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December 15th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

2,000-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill that some lawmakers haven't seen? 

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Congress had all year to do the public's business, but it didn't.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

It's Congress' job to pass a budget, which they didn't even bother to try to do. But check out what they came up with at the last minute:

A $1.1 trillion, 2,000-page omnibus spending bill put together behind closed doors. This Senate bill - which would fund the federal government for a year - includes more than 6,000 earmarks. Of course, this all comes only weeks after many senators swore off earmarks.

Republicans are blasting the bill, calling it "completely inappropriate." They say many in their caucus haven't even seen the bill.

Here we go again. Some lawmakers haven't even read the thing, but congressional leaders expect it to just sail through.

Instead of a government-wide, or omnibus spending bill, Republicans are calling for a short-term continuing budget resolution, which is similar to what the House passed last week - without any pork.

Meanwhile Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is threatening to keep Congress in session through the Christmas holidays and into next near, saying, "We're not through. Congress ends on January 4."

You see, with just days to go before the Democrats lose their majority in the House, they've decided now is the time to pass the legislation they haven't gotten around to in the last two years including an arms treaty with Russia, an immigration bill, repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," you name it.

It's no wonder that according to Gallup polling Congress' job approval is at a historic low of 13 percent. That's the worst it's ever been in the 36 years they've asked this question.

Here’s my question to you: Should Congress pass a 2,000-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill that some members haven't even seen?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kris writes:
Should they work through January 4th if necessary? Absolutely. Should there be a budget every year? Absolutely, no matter which party is running the show!

Read every page of every bill? Would be nice. Maybe if they didn't make things so complex, they wouldn't be so many pages long. I know I would want to rip my eyes out after reading a 2,000-page bill. But that is why they get paid. Both parties are amazing at kicking the can down the road.

Gretchen in Toledo, Ohio writes:
I am a disenchanted, moderate Democrat who's sick and tired of congressional shenanigans. I fully support my president and his policy-making judgment. On the other hand, I have serious doubts about the integrity of many members of Congress and what motivates them. Your question causes me to wonder how often legislation is passed without being seen by some members, and why.

Jim writes:
Who's gonna teach the Republicans how to read?

John writes:
How is this even a question? Of course not. It is a disgrace that they try to do anything in the lame duck session. Name another job in the world where you can get fired and for the next 9 weeks you get to come in and make financial decisions on behalf of your stakeholders? The law needs to be changed to eliminate the lame duck session.

C. writes:
New congressional rule: You can't vote until you've passed a quiz on what's in the bill. That'll keep them shorter and thinner. Maybe. They'd probably copy each other's answers.

Staci in Oregon writes:
Too sad for words, Jack. There's not a thing Americans can do or say which will make any difference. Integrity is no longer a concern. Isn't that something?

Mike in Jensen Beach, Florida writes:
Asking politicians which bills they read is like asking Sarah Palin which newspapers she reads.


Filed under: Congress • Congressional Spending
soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. Jamie in St. Louis

    Hell no. Isn't that how we got stuck with the health care law? I don't know though. Maybe I'll feel differently after they pass it and we all find out what's in it.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  2. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    In this lame-duck group or maybe I should just say lame, they might as well before it gets loaded up with more pork. In Sarah's words, their impotent and limp when it comes to making the needed cuts.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  3. Paul Austin,Texas

    Why not Jack it is obvious most if any do not read the bills to be voted on let alone see one. The only one they are sure to see is and read is the one that gives them a raise.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  4. Karen

    Knowing Congress, they will pass the bill just like they did the healthcare bill with Pelosi saying that "you need to pass it to find out what's in it". In other words, it is business as usual in Washington. Instead of a straight up or down vote, they once again toss in more pork (earmarks). By the way, it isn't a tax cut if you are maintaining the current tax rates.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  5. Tina Tx

    Jack, my dear you ought to know how things work in D. C by now. They never read anything but their own bills and then pass it through close to adjournment time and convintley will slip their pay raises right in the bills that no one read. And the tea party people said they would stop the way business is run as usual. What a lie. No one can stop the 3 ring circus that has taken place as long as there has been a USA.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  6. Floyd Burgess

    Of course they will vote for it. They are so stupid, they do not know how much a trillion dollars will add to our deficit they promise to reduce. They might realize how much a trillion is if they started to count that much right now: :one , two ,three....."

    December 15, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  7. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    Get serious, Jack. Republicans don't need to see it before they say, "No!"

    If they're against health care for the 9/11 first responders, and keeping nuclear weapons from terrorist, they're against everything, sight unseen. Easy peasy.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  8. Pisher from Harrisburg

    Jack, the answer simply is, of course not. But let's be clear...the Congress has no one but itself to blame for not passing responsible fiscal policies wherebye there budgets have to be more transparent and studied. It is the system they allow. It is the system they follow and remains that system that is strangling us.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  9. John from Alabama

    Jack: No member of Congress should pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill, but then we all love those earmarks. There should be an amendment to the US Constitution outlawing earmarks by Congress. Now like that is going happen. Democrats and Republicans are both guilty of pet earmarks.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  10. BOB K YOUNGSTOWN OHIO

    Why not? No Congress, regardless of which party controlled it, has ever read very many pages of any spending bill. All any congressman worth his salt needs to do is have one of his aides go through the bill and highlight the pages his pet projects are on..

    December 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  11. Kathie

    ANY legislation should be read prior to signing but since our elected nonrepresentatives seem incapable of doing what they should I won't hold my breath for them to start now. So much pork added to this bill–so goes for clean bills and responsible fiscal management. Nothing should be signed until read and understood instead of listening to their "leaders"

    December 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  12. juan of these knights

    Well done, Jack.

    You have, very succinctly, pointed out just how terrible Democrats can be.

    – Democrats – Happily destroying our country since... well, pretty much, always –

    December 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  13. Maggie in Lorton, VA

    Jack, you're kidding, aren't you? These Senators have seen the parts that they themselves have written or co-written. They can see all the other parts if they are interested. Get that. If they are interested. They have staffers who can summarize it for them if necessary. Otherwise, this is the same old same old - and dang! they get paid for it!

    December 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  14. Bizz Quarryville Pennsylvania

    No they should not pass a bill that they haven't read. But you and I both know even if they have a year to read the bill they would not do it. Each party meets behind closed doors and decides how they will vote. The republicans are particularly good at this because each man and woman cast the same vote. They then decide what their comments will be when ask questions. It always seems their comments are just about word for word for each member with one particular adjective being used. Now the top 2% of the most wealthy people in America can enjoy a very merry Christmas and happy holidays.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  15. Ralph

    Nope! Put it this way Jack, would you sign and send back a blank check for your monthly household bills with out opening the envelopes they came in?
    Ralph – Corpus Christi, Texas

    December 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  16. Matt

    Jack

    Isn't this what they have done in the past? What I want to see is which Senators get what earmarks. I wish the list would be published so we can see who the hypocrits are.

    Matt
    Rockford, IL

    December 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  17. Jane (Minnesota)

    Jack – the Republicans would do (probably have done) the same thing in the majority. Politicians are politicians no matter what side of the aisle they sit on. Did doesn't make it right either way.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  18. Rich McKinney, Texas

    No i don't think they should pass any bill that those who will vote on have not even read. That is just irresponsible. But then again congress has never been responsible or accepted responsibility for what they have done. A classic example is the war in Iraq? We still have not seen those WMD's that all those solders and Iraqis died over, not to mention the trillions and trillions of dollars spent. I guess when you make a mistake of that magnitude then a pork packed bill of a little over a trillion dollars is small potatoes.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  19. Kevin of SD CA

    What do you think Jack? Why don't you publish the names of the morons in Congress that continue to come up with spending bills instead of cutting the pay and the benefits of the gravy train to total collapse of the United States economy?

    December 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  20. James Arnold

    The talk about federal spending and deficit has a simple solution. Apparently all of our Congressmen and Congresswomen forget that in order to pay bills, revenue has to be generated. Many politicians only speak of half of the problem (the spending). The other half is the need to generate more revenue to pay the federal bills. If we balance the revenue stream through taxes, then we can actually "save" money by reducing spending on programs that do not work as they should. It is easier to generate the surplus in revenue and then deal with spending rather than do it in reverse. Think about this, if tax rates rise, will anyone move OUT of the United States?

    December 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  21. Gary H. Boyd

    Of course not Jack. An interium bill would suffice until after January 4th. In the meanwhile, let me ask you a qustion Jack. With Congress having only a 13% approval rating, at what point do the peasants storm the castle?

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    December 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  22. Rodney Simmons

    Should they? Absolutely not! Will they? Probably so, but the earmarks in this bill are ridiculous, for example $413,000 for peanut research in Alabama! Really??!! This is an issue? I say cut any federal aid going to Nevada for not voting Harry Reid out, he is all for the bill. Wonder why? Could be the $235,000 for noxious weed management going to Nevada if this bill is passed

    December 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  23. Gail, Plano TX

    Come on, Jack! U know that the reason so much legislation is left undone is because of the Republicans! Anything the President proposes is filibustered. They want him to fail as they have said. It is pathetic isn't it? America, land of the free but home of the haters!

    December 15, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  24. Loren

    God, no. Closed door budget deals are what the Democrats pledged to stop. So why does Senator Reid think this is the time for another? His behavior is a crime against America.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  25. Russ in PA

    Hey, it's what politicians do. If this doesn't show the American people how crooked and deceitful the majority of their elected officials are, nothing will. Until the dollar crashes, of course. Let's see the politicians get out of that one...

