Saturday, November 20, 2004

"A Terrible Way to Do Business"

I'm sick. Literally and figuratively. It's Saturday night and what am I doing? I'm watching the Senate floor debate of the $388 Billion omnibus appropriations bill. It's a sickness I don't understand as I can't tear myself away from C-Span 2.

But what is sicker than my reaction to the theater I'm watching is the workings of the theater. The bill is over 3,000 pages in length and, as Sen. McCain noted, there is no way any one of those senators, elected by us, representing us, and there to protect our interests, could have read this bill that is about to be passed into law spending $388 Billion with a big fat capital "B." No chance. None.

Yet here's the debate where even Sen. McCain, a Republican, is questioning the provisions to the bill. Last minute provisions made in the middle of the night. Provisions filled with pork. Money for the Scandinavian Americans' charter. Money for the Hard Rock cafe. Wonderful provisions that would allow certain committee chairs to have access to and the ability to release IRS tax return information on any one of us. Any American. Our IRS tax return information. And the Republicans initially objected to taking this provision out!

One of the highlights of what I've seen so far was when Sen. McCain reminded the chairman that Bush will be along shortly asking for an additional $70 Billion for Iraq. An additional $70 Billion with a capital "B" dollars of our money to be added to the $388 Billion with a capital "B" dollars of our money. We have a record deficit. There are provisions in this bill that study the effects of Mariachi Music on student achievement! Bush is going to ask for more money on top of this ridiculous bill. And there's last minute provisions to let certain congressman view and release any American's tax returns.

I'd have to agree with Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska): "This is a terrible way to do business."

Mr. Chairman, in regards to how our elected officials are doing business, I'd like to add for the record that that this American is disgusted.