WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 21: The U.S. Capitol in the late afternoon before lawmakers vote to pass a bill … [+]
On Monday, lawmakers passed the $ 900 billion Covid-19 Relief Act. At 5,593 pages, it was the greatest law of all time. While it was designed to expand economic support to Americans, many lawmakers used social media to voice their criticism that it was impossible to know exactly what was in the bill. Reading was hardly an option as lawmakers only had six hours to read the nearly 6,000 pages before casting their vote.
It was about the “pork” that was added to the bill.
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) (@SenMikeLee) posted multiple tweets complaining that it would be impossible to know what he was voting for: “This is the expense statement that is being examined in Congress today. Me I only received it a few moments ago. ” and will likely be asked to vote on it late tonight. It is 5,593 pages long. I know there are some good things. I am equally confident that there are bad things. “
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) was among those calling for the bill to include provisions that had absolutely nothing to do with easing Covid-19, such as making illegal streaming a crime. The New York Congresswoman tweeted, “Because of this, Congress needs time to actually read this package before voting on it. Members of Congress haven’t read this bill. It is over 5,000 pages and arrived at 2pm today . We should expect a vote. ” in 2 hours. This is not governance. It’s hostage-taking. “
MP Ocasio-Cortez was also among the politicians who suggested that not only those on Capitol Hill should know how the law gets passed. She added, “By the way, not only do members need to see the bill upfront – YOU do too. The PUBLIC needs to see these bills with enough time to contact their representative and let them know how they feel. Members are staggering you right now they don’t have time to consult with their communities. “
In a rare sign of bipartisanism at a time of deeply divided nation, Republicans collectively criticized the bill.
That included Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who was a vocal critic of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, and he tweeted (@tedcruz): “. @ AOC is right. It’s ABSURD, a 2.5 expense bill Negotiating trillions of dollars in secret and then – hours later – calling for an up or down vote on a bill that no one had time to read. #CongressIsBroken “
Rep. Ralph Norman (RS.C.) (@RepRalphNorman) was one of those lawmakers who struggled with the size of the bill – both in terms of the number of pages and the amount of money. “Folks, we just received a 5,600 page PDF which is one of the largest expense accounts in our history, and NOT ONE member of Congress will have had time to read through it before voting later. This is terrible governance and disservice to the American people. “
This included Republican Congressman Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAz) from Arizona, who shared his thoughts on Twitter: “Votes are expected on this legislation today. Nobody will be able to read everything in its entirety. Special interests will win . Americans are losing. “”
Of course, there were those who shot back at some of the comments. Michael Muscato (@michael_muscato), who ran for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District Democrat in the 2020 election, was a sore loser with a sour grape when he replied to Biggs, “The first 8 pages are the table of contents. I would, too Don’t consider more than 1/3 of an actual page. Put on your big boys pants and do your job. “
Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) (@Lurenboebert) called the inclusion of $ 600 stimulus checks a distraction. “The controversy over the price of the $ 600 stimulus checks is the talk Congress wants you to distract from how awful the rest of the COVID-19 bailout is. There’s a reason they are members only hours gave an invoice with 5,593 pages before the vote! “
Rep.-Elect Boebert also appeared to be one who was actually able to search the 5,500+ pages and pull out some provisions. “It also includes tons of wind and solar subsidies. It extends offshore wind loans by five years, extends the wind PTC by one year, extends the solar ITC by two years, and directs $ 35.2 billion in clean energy “Projects $ 600 checks are” shut up. “
It wasn’t just lawmakers – or prospective lawmakers – who had problems with the bill. Actress / activist Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) was among those who struggled with the bill because she hadn’t done enough to help families in trouble, while the aid package contained provisions to help America’s allies.
She tweeted: “Between 30 and 40 million families are at risk of eviction, but Congress can only afford $ 600 per person. I’m sure the $ 500 million in arms and military aid to Israel and the $ 2 billion in air missiles will help to stay. ” keep them warm when they are on the road. “
Obviously, those on the far right and left are equally unhappy. In business life it is said that if everyone goes away a little dissatisfied, that is good business. But if there’s a lot of anger about the aid package, it might just be bad business for everyone including American taxpayers.