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    December 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  26. Gretchen Toledo, OH

    I am a disenchanted moderate Democrat that's sick and tired of congressional shenanigans. I fully support my President and his policy making judgement; on the other hand, have serious doubts about the integrity of many members of Congress and what motivates them. Your question causes me to wonder how often legislation is passed without being seen by some members, and why. Two thousand pages has to make for a compelling read, don't you think? Lame doesn't do them justice.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  27. Joanne B

    Absolutely not ! The budget bills should be debated separately and voted on separately re each issue -and not in one hodge podge of a bill loaded with pork. Earmarks show corruption as it involves bribery and kickbacks, thus these congresspeople are engaging in criminal activities still irregardless of the American People said "stop" Nov 2nd.
    Repubs have some earmarks in bill as well, they claim they are old earmarks and want them removed now.
    More old timers need to be replaced it does appear.
    Joanne
    Mn

    December 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  28. Katja in Tampa, Florida

    Of course not! But do you really think that they will take the time actually read something that matters. Why would the lawmakers do their jobs? They get paid really well to do nothing! Best jobs in the country.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  29. Donald Desaulniers (Belleville, Canada)

    It doesn't matter to America whether they pass it or not. They will spend the money anyway, and then some. A spend-up of $1.1 trillion dollars sounds kind of big, but I can't visualize how huge it really is.
    This past spendaholic Congress taught us that word "trillion". I wonder if the new Congress will spend America into the "quadrillion" level. Only God or Bernie Madoff could possibly understand that amount of money. I suspect that a giant scam has been and is still being perpetrated by Congress on the American people.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  30. Bob Kobs

    You get what you voted for. What did you expect after sending to Congress uneducated bigots whose qualification for office was a hatred for Obama and Pelosi?

    These people cannot read! All they know is to scream and yell epithets.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  31. Ed from California

    No! What Congress or the president should do is come clean, and say to the American people, When can we expect to see our American manufacturing jobs returned to the U.S again. The United States has lost thousands of factories to other countries while the owners of said factories have made billions of dollars in profits. Are these jobs gone for good or what? It's the old saying, "While Rome (U.S.A) burns, Nero(Congress, President, The Rich) fiddles.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  32. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    No they shouldn't. Despite not being surprised by this news, I'm still at a loss over what to say. Maybe for the 2012 election, there should be a "None of the above" movement.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  33. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    This is a Senate bill – that would fund the federal government for a year
    It is not another stimulus. It is what pays for the government to run.
    Yes, they should read it. Yes, they should pass it.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  34. Jerry A - Toronto

    As far as I'm concerned Jack, the answer is yes, they must read it. But in the time honored tradition of politics and politicians, most will vote party lines whether they have read it or not. It's time they simplify the matter, one issue, one vote. Stop putting so many things into one bill. This way everyone knows who voted for what. Guaranteed the earmarks will go away and every election the people will know who actually screwed them over.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  35. gary rogers

    congress never reads anything – re: the healthcare bill. yet they complain about everything they have not read when they pass the bill. someone should invent "crib notes" for all of congress. since the book is only about 25 pages long, you would think that they can read that much!

    gary

    December 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  36. Diane - Allentown, PA

    No, what I do think is they should put it out there for all of us to see, wouldn't THAT be interesting?

    December 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  37. Patrick McDonald. Seattle, WA.

    Total irresponsibility,
    Am I still in America? Should we demand recall elections?
    We can not trust these lier's any further.
    Some one in China is laughing.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  38. southerncousin

    Isn't that a shame. These people were elected to represent us and they could care less. Thank god, we have some new leadership coming to this pit. Now, if Obama would just resign before he is impeached, we could get this country rolling again.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  39. Tripp, Dallas

    Jack, STOP IT!! Congress passes spending bills that they haven't seen ALL of the time! This is not new. This is the STANDARD in Washington, D.C. I'm pretty sure that Congress men and women are the MOST uneducated Americans about the bills they pass!

    How many times did we give George BUST a blank check for his wars? How much de-regulation has been passed over the last TWENTY years? How many earmarks have been shelled out of our tax dollars? It's ridiculous, but it's THEIR way.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  40. Ken New Baltimore

    I want to thank the Democrats. They proved to the voters just how stupid they are, not how stupid we are. Not only did they not hear the voters at mid-term, they're ignoring them just as they did over ObamaCare. They have their agenda and to heck with the poor little peons living beyond the beltway. They claim that they make earmarks to use unspent money. Wait a minute. They insert them into bills, jack up the price and then claim them and say we have to use dollars or lose them. Well, in two years they can kiss the hallowed Walls of Congress good-bye as they join the unemployment lines.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  41. Tony from Southport

    One major problem with the Democrats in Congress. They are deaf, blind and DUMB. I mean no insult to anyone with disabilities, but these people have not listened to the American people. NO INCREASE IN TAXES, NO PORK. STOP THE SPENDING!!!! Harry Reid is too stupid to be allowed out on his own.

    In 2012, if a conservative is elected and we can cut the budget, control spending and CUT THE PORK.... perhaps we can bring the deficit down. But when a bill sends $10,000,000.00 to a Jack Murtha fund.... even after the gentleman is dead, what hope do we have?

    December 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  42. Jim Armstrong, Lawton, OK

    I am so furious at these so-called "representatives". When you look at all the earmarks in the Omnibus Spending Bill, you can see who they are representing, and it is not the American people. They should just pass another Continuing Resolution, send the bill back to Dirty Harry and let the new Congress deal with the spending.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  43. Steve

    Its disengenous to say they haven't read it...The Republican Mitch McConnell knew enough to stuff HIS Kentucky earmarks in, and when T partiers raised a stink, he came out against.the bill. Rush Limbaugh sais that 98% of the earmarks were the Dems, so you know its gotta be true....

    December 15, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  44. Pat in michigan

    No and did you or anyone else think for one second that changing the balance of power in congress would really change anything.Ha!this is business as usual. Corruption and stupidity at it's best.
    What will happen next is the end of social security ,medicare and other public aiding programs.However you watch and see who gets the money without hesitation.Wall Street.same old same old!!!

    December 15, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  45. Steve, New York

    Not only they have not seen, they need to vote by the deadline this Saturday. Repeat of the Obama's Health Bill, don't read it just trust me, vote yes. No wonder the emocrasts lost the election big time last November. They just don't get it. Reminds of a delinquent child, little boy

    December 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  46. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Absolutely! Look how well things worked out since they passed all the other bills they didn’t bother to read, like Obamacare and the Patriot Act.

    Seriously, they shouldn’t pass anything they haven’t read – but they will. I wonder if I can get them to sign a document they haven’t read – one that I write…

    December 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  47. Olga

    What? Are they all flatliners like Sarah Palin on their reading?

    I wish there were some way to find out who has read it and who has not...They need to be embarrassed...

    Olga
    Austin, Texas

    December 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  48. Rob in NC

    Should they? NO Will they? Yes. Why is Reed talking about working through Christmas when they hardly worked at all this year? It's too little too late. I believe the real motivation is to stick it to the Republicans more than help the... what are those things called again? Oh yeah the people. Rob in NC

    December 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  49. david seattle

    hell no! and if there isnt an earmark for :oil spill containment nets" that isolate spilled oil from underwater currents that senator murray ,cantwell,fienstien,boxer, and webb and speaker pelosi knew about all the way back in july 2008 there will be helll to pay.... kick out the sellouts !!!!!!

    December 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  50. honest John in Vermont

    (Sing along with me Jack)

    2000 pages

    6000 earmarks

    1,100,000,000,00 dollars

    and a Partridge in a pear tree.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  51. Ed

    No, but It seems it will pass the same as the federal reserve act was passed. While most are away on Christmas vacation the Jewish representatives will be the only ones there.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  52. cal

    faling waters wv

    Not a thing. they were there to lone about 2 years to long.
    as long as the far left stay in power this country will not get back on it's feet. at lease the republicans broke from the old way and form the tea party.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  53. Ed

    No, but it seems it will pass the same as the federal reserve act was passed. While most are away for Christmas vacation the Jewish representatives will be the only ones there.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  54. Randy Willen

    Most of the legislation could have been dealt with before the November election, with the possible exception of the START treaty. It took hearings and almost 9 months for the Senate to process. Now the Republicans are blocking it for arbitrary reasons, such as what was verbally assumed or not on the other side regarding Missile defense. (Treaty is what is written, verbal assurances do not mean as much when there are changes in Administrations and the Presidency.)

    December 15, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  55. StaciB-Oregon

    Too sad for words, Jack.

    There's not a thing Americans can do or say which will make any difference. Integrity is no longer a concern. Isn't that something?

    December 15, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  56. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Jack
    I really don't think it makes any difference what they do at this point. We're broke and if you can find any optomism in 1 trillion dollars and 2 thousand pages of how to become broke, be my guest.
    When the middle class is re-established and all the factories operate 3 shifts again we will return to prosperity. President Clinton had all the trains running on time and 3 trillion in surplus with a projected surplus of 5 trillion in 2010. That was two wars ago and 3 trillion in TARP giveaways As long as our Oligopoly Government focuses on destruction of the middle class consumer we will continue to fail.. The Bubble will explode again when the Pharoahs of Wall Street drive the DOW up with more phony money printed at the US Treasury.....

    December 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  57. Jim, Citrus Springs, Florida

    Jack,

    Absolutely not.

    I would just as soon have a drunk drive me and my family across country.

    We sure get what we desreve.

    Jim

    December 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  58. calaurore9

    New Congressional rule- You can't vote until you've passed a quiz on what's in the bill. That'll keep them shorter and thinner. Maybe. They'd probably copy each others' answers.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  59. John

    How is that even a question? Of course not. It is a disgrace that they try to do anything in the lame duck session. Name another job in the world where you can get fired and for the next 9 weeks you get to come in and make financial decisions on behalf of your stakeholders? The law needs to be changed to eliminate the lame duck session. We voted you out because we didn't like what you were trying to do to the country and now you get to go do it with no threat of reprocutions? That's insulting and should be criminal.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  60. Stuart P.

