Rand Paul Wheels Out Pelosi-Schumer's 4,000+ Page Spending Bill on Cart, Shows Just How Absurd It Is


Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul is known for, each year around Christmastime, highlighting the wasteful and thoughtless ways the federal government sees fit to spend your money. Well, he should consider himself lucky this year: Santa brought him a present big enough it had to be wheeled out onto a stage for all to see.

Unfortunately, “Santa” in this case is the triumvirate of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. They helped broker a deal by which a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill will likely clear both the House and Senate — with some GOP votes in the latter chamber so as to not hold up the process — in time for the Christmas break.

“The legislation includes $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs and $858 billion in defense funding, according to a bill summary from Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations,” CNN reported Tuesday.

“The sweeping package includes roughly $45 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies, boosts in spending for disaster aid, college access, child care, mental health and food assistance, more support for the military and veterans and additional funds for the US Capitol Police, according to Leahy’s summary and one from Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. It also includes several major Medicaid provisions, including one that could disenroll up to 19 million people from the nation’s health insurance program for low-income Americans.”

Keep in mind that the copy of Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow” that’s been sitting unread on your library shelf for the last decade is a little over a thousand pages. The Pelosi-Schumer-McConnell bill is over 4,000 pages long and written in language so opaque it makes Pynchon’s prose read like “Goodnight Moon.” Congress is expected to hop-to and get this thing passed before Dec. 23 when funding for the federal government runs out.

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Paul, ever a grinch to the establishment, wheeled the “toxic” plan out in front of reporters just so they got an idea of what 4,000 pages of hastily assembled congressional profligacy looks like.

“I brought with me the omni, 4,155 pages. When was it produced? In the dead of the night — 1:30 in the morning when it was released,” Paul said.

“Now people argue it is conservatives’ fault, you don’t have the Christmas spirit, and somehow you’re holding up the government,” he continued. “Well, whose job is it to produce this? The people in charge of spending. The people in charge of both of the parties.

Do you approve of the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill?

“When did they know that this would be necessary? Well, it is in the law. Sept. 30. You’ve got nine months, almost ten months to produce a plan. They weren’t ready on Sept. 30, so they voted themselves 90 more days. They weren’t ready last week either, so they voted themselves another week. And now we have it at 1:30 in the morning this morning.

“But what’s the clamor? The clamor is to vote! ‘Vote now! Let’s get it done. Why are you standing in the way of spending?'” he continued.

“Well, the real question is this: What is more dangerous to the country — $1.1 trillion in new debt or, as Republican leadership likes to say, ‘Oh, it is a win! It is a big win. We’re getting $45 billion for the military’?” Paul asked.

“So which is more important? Which threatens the country more? Are we at risk from being invaded by a foreign power if we don’t put $45 billion into the military? Are we more at risk by adding to a $31 trillion debt?”

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“I think the greatest risk to our national security is our debt. The process stinks, it is an abomination. It is a no-good rotten way to run your government,” he continued.

“The American people don’t want this. They’re sick and tired of it. They’re paying for it through the nose with inflation,” he added. “Adding a trillion dollars to the deficit will simply fuel the fires that are consuming our wages and consuming our retirement plans. It is a terrible system. Someone needs to stand up. We’re standing up, and we’re going to say no.”

Whether or not this makes a difference remains to be seen; reports indicate it seems likely to get the GOP support it needs, and McConnell is unlikely to back down.

That said, in case you were wondering what that $1.7 trillion buys you, GOP Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina had his staff comb through it and find some of the more questionable measures.

First off, no money can be used by Customs and Border Protection “to acquire, maintain, or extend border security technology and capabilities” at home. Abroad, $410 million will go to five countries in the Middle East and North Africa “for enhanced border security.”

There’s $65 million for salmon, and $3 million for “Pollinator-Friendly Practices on Roadsides and Highway Rights-of-Way.”

There’s money for a federal building named after Nancy Pelosi and for the “Michelle Obama Trail”:

“On a more sinister note, here’s at least $575 million for ‘family planning’ in areas where population growth ‘threatens biodiversity,'” Bishop noted about one of the bill’s most egregious line-items. “Malthusianism is a disturbing, anti-human ideology that should have ZERO place in any federal program.”

And, on a lighter note, $300,000 a year for the “Continuous Plankton Recorder.”

This is what happens when you slap together a bunch of pork-barrel spending on top of the worst spending excesses of both parties and call it “bipartisan.”

Paul is right — the real threat is wild overspending at a time of record high inflation. There’s no reason to vote on this in a hurry just because the establishment figures on both sides couldn’t get their respective jobs done earlier. This absurdity of a bill needs to be voted down.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture