Rand Paul wonders how long it would take the clerk to read 4,155-page, $1.7 trillion spending bill

Ongoing attempts by Democrats and some Republicans to pass a $1.7 trillion omnibus boondoggle for 2023 come amid one of the highest spending sprees in U.S. history.

It’s a spending spree that began in 2020 ($6.5 trillion), continued into 2021 ($6.8 trillion), and repeated itself during fiscal year 2022 ($6.3 trillion).

“Lawmakers passed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill in late 2021, allowing the Biden administration to push out a giant wave of grant funding for their favorite projects across the country in 2022. Congress passed the $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act in 2022, which was more of an environment-health spending bill than an antidote to the high inflation levels not seen in 40 years,” according to Fox News.

“Lawmakers also approved a $280 billion bill to subsidize investment in semiconductor manufacturing, and they also approved $65 billion in Ukraine-related funding. As a result of these and other bills, total spending for fiscal year 2022 came in at $6.3 trillion – almost as much as the record highs reached when COVID fear still gripped the nation,” Fox News reported Wednesday.

Measuring in at 4,155 pages, the latest spending bill reportedly hasn’t even been read by most members of Congress, as noted below by Sen. Rand Paul:

Like every other spending bill, the omnibus is also full to the brim with earmarks and pork, particularly “woke” earmarks and pork.

For instance, it includes $3.5 million for the dystopian Office of Diversity & Inclusion and $1.2 million for an LGBT+ pride center in California.

The omnibus also includes a whopping $1.7 billion to “promote green infrastructure, invest in resilient communities and help address climate change.”

See more pork examples below:

But all of this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Another $3 million has reportedly been set aside for the Pollinator-Friendly Practices on Roadsides and Highway Rights-of-Way Program.

“That program provides grants to state departments of transportation, Native American tribes and federal land management agencies for ‘activities to benefit pollinators on roadsides and highway rights-of-ways’ like planting certain types of fauna or implementing certain mowing strategies,” according to Fox Business Network.

Then there’s $65 million “for necessary expenses associated with the restoration of Pacific salmon populations.”

No joke:

The omnibus does include spending for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but predictably, the money is prohibited from being used “to acquire, maintain, or extend border security technology and capabilities.”

Conversely, the omnibus bill allocates $410 million toward improving the border security of other nations, including Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman.

The exorbitant spending bill has attracted widespread criticism from the right, including from House Republicans, who for their part are fully opposed to it.

But their opposition is meaningless if the bill makes it through the Senate. The problem is that Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell fully supports the bill.

“The bipartisan government-funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration first proposed. This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline . . . and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline,” he said Tuesday, bragging about the concessions he’s been able to secure.

But critics say McConnell is making a giant mistake by going with the left. They say he should instead pass a continuing resolution and wait until Republicans officially retake the House next month to push through any spending.

Critics like Heritage Foundation’s vice president of government relations, Eric Teetsel.

“No defeated, outgoing House majority has ever had the audacity to pass an omnibus appropriations bill during a lame-duck session, and they shouldn’t start now. The best option is to pass a clean, short-term continuing resolution that funds the government through early next year,” Teetsel said in a statement earlier this month.

“This allows the newly elected Congress to craft spending in a way that reflects the priorities of the American people, gets spending under control, and reins in inflation,” he added.

But McConnell apparently disagrees, and nobody knows why.

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Vivek Saxena

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