    Of course not! Congress's job is to represent the will of the American people. They have not done that, nor do they anytime that they pass a bill that they have not read cover to cover. If any normal citizen in their job tried to do what lawmakers are doing when passing bills they haven't read, they would be fried. This is especially terrible considering how expensive this bill is.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  61. Mike Mindel

    Nothing new here.
    It's been over a decade since congress passed spending bills on time. They're always too busy running for re-election. This is the real appeal of term limits.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  62. Mark from Birmingham AL

    The "must read" rule only applies to progressive government programs you want to pick apart. We elected republicans this past season, and we all know that we can trust them when it comes to making tax cuts fair and equitable. Besides, everyone knows that reading is for intellectuals not Senators.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  63. kris

    Should they work through January 4th if necessary?... absolutely. Should there be a budget every year?... absolutley... No matter what party is running the show!

    Read every page of every bill? Would be nice. Maybe if they didn't make things so complex they wouldn't be so many pages long. I know I would want to rip my eyes out after reading a 2000 page budget, however that is why they get paid.

    Both parties are amazing at kicking the can down the road. For once I would like to see a session of congress/senate that does what is right instead of postering for the next election (another way to point finger at other side and delay hard choices). Maybe if we put them in the same boat as everybody else they might have our interests in mind (401K instead of pension, health benefits associated with employment... lose the job lose the benifets). For the people by the people!

    December 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  64. John in NM

    "Wait until the bill is passed and then you'll find out what's in it." - N.Pelosi

    More of the same from one of the worst Congress' we've ever seen. They did not do their job. If we performed like this in our jobs, we would be fired. Disgraceful.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  65. Jeff In Minnesota

    It amazes me that Congress passes legislation that the majority have either not read or only partially read. This is what happened with health care reform and when people finally got to read the whole thing it turned out to be a pig in the poke.

    Just because you haven't read all of the traffic laws doesn't mean that they let you skate when you break them. Legislators shouldn't be voting on anything they have not been able to read.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  66. Greg

    Maybe if the Republicans were not busy throwing a temper tantrum and blocking all votes until they get their way about tax cuts for rich people who don't need tax cuts something would have gotten accomplished.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  67. John

    If the bill is passed without being read it is a vote by that individual that they do not want to be in office anymore. Talk about fiscal responsibility. Let me review that bill, it should only take about 8 months of reading, in the meantime all Government salaries will be cancelled until funding is avialable. That is how we civilians must deal with our debts............yes this country belongs to us civilians and not politicians.......

    December 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  68. Jonathan

    Honestly Jack, is anyone surprised?

    It's quite depressing to know, like many American's do, that our system of government is completely and totally broken, and that the only people with the power to fix it are those who stand to lose the most by it – the government itself.

    Does ANYONE care about what is best for the country anymore? Are they that completely and totally incapable of logic, reasoning, and cooperation/compromise?

    What is REALLY quite sad is that it's still somehow the best on Earth. But does being the "best" really make it good enough? I'd say no.

    -Jonathan, Holland MI

    December 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  69. John

    Jakc makes this up from the first sentence. If you are so ignorant of the sitution, why right an article in the first place? Because it is not an article, this is how today's right campains.

    " they've decided now is the time to pass the legislation they haven't gotten around to in the last two years including an arms treaty with Russia, an immigration bill, repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," you name it."

    All of this has been in the works for years and Jack knows it. Partian hacks posing as legitiamate news is damaging this country more than any of the subject mentioned here. Jack Cafferty is a clown.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  70. Peter McGarvey

    Should they do it? – No
    Have they done it before under both Democratic and Republican control?- Yes
    Will they do it again next year? – Probably but you can hope...

    December 15, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  71. David - Cleveland, OH

    You are obviously joking with this question. How is it possible for any elected not read the legislation. Simply on the surface, not reading the legislation is a violation of public trust and failure to protect their individual consistuencies. Any member of Congress that does not read nor understand what they vote on is an impeachable offense in my opinion.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  72. Dennis Crowley - Spring Green, WI

    If this bill passes I am resigning my position with the Republican Party of Wisconsin and will never vote for another republican as long as I live. Was my work and vote not worth anything this past year? And didn't the Senate just say they were not going to approve earmarks?

    I am so very disgusted.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  73. Martin Kelowna BC

    No bill should ever be passed without a full, in house reading of the entire bill, with all Congresspeople or Senators present for the entire reading, unless there are heavily mitigating circumstances as to why they cannot be present. These readings should be fully covered on CSPAN for the public.

    If any of the elected officials fall asleep during the reading, they should be forced to start over.

    This will ensure that bills presented are precise, concise, and meaningful.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  74. the_dude

    "Should they" is one question, "will they" is another. This bill is a last ditch cash grab before the democrats lose power. The republicans would do the same thing if they were in reverse positions. I guess the message sent during the last elections was not enough for either side.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  75. Griff

    "Yes! Why not? It won't happen, it's just a bill when alls said and done. Each side will be claiming some ideas they didn't agree with, and the opposite; but it will be eventually forgotten, and they can get on with something else. If the public are ignorant as to what is happening, then so is the people they elect."

    December 15, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  76. John ,,,, marlton nj

    NO..... It's the equivalent to close your eyes and sign here ... and they want to punish Wall Street. Maybe we should impose a 100% tax on all lawmakers that drive us into deeper debt.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  77. Phil in Port St Lucie, Fl

    The short answer is "Yes".
    Congress has all year and plenty of "Committees" to work out a budget, then, when it's time to "pass" the budget, the idiots say they don't know what's included!
    Sleeping at the "wheel" ? Who the hell is running the Country, if the idiots we sent to the job, only sit back and collect money and sleep!

    December 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  78. peggy coleman, virginia

    NO, NO, No, congress should just go home without doing any more harm and not come back until they grow a backbone along with a brain that has common sense.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  79. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    Well, of course not! But IMHO they probably pass ALL the legislation without even attempting to read it.

    But when do you think they could take time to actually READ proposed legislation, when they have to spend all their time campaigning?

    THAT is the limit we need, a constitutional limit on the length of campaigns! I would love to think Congress was actually working.

    OK, I'm living in a dream world!

    December 15, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  80. Bob Johnson

    It really doesn't matter if the Rs have read it or not, enough of them will vote for it that it will pass. As far as the earmarks are concerned, neither side has any intention of discontinuing them. Besides, earmarks are about 1% of the total bill and essentially meaningless in the scheme of things.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  81. Joe

    Why? They passed a Health Care bill that was unconstitutional and not one of them knows what is in it, they didn’t read that either. They make it up as they go along. This is the worst Congress in decades and every one of them swore when they took office to uphold the Constitution.....they probably never read Constitution either, if they know how to read..

    December 15, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  82. Dave

    Jack, What doesn't this congress get is that the people are sick,sick of these bills written behind close doors and not debated or reviewed. Heck, it's yours and my money. They are transparent as my windshield with a thousand bugs splattered.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  83. Jim

    Jack,

    Has this stopped them before? Of course they'll pass it without reading it. Who reads the fine print? As the captain of the Titanic once said "Full speed ahead!".

    Jim in Denver, CO

    December 15, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  84. Peter Tuths

    The way you wrote this article and posed this question had me thinking that I had mistakenly stumbled onto one of Fox News' "unbiased" opinion polls, where they word everything in overwhelmingly anti-Democrat, pro-Republican language. You even chose a photo of Harry Reid with his mouth agape, looking foolish.

    I would answer your question with my own question. Why didn't you address any of the multiple reasons why Democrats weren't able to pass a Congressional Budget already, and why does it sound like Bill O'Reilly wrote this article? If I wanted laughably biased news, I'd tune into the "No Spin Zone."

    December 15, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  85. Steve

    My question is why haven't they seen it? Isn't that there job? I'm not convinced that anyone in congress actually reads the bills anymore. They just vote along party lines and for political points.
    Pearl Harbor, HI

    December 15, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  86. John

    Typically you're supposed to read a bill BEFORE voting "Yey", but not this congress/senate. That's why many dems have been voted out and why the healthcare bill is going to be redone. What a fiasco this two years has been.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  87. F.M. Dudine

    Of course they will NOT read it...that's what they have staffers (who also have staffers) for!
    On a different topic, what possible news value did you and CNN find in Boehner's being emotional on TV? Looking back a few years it appears to me that less emphasis was placed on a president having lied under oath than we are placing on the new Speaker becoming emotional and teary eyed on camera...I wonder, could there be a bias?

    December 15, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  88. Rick from Los Angeles

    Hello Jack,

    I am certain this will not pass in time for the end of this congress.

    This is nothing more then the last throes of a already dead congress. I look forward to more of the same next congress with dems in the role of partisan obstacle to give the republicans some the medicine they gave last go round.

    -Rick from Los Angeles, CA

    December 15, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  89. Cary

    They should stay in session until everyone of them has read it and they all sign onto the pork spending. This "Shultz" defense of "I know nothing" is unacceptable. When some one claims it's not my fault because I didn't read it they should be thrown out of Congress. I wasn't doing my job should never be a defense.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  90. Chris Mehling

    Congress should never pass a bill that all of the voting members have not read. This is just another example of how the laws of our land are not even being written by those entrusted to do so. Remember Speaker Palosi's unbelieveable statement about the Obamacare bill – basically "We have to pass it to find out what's in it." Good grief.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  91. Josh

    Is this really anything new? Congress squabbles and bad-mouths eachother up until the final few weeks before year end almost every year. The use of fillibusters and having 2,000 page bills read aloud is absolutely insane, and yet, it's business as usual.

    I'm inclined to agree, for better or worse, that the senate needs major reform, and I'm all for the proposals to do away with the 2/3 mandate, and the ability to use fillibusters without having all party members present. Let's see these fireworks Tom Harkin is talking about and end minority rule along with the immature "hold our breath till we're blue in the face" techniques politicians have been using as of late for the sake of seeing one party blockade another (and screw the American public).

    -El Paso, TX

    December 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  92. HURRICANEPAUL from Hawaii

    Jack, none of the lawmakers who signed Obama's heath care bill read the bill before voting for it and look at the mess that flawed bill has caused.

