CongressResponse to the following should be no less than 150 words and no more than about 300 words for each.
1. In a simple run down, potential laws are put into bills, presented to a variety of levels for approval through citizens, governors, and Congress itself. Before the bill becomes a law, it must pass through both houses of Congress and signed by the President (ushistory.org, n.d.). You could consider an omnibus bill to be not just your typical bill, but a collection of bills put together into one super-bill.
There are advantages to omnibus bills, obviously since it is several bills combined into a single bill it requires more immediate attention of Congress to investigate and debate if it should be passed, since there is a time limit of one year before it would be “killed”. The other benefit of an omnibus bill is it becomes harder for the President to veto the bill (Tollestrup, 2010). The President may not like the idea of spending $500,000 on weapons research that was presented in the bill, but he is really in favor of the other eight or nine ideas that involve $500 billion on rebuilding other countries, and because of the time crunch and lengthy documentation, the pressure is on him.
In 2011, the Senate passed a $915 billion omnibus appropriations bill. This bill combined a number topics, based on funding for the departments of Defense, education, energy, Homeland Security, labor, as well as Health and Human Services. There was in fact strategy put forth by the Democrats, which claimed this as a victory for them. According to Senator Chuck Schumer “Republicans will not have the leverage of shutting down the government or raising the debt ceiling” (Bolton, 2011). Though this was an accurate prediction, the Government did nearly shut down last year around October, which many do blame the Republicans for. As you can see, there is more to an omnibus bill than just trying to produce new laws, it is more about what is the next move and how to slow down your competition.
2. What is different about an omnibus bill? Well in our reading assignment and further investigating on this subject you fist must understand what it is and how that makes it different than a regular bill. A regular bill brought before congress is generally just on one topic whereas an omnibus bill has a large number of normally unrelated topics for example it may include a provision on farming funds and also have money in the bill for let’s say the bridge to nowhere.
Omnibus bills are set up for a bill that has to be passed and time is of the essence usually toward the end of a session and Congress uses this not only for let’s say the good of the country but also for political gain; yes omnibus bills are thrown together and allows congress to avoid prolonged debates in both the upper and lower chambers and it also allows congress to have a sense of accomplishment and it clears the docket for when they return for the next session but this also makes it easy for the senators and congressmen to put in those special favors for their supporters and constitutes this is known as “pork”. It is much easier to hide a measure in an omnibus bill and pass the measure because no one has read the entire bill an example of this would be the budget; in 1988 during the state of the union address then President Reagan slammed down three giant stacks of budget bills weighing over forty pounds it’s funny how both sides of congress gave him a standing ovation when he stated that congress should never again send such a bill for a signature and if they did he would not sign it. But as we can see it has not changed congress still passes these bills on a yearly basses such as the health care bill and military spending that also included funds for roadwork and bridges in various states. I would have to agree with President Reagan and also Senator Rand Paul which has stated that all bills should be read cover to cover before ever being voted on. I think I found a way to shrink the debt.