to study illnesses and afflictions that include Lou Gehrig’s disease and breast cancer — activities not closely related to war-fighting.

? It gives the oil and nuclear industries a bonanza: $154 million more than the Energy Department requested for nuclear energy, and $141 million more than requested for fossil-fuel development, despite enormous oil profits.

?Skirting a ban on earmarks, the bill provides more than $44 million for the Army Corps of Engineers that the administration had not requested. And lawmakers have been issuing news releases bragging about pet projects that are earmarks in everything but name.

Now it’s Democrats’ turn to howl about reading the bill. “My colleagues are being asked to vote on this, over 1,500 pages that nobody has read,” Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts protested during the debate. “I am willing to bet that in a week or so we are going to read an article about something that was in here that nobody even knew about.”

Dana Milbank: D.C. returns to business as usual – The Washington Post

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