    Almost makes me wish we had mid-md-term elections so we could vote out these dummies on a yearly basis.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  93. Ted

    Why should they bother? It's not like any regular Americans are going to read it, or understand what it's in it, or what it means. I've become deeply cynical in recent months that nobody is ever going to be willing to take on the big problems in Washington, nor will they ever make the hard choices. Why should we pretend to hold our elected representatives to any kind of standard when only 35% of us vote? When half of us can't name the first president? We always wind up with the government we deserve and this next session is going to be no exception.

    Ted, Chicago IL

    December 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  94. katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack, it is politics as usual.
    Perhaps if the republicans had not held 89 fillibusters, made sure many meaningful plans did not even come up for vote, have main
    priorities of destroy our president, win at any cost regardless of the consequences, supported only policies benefiting the wealthy, Wall St and big business perhaps more could have been accomplished in
    a timely manner. The republicans want to delay this until January, when they have more power. Jack, most people are aware of their
    undesirable manuevers, aren't you?

    December 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  95. Larry K. Kleeman

    Yes pass the bill. Do not delay adoption of the Federal Budget by another continuing resolution. Numerous services including winter heating assistance have been in limbo since October due to lack of action. I understand that this is not a good way to do business but a continuing resolution for a few days or a few weeks is a worse alternative. This country is borrowing money to give the rich another tax break so let's not delay the federal budget any longer over a few earmarks.

    Tell City, IN

    December 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  96. Joe from Brigantine, NJ

    No, but why should that matter. They pass every other measure without reading it. If they are out (not re-elected) they don't care. If they are ins (new or re-elected reps) all they care about is will it help them get re-elected and anything not involving tax increases should help them accomplish that goal. So why waste time reading the bill just wait for the trickle down money for their re–election.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  97. bob

    No they should not. They should read it and debate it. Of course Harry and Nancy will say it needs to be passed so they will all know what is in it.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  98. Julie from Louisiana

    No they should not pass it. There are too many earmarks in it. The thing that make me so angry is that there are congressmen who are voting for it and yet they have already been voted out of office. Are they thumbing their noses at the voters or not? I say, make them read the entire bill out loud and post all the earmarks in all papers with the congressman's name next to the one they sponsored.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  99. JP

    NO, they should not. What have these bums been doing all year long besides bickering like 2 year olds, making deals behind closed doors and campaigning for the next election. I am talking about both parties- Democrats and Republicans.
    They (Congress) all need to come out from under their glass bubble and spend some time in the real world where the middle class is trying to figure out how to make ends meet! We do have to worry about having health insurance for example, unlike the members of congress.
    Please let the games stop!! I welcome all of you to spend a few days in my "Cool" state of MN....maybe the -20 degree temperatures will give you a brain freeze and bring you back to reality! You can then go back, let your brains thaw again and get down to some real work.
    Minneapolis, MN

    December 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  100. Roy

    Jack,Jack,Jack. Do you really believe that they have time to read something.Vacation is getting started in a view days. How about a few paragraphs,so they can tell their people back home "I tried this,but they insisted on that". Sounds Good Enough.Wait until we come back,the peoples issues will be the first on the table. I promise.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  101. Paul Pennell

    No, No, No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What part of the voters rejection of "politics as usual" and "excessive spending" does Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not understand?

    December 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  102. Larry of Boston

    Read it – they should burn it. The incumbents still do not get it This is disgraceful. If Obama wants to strut his independence and his new found toughness, he should veto this bill if it contains $1 of pork. My home Senator – Mr Kerry is asking for $8 million to build a monument to Senator Kennedy – this on top of $38 million he already got from DC. Kerry and a lot of others need to be tossed out in 2012

    December 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  103. Jay Moriarty, NM

    The way I see it is that "Whats good for the goose is good for the gander." Considering the fact the Republicans Held the nation hostage and forced the passage of the "Tax Cut Deal." Harry Reid is only right to force congress to stay in session through to January 4 and force this Government budget through with the earmarks.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  104. Lester from Brisbane, CA

    Just last month we had an election where the big winners were the Tea Party who campaigned on reducing deficit spending. Just this morning the Senate approved an $858 billion bill that will increase the deficit, and we all know the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill will pass. Jack, why are you even asking this question? Obviously the American people have absolutely no say in the nation's finances.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  105. Jim Hicks

    The Dems of this Congress are doing what is (to me) the inexcusable. They are insulting my intelligence. I hope it's required to be read in it's entirety.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  106. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    The budget was due on the first day of October. I wish our congress critters had the guts to be accountable and pass a budget BEFORE the elections. Now a massive omnibus bill which "must be passed" is laden with pork and earmarks for folks who ran on fiscal responsibility whose hypocrisy will be hidden.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  107. Michele

    NO, what I really mean is "Hell NO" !! I don't want my taxes to go up and I don't want the gov't to spend any more of our money. They need to start paying Social Security Taxes and their own health insurance premiums then get taxes taken out of their paychecks like the rest of us.....an oh live within their means....that is the gov't .....they can't spend any more than they take in. What is wrong with those folks? I just don't get it!
    Michele
    Today in Augusta, Georgia

    December 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  108. ROY

    WHY EVEN BOTHER SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT CONGRESS. THEY ARE ALL OUT OF CONTROL AND THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN. THEY ARE TOO BUSY SERVING THE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS TO DO ANYTHING CONSTRUCTIVE. WE NEED TO GET RID OF THEM ALL.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  109. Robert

    Please, inform us of ANY bill, in recent times, that Congress has had or taken the time to read, digest and make an informed decision on.
    Pass the Pork and a Pepto. I feel the onset of political indegestion again...

    December 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  110. Sean

    Hell no! I don't care if you're a republican, democrat, independent, a socialist, a communist, or an anarchist. Spending over a trillion dollars without knowing exactly what your spending it on? Ludicrous!

    Santa Monica, CA

    December 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  111. Ron Hall Arkansas

    I don't believe that the current Congress understands the implications of the debt they are running up. Moodey has warned that we are lowering our rating. That will mean more interest and less principal paid. Congress should never pass anything without reading it. We need to pass a minimal stop gap bill to keep the Government open. I hope we get a Congress and eventually a President that will look what has broken our economy. We have to stop rewarding companies that move part of their operations overseas for cheap labor. We need to reward instustries that hire American workers. We need to tell Pakistan and Afganistan that they have to demonstrate their involvement and go after the Taliban, now. When they don't, we should leave.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  112. Mr. D

    First of all, why is the bill 2000 pages long? Secondly, I don't think anyone would want to read it, let alone attempt to understand it. It sounds like it's another healthcare bill being foisted on the public.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  113. Dave

    Hell, no! Voting the politicans out of office is obviously too subtle a message for the Senate. It's time for torches, pitch forks and tar and feathers to get the message across.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  114. Jeff (Philly)

    I can't fathom how Congress manages 13% job approval, and no, Congress should not be permitted to vote until all members have read the bill upon which they are to vote. Ideally, each member should have to demonstrate a base level understanding of what was read. Of course, if reading comprehension were required, Congress might manage to find new depths of inaction.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  115. Curtis, Kennesaw GA

    Jack,

    Normally i would say no, since no person has any business making any kind of decision regarding something they know nothing about. But, since they probably never read these things anyway, I say go ahead. The sooner the budget passes the more time the rest of us hard working people have to figure out how to work around it.

    Curtis

    December 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  116. nevadatriker

    Here we go again! 😦 Forcing congress to vote on another Obama Care like Huge deficit bill! This crap has to stop. Backroom deals, buying or blackmailing votes, like the Reid/Pelosi tactics of the past, this type gangsterism has to be ended! And it has to be ended now! There won't be any country left to govern if the current congress has it's way!

    December 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  117. Andy

    Ha – Jack, this is pathetic, but not unexpected. I've come to assume the worst with Congress, and this sessions manifestation in particular. I give up – wake me when we change the rules to prevent this pork spending from happening.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  118. Wisdom

    Hell yes.
    When you say the Congress hasn't gotten around to passing the bills to fund the country, etc, what you really mean is that the Republicans have turned our republic into a JOKE, with approximately 1 million filibusters. Until we reform the Senate rules, the majority will falsely be blamed for the actions of the minority!

    December 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  119. Jason G.

    Yes...we can't afford to underfund the government. Anyone who thinks that underfunding or not funding the government at all lives in a seriously delusional world. It all sounds great until you realize that it would affect important institutions that are key to our survival.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  120. Dave in DC

    Anyone in a leadership role, Democrat or Republican, that runs the Senate like this should be immediately removed from that leadership position. Say what you will about what's actually in the spending bill. That's not even the point. I don't want people voting for OR against this without knowing what's in it. The congress has completely lost the trust of the American people.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  121. NM in TX

    Jack,

    No congressman nor senator ever reads any legislation before they vote.

    They vote as they are told. Since they are owned by the real wealth which is held by the top 2% of the U. S. population and the corporations which our Chief Justice has defined as "persons". Never saw an E-1 corporation while in the military. Plenty of largess and cost plus suppliers.

    No one knows what these spineless minions will be told to do, except the power elite so we shall see. Our money will be spent, fear not.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  122. Brian

    No, because the consequences are going to show on my pay check. Also, this wasteful spending needs to end. I think bi-partisanship is going to be needed to stop the passage of this bill. This is typical of tax and spend Democrats.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  123. Steve K

    Look through the above list and what do you see? You see our leaders getting rich off the profits of a.)Banks that are getting YOUR tax dollars to save them from all the illegal actions they took part in,including screwing over YOU,the very... person who the government is taking money from and giving to them.B.)Oil companies,as we fight wars that everybody knows are about oil, not freedom, while those very companies RAPE YOU with the fuel prices and your leaders get rich off of them charging YOU ridiculous fuel increases as they tell you out ofthe other side of their motuhs how they are trying to reduce our dependance on said foreign sources.If the senators are invested in those companies then they stand to lose money by reducing our dependance so why would they do it??THEY WONT.

    Investments in BP,who they all lambasted over the oil rig leak earlier this year.Do you really think they are going to treat BP with anything but actions that will maintain their profits??Of course not, THEYRE INVESTED IN THEM AND GETTING RICH OF THEM PROFITTING!!!

    Last but not least, they, our senators, are personally invested in a laundry list of companies that are major players on wall street, which has been screwing over the american people for how long??This list is just a disgusting example of how poor our leaders are....

    December 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  124. Jarrod Rager, Greeley CO

    I had the misfortune of reading the Health Care Bill passed by congress earlier this year. If the budget is written in the same language I can understand why some haven't read it. This is a perfect microcosim of everything wrong with the government. Federal politicians have abandoned the honor of serving their fellow countrymen and have adopted the lurid practice of serving themselves. I simply hold no faith in federal politics anymore. Washington DC is the drug of choice for power hungry psychophants and our best hope is radical reorganization and a thorough scrubbing.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  125. Annie, Atlanta

    An even more pressing question is what the hell are they doing for the three figure salary and cadillac insurance benefits we provide for them, as well as paying for their aids? I'd love a job where I can be useless yet still get paid very well. Heck, I'd even read the bills.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  126. Scott-Orlando, FL

    Pass the thing. Some of these Congresspeople are so stupid they COULDN'T read it if they wanted to. 13% approval rating? Maybe folks should remember that "they is us",

    December 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  127. Mike from Maryland

    This is how our politicians hide what they don't want us to see. All of the pork and pet projects are hidden in plain sight–1500 to 2000 pages of mind-numbing legislative mumbo-jumbo. By the time anyone reads it or reports on it, it is very old news. It has become the modus operandi for the past several Congresses, democratic and republican. How did they earn 13 percent approval rating?

    December 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  128. Nathan

    Of course they "should" read it, but Congress also "should" put the best interests of Americans above themselves but they don't. I'm amazed (and dismayed) that 13 percent of people actually approve of Congress.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  129. oldtimer

    You'll have to pass it, in order to know what's in it. Our elected officials are once again showing their collective stupidity. This is not just the fact that it is 2000 pages of text, but total failure to perform their duties as prescribed when they took office. These parasites we call our elected officials need to be held accountable for their mistakes. Not just be being thrown out of office, but rather with legal action to include jail time for their total failure to the american people. This legislation should absolutely not be passed until every member has read every page, and understands what they have read, and understands the implications of their vote.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  130. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    So the Republican's, the majority of whom have earmarks in the bill, don't want it passed. They holler and scream so that when the bill does pass they still get their millions and millions of earmarks, but can say that they didn't want the bill to pass. What hypocrisy! You know damn good and well that things won't get any better after they take the House in a few weeks.

    Oh, and if some members haven't seen the bill, then where the hell have they been?

    December 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  131. AJ in Austin Tx

    Jack,

    This seems to be the final "Screw You, America" by the democrats. Another pork and ear-mark ridden bill that's surely intended to be a huge payout to the union thugs and other cronies. It doesn't matter to the democrats that America voted them out of office because they weren't getting the job done. They're going to leave with a bang. Not to worry. Come January, America will turn the page from these ugly four years and hopefully the new congress can begin to clean up this mess.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  132. Jack

    Just a bunch of hyprocrites...all of them including Pres. Obama who I voted for but will no longer support. They all line their pockets while pointing fingers at eachother ! The unemployment extension is a joke and does little to help folks in need of a Tier 5, folks who have lost their jobs thru no fault of their own. We will remember how you gave up on us at the voting booths!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  133. Darren

    Are you kidding! Once it goes through all of the voting process the majority of elected officials will have had some sycophant tell them what was in that they voted for spending. Just like there was supposed to be a more open government when they have been just secretive as before. Whether they are a Democrat or a Republican they have all deceived the people of America. When they learn to live within their means maybe we will take a step forward until then it will not happen.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  134. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    Two thousand pages, trillions of taxpayers blood money, who's reading, who's counting? Its all Greek to me Jack and is scares me. I saw the Greeks on the news today, scary stuff. Congress should not pass..go and not collect $200, not even a dime.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  135. Jim

    Jack,

    Maybe they could do an Earmark Hunt, kind of like an Easter egg hunt except with earmarks. Congress-persons would scour the bill for earmarks authored the by the other party. Any discovered earmark is automatically tossed out and the finder gets to keep one penny on the dollar to fund their own earmarks. The result is a 99% reduction in the cost of earmarks and everybody has closely read the bill.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    December 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  136. thom richer

    The question finally proves there is a dumb question after all. Who would have thunk? The answer is an obvious and vehement NO! The lack of responsibility and accountability in Congress and Corporate America is blatantly apparent with such a feeble attempt at solving our problems by attempting to pass such trash as this bogus spending bill.
    The only valid item in this bill is its name: "Spending Bill." It is proof that no one in Congress, on either side of the aisle, knows what the hell they are doing and do not care. That is the scary part...not caring. Sobbing on live TV isn't inspiring more trust from me. Actually it scares the hell out of me.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    December 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  137. Tim in Texas

    The budget for next year is pretty much like how you do your month to month spending. You have your electric bill, your credit card bills, your car payments, etc. It just doesn't change that much – and this nonsense about reading it on the floor is just that – nonsense. The Republicans have delayed and obstructed everything for the last two years. Now they are delaying votes on START and repealing DADT – both of which have been debated and discussed to death and both which the public support.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  138. Quiet

    It is their job to read the bills. If they are unable to do their job, they should quit. I am not suggesting they cannot read, but that they clearly have more important things to do than reading pending legislation, like voting no on anything advancing. Lets call this what it is, yet another excuse to avoid going on record voting for or against anything.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  139. Mark Kessel

    If they want to pass it, get rid of all 6,000 earmarks and any congressional pay raises (of which I would not be surprised to see hidden), and pass a resolution to force the administration to end the wars in Irag and Afganistan, and bring troops home. Just ending those two conflicts might come close to balancing the budget

    December 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  140. Greg in Mechanicsburg

    Why not pass it. It's only paper and we can always print more. While we're at it why don't we give a whopping $900 billion in tax breaks to the richest Americans who don't need it just on the off chance that maybe they will hire somebody. Oh wait, that's been done before and it didn't work. So why are we doing it again. Oh yeah, because John Boehner and the Republicans are holding the rest of America hostage. The whole thing sounds neither fiscally responsible nor emotionally balanced.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  141. John

    Bills drafted by lobbiests and special interests, voted on by representatives who haven't read it – who is running this country? READ THE BILL! Anyone who votes on the Bill is responsible to know what is in it – and is responsible for the consequences!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  142. Connie in Tennessee

    Would it really make any difference if they were forced to shut down for awhile?? That may even help the economy since the congress hasn't been able to do anything so far that helps.

    Connie Lattina in Louisville, Tn.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  143. Wayne

    No, they should not pass this spending bill.... This Congress is disgusting...... They don't even try to pass a balanced budget and they try to sqeeze this through in the last days. Dems should be ashamed!!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  144. Dennis the Menace

    NO !!! Would you buy a house without walking through it ? Would you buy a car without driving it ? Would you buy a suit without trying it on ? I wouldn't. But maybe I have a little more common sense than all of our Senators combined.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  145. Dennis

    We have already seen what happens when we follow the advice of passing it to see what's in it. Thank You Princess Nancy.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  146. Gigi Oregon

    Isn't that just business as usual? My only happy thought is, "giveem HELL Harry!"...A quote from another day gone by and by the people. Me thinks the Republicans have complained too much. I wonder what the Republicans would have said if the Democrats had gone to war in the wrong country, supported two wars with out raising money or selling war bonds to pay for it...than borrow from China and China laughing all the way to the bank.

    Give em hell Harry, keep them working till Jan 4, and may Santa give them a lump of coal in their sock.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  147. Larry Hamm

    I'm not suggesting that the bill shouldn't be read, but that the Senators and Representatives should have already read this bill. Furthur, i beleive that the senators that avail themselves of the right to have any bill read in it's entirety should be required to be present for the full amount of time that it takes to complete the reading. Maybe then they wouldn't be so quick to pull a stupid delaying action like this.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  148. Cy Gardner

    Quit acting like the Senate Republicans don't deserve most of the blame for "Congressional" inactivity. The GOP plays partisan politics with foreign policy and every other issue. You cannot be a Republican without being a complete hypocrite, liar and corporate prostitute. cy arlington,va

    December 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  149. Clint

    Let's see if the newly appointed majority will make some hard and fiscally responsible decisions when they take over and hope that the economy picks up. I think we'll need to cut military spending by at least 20%.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  150. Janne from NC

    Why waste time reading a 2000 page bill ?! They are going to pass it or not pass it depending on what their respective party leaders tell them to do. God forbid they should actually think for themselves or actually do what they promised the voters they would do. Thats OK, 2012 is right around the corner.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  151. Jeff North Carolina

    Jack,

    Why should this one be any different from anything else this congress does? I'm starting to wonder if any of those representatives have the skills to read and comprehend at a 3rd grade level anyway..

    December 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  152. Larry Hamm

    I'm not suggesting that the bill shouldn't be read, but that the Senators and Representatives should have already read this bill. Furthur, i beleive that the senators that avail themselves of the right to have any bill read in it's entirety should be required to be present for the full amount of time that it takes to complete the reading. Maybe then they wouldn't be so quick to pull a stupid delaying action like this. Washington, Missouri 63090

    December 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  153. Pam Louisiana

    They didn't even bother to read the bill that deployed thousands of our kids to kill and be slaughtered in an unprovoked, useless, atrocious, non-funded war.
    They were all herded together in their sheep pen and voted in unison.

    Dont expect anything to excel their depleted cerebral flux-

    December 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  154. Greg from Rockwell, nc

    It's about time our Congress & Senate do their job, be honest with their employer's ( The American Public), and face the impending crisis that continued deficit spending is creating for America's future. Politicians will continue to kick the Deficit Ball forward in their attempts to appease the 54% of Americans that are on the Government entitlement dole, wrong in so many ways!

    Greg H,
    from Rockwell, NC

    December 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  155. Jim - Michigan

    Jack,

    Absolutely not! They did this with the health bill, Pelosi told members they had to vote for it to see what was in it, what did we get? The most expensive legislation in history and premiums going up higher then before. This is simple evidence that leaving the democratic party was the right move for me. These clowns are on a drunken spending spree and it does not matter what they are getting for the money, it is the act of spending they are addicted to.

    I have had enough of hope, change and transparency, I just want the spending to stop and our politicians to understand that tax payers are voters too and we cannot afford every liberal program that can be drempt up.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  156. SharonT

    UNBELIEVEABLE! Thanks to the American voters in November who voted more of the Party of No into the office. Now we have them playing like 5 year olds on the playground with our livelihoods, businesses and national security. Tit for tat. This is truly what you get when you vote based upon EMPTY talk. The Republicans are for the RICH and you don't see it yet. But you will! Keep voting them in office and watch the wealthy get richer. They have no shame in their game. The job gains report, housing starting to balance itself, we got a healthcare bill passed, TARP is being paid back to you the people, the stock market is up and you said Pres Obama did NOTHING! UNBELIEVEABLE!

    Richmond, VA

    December 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  157. Renee Peoria,Ill

    You want to know what we think? Well, isn't that sweet of you Jack. If only Washington bothered to ask what we think and actually listen instead of making sweeping statements about this or that (translation: what they want) being the will of the American people. If they did maybe their approval rating wouldn't be so low. But to answer your question – NO! In fact, I'm not sure they should be allowed to pass anything anymore until it's been posted on the web where we can all read it. Fat chance!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  158. Linda

    Absolutely NOT!!! Here we go again! The pork needs to be removed. I read the list, and it's absolutely absurd. If Congress spent their time in session discussing and voting on the real issues instead of dedicating specific days as recognition days, etc., perhaps we could get things done and done right and our representatives could take the time to read the bills they are passing.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  159. Dave, Vancouver

    Yes, and next time around the voters should shut their eyes before marking their X or punching their chad. It couldn't possibly make things any worse.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  160. Scott Stodden

    If Members Of The Congress And Senate Haven't Even Seen Or Read The Bill And It Has Earmarks In It Then No They Shouldn't Pass It! Every Member Of Congress And The Senate Should Have The Oppourtunity To Look At The Bills That Are Brought To The Floor Not All This Behind Closed Doors Crap! Im So Tired Of This Obama Administration And All The Earmarks, Pork And Behind Closed Door Negotiations There Making To Pass BIlls In The House And Senate! I Think Come 2012 I'll Be Looking For Someone Else To Vote For, The Tax Bill Really Did It For Me As A Democrat When President Obama Went Behind The Democrats Back To Support The Extension Of The Bush Tax Cuts That Got Us Into The Mess We're Now In! I Want Hillary In 2012 Sitting In The Oval Office!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    December 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  161. JENNA ROSEVILLE CA

    Should Congress pass a 2,000-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill that some members haven't even seen?

    It's been seen. It is all the past appropriation bills smushed together into one bill.

    Includes such items as Mitch McConnell's 100M pork.

    I know that the GOP is going to request that all 2000 pages be read, but unless they are sitting there listening to all 2000 pages then they are wasting tax payer dollars making someone stand there and do that.

    More game playing by the GOP at Americans expense.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    December 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  162. Matthew

    Should they? No. Will they? Yes. This is exactly what our government tends to do–act without knowing and passing without reading. Example: It berates the state of Arizona over its immigration law when admittedly Attorney General Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano did not read the law prior to doing so. Example: It passes sweeping comprehensive health care reform only to later claim that tweeks and changes are needed. Instead of taking a careful and measured approach to problems, our government chooses to do the opposite then claim that they "could not have anticipated" or "did not know". I think this is exactly why most Americans have a distrust of Congress. We don't want to, but its actions have made it almost inevitable.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  163. Alan

    Absolutely not! No! Anyone who votes for such a bill should resign from the senate or house immediately. That's how this country got into the mess it's in now. Any bill that is 2,000 pages long certainly took a long time to create and to do it behind closed doors required lots of secret meetings ... so much for transparency in out government. Nothing has changed except the faces and names of those making the decisions. Accountability needs to be the new mantra and this is as good a place to start as any

    December 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  164. Brett

    Do we not elect and pay these people to represent us, but none of them ever read any bill they vote on. It's absurb. I want my reprentatives to know what they are even doing. We need to kick every one out and have real business people do these jobs. If we ran private comapanies like the Govt, all of of would be out of business. This is Pork barrell all around, look att Mass corrections. God help us all. And I am not that religious. These peoplesuck!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  165. Kathleen

    Michele, if the tax bill does NOT get passed, your taxes will go up. if the bill DOES get passed, the Bush Tax Cuts stay in effect for another 2yrs and the estate tax gets significantly lowered/adjusted to benefit, who else, the rich. the increase of money spending by the gov't just gets pushed off to future generations. I don't think it should get passed. I think it's too much, too fast and is a poor "compromise" with the Republicans for what the Dems are "getting" they're getting ripped off.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  166. Henk, Colorado

    Yes they should pass this. That's what they are paid for (by their employers, the special interests who I am sure will somehow benefit from this bill).

    December 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  167. James

    Jack,

    This is one of those rock and a hard places situations. If they don't pass it then what, let the government come to a screeching halt, as they claim we don't have a budget!

    So they wait to the last minute, stick in a bunch of crap and away we go. Business as usual in my book. Should we pass it. As they say in the NFL, not without further review!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  168. Matt

    Reading a 2,000 page document is tough to do for me but it is their JOB!! If they didnt read it how on earth can they agree or disagree with it?? Either read it or don't vote on it until you do read it! If you arent willing to read it then you shouldnt be in congress

    December 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  169. Metropl

    A budget needs to be passed. Its three months late. I think its time to just pass the darn thing to fund the government.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  170. Tom

    I knew when I heard Democrats saying they lost the election due to not properly getting their message across to the public that there would be little to no change in how they conducted business going forward. The public wasn't endorsing Republicans either, but was certainly saying that this type of behavior will no longer be tolerated.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  171. Tom

    I agree with Michele, but I feel that every Senator that added an earmark to that compromised tax bill should IMMEDIATELY be kicked out of the Senate, no retirement, no paid flight home and no benefits,
    JUST GONE!!! And then all the earmarks should be removed.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  172. Gary

    No, NO, and HELL NO!

    Remember 'Here, sign this, your house can only go up in value?' Now they want to put the same screws to the American people by having Congress pass something without even people knowing what's in it?

    You've got to be kidding me. And people wonder why November turned out the way it did. Americans want accountability, not the same old, same old.

    Idiotic.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  173. Jeff in NC

    I agree 110% with Michele. I'd like to add that it should be made law that they have to read and prove that they've read any bill before it is voted on. If they want to spend their money then that's fine but they're spending my money and that's not fine with me.

    Someone please take away the checkbook until they prove that they can be responsible enough to have one...sheesh!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  174. Kathleen

    I think the unemployment benefits should be extended, but it's coming with such a HUGE price tag... hundreds of millions of dollars more. it's just not worth it. i think they can come up with something better. and i think the gov't is turning in to total crap right now... spending too much money, being two-faced, saying one thing/doing another, throwing tantrums like 2 yr olds and refusing to work together, they're supposed to be the leaders of our country and they're looking like fools and destroying the country. BOTH sides.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  175. sandiegobeachbum

    Jack, Our system is so broken. These self-serving politicians (Dems and Repubs) spend half their damn time trying to get reelected by raising money and campaigning when they should be working on behalf of the people who elected them. I am so sick of all politicians. Of course they won't read this spending bill when they are so concerned about getting reelected. I think our government is just too big and cumbersome. There should DEFINITELY be term limits as well. We don't need career politicians. Why do Fortune 500 companies change their Board members so often? It's so they get new ideas and energetic people who are sincerely interested in helping the company make the best decisions for the stockholders etc.. We need to apply these same procedures to our government representatives.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  176. randy

    i think congress should be given a check book with a certain sum of money and when that money is gone, then it;s too darn bad, how about the working class, we work hard to earn our paycheck and when our checking account is
    low, we need to tighten our belts, we can;t spend more than we make, and if we write a check with no funds in the account then that illegal. congress needs to wake up to the real world. when a person needs extra funds, they can borrow money from banks and loan companies, but there is a limit to how much they will loan out, and how in the world is our country getting loans with the bad credit history that they have, our congress is broke,,,,,,,they have no idea what living in the real world is, first off, they should have to pool all their resources and pay off our deficit before they even gewt another dime off the tax payers . our congress needs to be ewither jailed or made to pay our deficit off themselves.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  177. Dave Vecchi

    These politicians think the "Tea Party" was just a fad. They don't get it.
    We are made as hell at the irresponsible spending (and governing) coming out of Washington.

    I too vote "Hell No"!

    Dave
    Park City, UT

    December 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  178. Steven P in NY

    Seriously Jack?

    Those idiots in DC won't read it – purposely. That way, they have "plausible deniability." when it turns out to be pork-laden and defective.

    Crooks and charlatans, Jack. Crooks and charlatans.

    SP

    December 15, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  179. Independent in Wisconsin

    It's a leading question, the way you ask it. So I'll answer the way you expect – No, of course that makes to sense.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  180. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Yes congress should pass a 1.1 trillon dollar spending bill they haven't read because the voters don't seem to care anything about the70 trillion in federal government unfunded liabilties. The voters are only interested in getting tax cuts and unemployment checks. Everyone loves their congress person but not congress, even though their congress person is the one screwing them. Wake up america.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  181. Tim

    When will the American people stand up and say no more backroom deals? We rushed the stimulus, no one read it and look what we got. Last Christmas eve they jammed through Obamacare, and now they want to rush through this earmark laden bill. NO, NO, NO

    December 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  182. Robert

    I think they need to sit down and do a lot of soul searching. They are all a bunch of crooks that are only looking out for themselves. A 2,000 page bill. Who has the time to sit down and read 2000 pages line by line. I believe some will go unread. Congress is crooked for the right and left. And they need to get together fast. I believe pre-schoolers could do a better job than thes clowns....

    Robert
    Today in Hope Arkansas

    December 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  183. John Johnston - Smithfield, UT

    Absolutely not. I am getting sick and tired of Congressmen/women voting on bills they haven't read. We don't elect their "staffers", we elect them. They should stop taking taxpayer funded junkets and do their jobs. Read the Damn bills themselves before they sign them. The "staffers" are there to do a read of bills to find the hot points for consideration but the elected person should read them before they put their hand in the air. They spend more time on naming brodges after themselves than they do looking at real issues........kick the bums out by throwing out all imcumbents the next election......regardless of their Party.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  184. Jim

    Just because some lawmakers have not read a bill is not a reason to not pass it. Whether or not it passes should be based upon the merits of the bill. What really upsets me about our politicians is their willingness to engage in this philosophically corrupt act of earmarks. We need to see the names of politicians who attach earmarks to any bill, along with a description of each earmark. Our politicians are ethically and philosophically corrupt!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  185. Rick

    All of the senators are considered multi-millionaries, the Reps will be once they have screwed their way around DC for 10 to 12 years. A federal retirement pension and all the money they can carry for 10 years if BS in DC, that's the way of DC. Why should they worry about anything but themselves?!!!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  186. Kev

    Of Course...not. Harry Reid is playing the grinch. Wait until there's no time left; then threaten to keep them working over Christmas so they'll will skate the bill on through. Given that most of those who are likely to vote in favor of the budget won't be around next month anyway, sadly, this childish ploy just might work.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  187. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    NO NO NO NO! I think we're at the point where "we being villagers" get our pitch forks and ropes and ox carts out, and really clean house. Maybe the French were right in having a revolution every now and again.......

    December 15, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  188. Dee in Arkansas

    I Dont know. Read it Yes. I agree spending is out of control, but be careful what you cut., I work summers at a national park. Cuts have real effects. How would summer vacationers feel if they showed up at their favorite camping destination (that they have been coming to for 30 years) to find the gate locked, or it wasn't properly staffed with rangers keeping the peace and making the families feel safe, or the bathroom weren't clean because the money was cut from the maintenance buget. When the republicans talk of cutting federal workers that's your park service and alot of other workers and services we take for granted everyday.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  189. Debora Hargis Florida

    It is time for Congress to come out of the closet. The people's business should be just that and the people should have the opportunity to know Congress' intent.
    Our Senators have just extended tax cuts that will add nearly a trillion dollars to the national debt; a tax policy that was never paid for and still has us wondering – where are the jobs?
    We give our Congressmen and women the authority to represent us, not fleece us.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  190. John MacDaniel, Huntsville AL

    The love of money is the root of all evil – and the 'publicans' love the money that they get from wall street and the banks that are too big to fail – and the rest of the money that comes from the coffers of the lobbyists who get their jobs from who they know in the Congress and the Senate.

    Who cares if the country is going to hell in a handbasket – we will just have a block party sponsored by the Tea Party – and forget all of our problems. If the problems with the system are not fixed now – then simply leave them on the table for the next crowd to handle (or is THAT concept to much to handle).

    December 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  191. Tony FL

    Ha!...some repugs haven't seen the bill! according to some other repugs, that is. but regardless, the Congress is out of control. It's year-end and our "prepresentatives" are now cashing in their annual accumulated "goodwill" points. "keeping the unpaid for tax cuts for the millionaires" going once, going twice, sold to gentlemen in the democratic aisle, in exchange for militarized gays and the dream". as some call it, dealing and wheeling...

    December 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  192. Itsall Tuna

    I am a liberal minded person who believes we are our brothers' keepers and need to consider the both sides of the equal sign in the spending=revenues equation. But if the bill has not been read and they know not what they vote on, then they are negligent in their duties to the people who elect them.

    My middle class tax rate should go up along with the wealthiest people's tax rates including for they who stand to inherit millions. Then we will have a better motivation to do something about our decades of fiscal irresponsibility. Taxes will hurt now and they will hurt later, but we must endure the pain if we are going to solve our fiscal dilemma.

    Don't pass this bill.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  193. Chris

    Bob Kobs said, "You get what you voted for. What did you expect after sending to Congress uneducated bigots whose qualification for office was a hatred for Obama and Pelosi?

    These people cannot read! All they know is to scream and yell epithets."
    ________________________________________

    Bob, apparently, you are the uneducated one. This is the Democratic Controlled Senate. The ones who were elected before and at the same time Obama was. This is the house that was elected at the same time Obama was. it is also controlled by Democrats. The Republican controlled house doesn't get sworn in until after January 4th.

    Kudos to your knowledge, Bob.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  194. Mark

    Surprise, we still have earmarks and will probably continue to have earmarks for the forseeable future.

    Maybe when republicans stop their "just say no" crusade, we can get some work done.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  195. Ron

    If congress wouldn't spend so much time fund raising, maybe they would have enough time to find out what is in every bill that comes before them. "Not enough time to read what is in the bill" is just another way for the Republicans to delay every bill that comes before them. They are doing the same thing with the Stark Treaty.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  196. Chris

    Republicans are the epitome of hypocrisy – they were full of outrage over the Health Care bill, condemning it as a couple thousand page monstrosity that few have even read, but then turn around and crow about the passing of the spending bill, that is a couple thousand page monstrosity that few have even read.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  197. Itsall Tuna

    It's not the earmarks that we should be focusing on. They are the diversion. The critical parts are the tax rates and for whom. Government spending means that people can eat, stay warm and dry, see a doctor. Cutting that spending mean hunger, cold and sickness. We can't keep paying these bills (no pun intended) with credit.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  198. Susan from Idaho

    Well they're just a bunch of sore losers. Not that they were ever winners, if that had been the case they would have won another term. This may give the grim weeper more cause for tears. They're all a joke.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  199. Butchie

    I have read a lot of the comments here. Guess what this isn't a Dem or Rep. thing. This grown men and women who we hired to do a job. The are failing. In the world I live in I would loss my job if I did it as poorly as they are doing theres. If everyone could just get over themselves long enough to see that until we force these baffoons to do our work they will continue to screw our ears off.

    Good Night and Good Luck!

    December 15, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  200. Fabian

    Mr. Cafferty, Congress members retain the right to vote until the last day
    of their term. It doesn't make any difference whether you vote on the first or the last day. Congress members do not read any bill, they have their staff, familiar with their positions, analyze bills and point out the measures they are for or against. Moreover, the budget is put together by different committees and NO ONE knows what there is in its totality. If the Senate worked longer, gave up making speeches about honoring their local heroes, started to vote by electronic device is instead of roll call, they would have more time. I could mention a whole bunch of things they could do to have more time to discuss matters, not that discussion changes their position. (I just read that I have already said this. It's weird!! I am a first time writer)

    December 15, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  201. rod from NC

    Jack....Some of them do not know how to read. That is going to be a difficult situation. Maybe McConnell can read with is "wobbling" turkey neck gobbling up some time.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  202. Mark Daniel Cohen

    Congress should distribute the bill to all members, and in the next two weeks, they should read it, debate it, and vote on it. Too much work? That's the job. And it's a job they all campaigned for, raised money to get, and fought to win. If any of them can't do the job, they should quit.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  203. Anne

    What do you expect when there is an election every two years? They spend all their time raising funds for the next election. They should be paid on performance. Looks like this year it would be $0. Great way to reduce the spending and the debt at the same time.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  204. Dennis Marshall

    I get sicker every day as I watch 435 men and woman destroy our country each day... and we are worried about foreign terrorists?
    If we do not create a viable third party for congress and senate we are doomed...

    December 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  205. Charlie of Portland

    Jack, in the past week I've seen 3 different families begging on street corners. Let's consider the huge price of not passing the START Treaty, not repealing the D.A.D.T. travesty, not extending unemployment benefits, not passing the economic stimulus section of this bill. Yes, Congress needs to redeem itself, both sides having dawdled long over pressing issues and having not yet earned the respect of voters. 2012 en route! This huge bill is a sneaker Stimulus Bill, a much needed one– let's hope the so-far not-prosecuted creators of the Great Recession, bankers, brokers & politicians alike, decide to not repeat any of their shyster games. The whole world is watching. And, yes, I'm keeping a handful of 5 dollar bills in reach while driving.....

    December 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  206. Marsha

    They can sit there until hell freezes over. Overpaid, underworked, fat pensions after one term. I have no earmarks in my budget for next year, thanks to their mismanagement and ineptness.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  207. Robert Masterson

    Pass a $1 Trillion Budget Bill loaded with Pork......NO! These people are STUPID STUPID STUPID or, worse yet, think we are (WRONG). They don't get they were FIRED!. We need to eliminate the lame duck congress and install the newly elected immediatly...( a holdover from when it took weeks to months to travel long distances). Only an interium budget is appropriate.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  208. Ralph Sato

    This entire lame duck session is turning out a disaster. The worst part has been the tax cut deal between Pres. Obama and the Republican Congressional leadership. The House Democrats objected to the deal but they are being ignored as if the House didn't matter anymore. The tax cut deal will saddle the US with long term fiscal debt of a trillion dollars for questionable short term gains. From Honolulu.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  209. Yemi Bamigbade

    Who cares if they read it or not, as long as they get to ram in their porks and it sail thru that's the end. What i dont get about these folks in congress is that some of them have guts and some are just ignorants and self-centered. For over 2yrs ,not a single soul can sensed out how to get the economy back on track, the Gop was all over it's head, voted for the war bills, and dont have a clue that all the ostentacious in -your face arrogant spending will come and bite them in the face. Too bad, these politicians played politics with this great country's economy,now the know-nothing populace are feeling the brunt of their deeds.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  210. Steve D

    Come on Jack.....Why should they start reading them now? Don't you get it? We are supposed to be so sick of this stuff that we just throw our hands up in the air and no longer interested in what they do in Washington.

    Steve D
    New Windsor Maryland

    December 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  211. Glen in Atlanta

    Whine, whine whine. Harry Reid ought to keep them in session through Christmas. The obstructionist Republicans were so focused on making Obama and the Democrats look bad they said "no" to everything. The Democrats were so obsessed with appearing to be bipartisan 9when the GOP was having none of it 0 that Congress just stalled. They both need to pay. Read the damn bill and dont go home until it's voted on. I have no more patience.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  212. Eddie from Colorado

    It may be too late to avoid passing this bill. Unemployed people are on their last legs, and Congress has wasted the year away by not addressing the pressing issues. It's enough to make a grown Boehner cry.
    With regard to the earmarks, I hope CNN can give these Congressmen/Women the publicity they deserve. Let us know who these one term folks are-Please.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  213. Ben from TX

    STOP SPENDING MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE!!!

    How much more clear can we be?? If I get behind on my bills I stop spending, pay off my bills and get myself right again, if I can do it why is a government full of the best and brightest our country can muster can't figure that out?

    These are tough financial times, however in these tough times we need to realize the only way it's going to get better is to tighten our belts and do without for a while, as unpleasant as it can sometimes be.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  214. Marv

    Not in my backyard; er, not my earmark. "We the people" need to be involved with who represent us and hold them accountable. We need to do what is best for the country and stop playing up to special interests and partisan politics. United we stand or surely divided, we will fall.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  215. Michael, Springfield VA

    America deserves better than this for their tax dollars. Congress is a black hole of social responsibility and void of any real work ethic. After all of the press of irresponsible spending, budget deficits and economic crisis they still have the gall to hand the voters and taxpayers a bill for their pork. Deaf, dumb and blind. If the world feels like it's spinning a bit faster it's because the founding fathers are rolling in their graves.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  216. Doyle Thomas

    All of our elected officials should find the time to read the bill before voting yes to this [or any bill] Either party can block passage, but in the end Obama will be blamed for an increase in national debt. The political system is not working for the American people

    December 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  217. Jason - Nashville, TN

    Isn't this the way politics works in Washington? Do any of them ever read 2000 page spending bills? Doubtful. However, to say this is a problem that is unique to this Congress or to Democrats only is a little dishonest.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  218. Robby Bowling

    They haven't read anything in years why start now. They only give lip service to get elected an then biz as usual .They're all millionaires and living the life of plenty while were standing in the weeds looking for shelter from they're storm.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  219. Frank Witter

    Jack,
    What's the problem? They passed the healthcare reform act without reading it. So what if there are unintended consequences, a lot of those who will vote will be out of office next year and couldn't care less. They should pass a law that the budget for the next year, balanced or otherwise, must be voted on no later than June 30th.

    Frank, Reno

    December 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  220. J. David Auner

    There is ignorance and feigned ignorance. Other than H. Ross Perot $75 million one liners – congress can keep up if they desire. Work every day though Jan. 4, 2011 to make up for past sins.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  221. Ann

    Jack-The inmates are running the asylum! I have been out of work since 9/09-hundreds and hundreds of resumes out, only 4 interviews! Wish Washington would do their jobs-and stand up for us instead of playing politics! I deplore the repug's, the teabaggers scare me, and the dem's have been forever disapointing! What's a girl to do? They tell us to live within our means (and let's face it, they are so out of touch with us,) but yet they CANNOT LEAD BY EXAMPLE! They all need to take one for the team and put us first for once instead of rolling their agenda's into a pretty document with a bow!!!! Oh yeah, and if they continue to screw education-I guess actually reading the bills won't matter in the long run, because no one will be able to!

    Ann-Coventry, CT

    December 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  222. Randy From New York

    Before answering your question, do you think CNN could report the differences to Americans when bills passed by Congress are read versus when they're not read? I'm pretty sure the impact to WE THE PEOPLE, remains the same - That is, WE THE PEOPLE get the short end of the stick while politicians, corporations and Wall Street get all the perks. Reading them has nothing to do with it, Jack. I'd start looking at who exactly is writing these things, and ask, "Can we trust them?"

    December 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  223. David Becker

    Mitch O'Connels false indignity about not voting for this bill, comes only
    After it's revealed HE included HUNDRED OF MILLIONS of dollars of PORK. I am so sick of these self serving crooks and thieves I could vomit.
    They are never going to get it, they won't be happy until the Rich and themselves, have it all.
    I used to think we needed another American Revolution, maybe we need
    Armed intervention, to take back our beloved America.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  224. Kevin S.

    What's going on? We've gone from at least pretending to have a basic understanding of Congress' proposed bills to playing darts with whatever is released into the jungle we know as the legislative branch.

    I've heard it advertised as "bipartisanship", but really it seems more like "non-partisanship". Who's running the show if nobody even reads the bill?

    December 15, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  225. JakeF

    Of course they won't read it.

    Even if they did, the majority of them won't comprehend it.

    I look across the river to South Jersey and their newly elected congressperson. This is an individual who is lucky to string a cognizant sentence together, let alone comprehend a 2,000 page document that will affect three hundred million plus people.

    Sorry Jack, but our congress is a joke.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  226. Nancy G

    Why hasn't congress seen the bill? That's my question. I can read a 2,000 page book in a couple of days; what's wrong with them? They should stay in Washington till they've read and edited and voted.

    (Maybe they wouldn't have such a time crunch if they'd take less vacation
    during the year, or spend less time fund raising)

    Nancy G.
    New Hampshire

    December 15, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  227. Andrew

    The Senate is defunct because of the filibuster rule and inability to bring anything to cloture. When you have to have a super majority just to bring an end to debate and bring about an up and down vote it's not wonder why so many bills go to die in the Senate. I'm hoping next year the Senate will bring up the constitutional option and change their rules with filibuster. Only then will Congress actually be able to get things done.

    Of course congress should read the bills they're voting on, but we all know that doesn't happen. This isn't a problem unique to one party, it happens in both parties all the time on every bill.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  228. Ryan

    With a 13% approval rating, I think its pretty clear that Congress isn't expected to do anything a small child with a box of crayons couldn't do. The get paid to get themselves and their cronies re-elected, not to govern this country with any shred of common sense. I would start small Mr. Cafferty, like having Mr. Boehner make it through his second daily siesta without crying over paving the road to the American dream for so many. Chicken crap'd

    December 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  229. Sean Griswold

    Let tax cuts expire – if we can't take a little pain now – how will we handle austerity measures that will result from massive debt.
    This plan is like a worker in huge credit card debt turning down a raise that would help him pay it down.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  230. Gary Bryant

    In a word, no. This is the very lack of transparency in Congress that is earning it the disapproval of the vast majority of Americans.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  231. wyominguy

    The ONLY thing these people read is the list of contributors and how much they gave. The rest is up to the staff; after all there is the public's business and the business of the pubic.

    Bob
    Buffalo, Wyoming

    December 15, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  232. Margaret, Fayetteville, NC.

    "Here Jack -- here is a blank check, Just sign here I'll show you the bill later. Just sign here". ~~~ "Yea, Yea, I heard what you said about cutting down on spending: but, I don't care. I have to take care of myself and certainly know how to manage everything much better than you do. You don't have a clue what is good for you."

    Sound like our Congress? Hell no don't vote for a bill you haven't read any more than you would sign the blank check I passed to you.
    Margaret, North Carolina

    December 15, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  233. Tom Penrod

    Aw, do we really expect them to do anything but suck us taxpayers dry? We have obstructionist republicans and spineless democrats deciding how to spend our money. And to add insult to injury some of the republicans are complaining that they need these days off for religious reasons. I think it is time to remove all of these losers from office immediately. Hey Congress! Get your job done or get out of the way!

    December 15, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  234. Scott in Alamogordo, NM

    Of course they should read it. (And not have somebody else stand there and read it to them) They should also work a regular week and not be allowed home until work is done. Maybe that would curtail the stalling tactics and schoolyard behavior.
    And you spur another question: Who the hell are the 13% that approve of Congress?! Must be CEOs and Congressional employees!

    December 15, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  235. Jim Ingraham

    It's interesting, Jack, that you mentioned only Democrats in that rant about the spending bill. Republicans too added earmarks. Be careful. You're beginning to sound like Lou Dobbs.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  236. lynnej in nc

    Mr. Cafferty, you act like it is all the Democrats fault when it is both parties.

    No bill needs to be that long. I bet the average citizen could go in there and write a bill that would be no more than 30 pages. Most of the 2000 pages are nothing but lawyer speak.

    But ask yourself why would Nancy Pelosi pass something like the budget, knowing full well that Harry Reid didn't have the votes to pass it in the Senate because he has to deal with the Say No Crowd?

    She would have just been wasting her time.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  237. Cousin Vinny in Connecticut

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!! This is not only ridiculous and disgusting, but it borders on being criminal. This outgoing Congress should NOT have the right to work on these bills; the new Congress should have been seated within 2 weeks after the election. "It's deja vu all over again" with a bill that no one has read, was put together behind closed doors and is over $1 trillion. Let's throw the bums out NOW!

    December 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  238. Ted Newman

    This just goes along with everything these so called politicans have done for years by not doing there job and not helping the american public out of this rut were in. All they do is think about themselves and how they can get farther at the cost of the people who want to see america grow in an honest way.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  239. Nina

    Part of the job description for our lawmakers is to “read” the proposals. The excuse they did not read the proposed legislation and the reason they do not want to vote on it is absurd!

    December 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  240. Debora Mawji

    If Senators were limited to ONE filibuster every six months, maybe they would pick their battles more carefully, and Congress could get a lot more done. There would be no need to cram everything into the last two weeks of December.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  241. sambee1

    Yes, Harry Reid should go ahead and get as much done in this Congress year while he can. There has been many bills he has tried to get to the Table, but wqh held up by the anonymous GOP filibuster. These bills would have had time to be read. Demint and Kyle should be ashamed of themselves to try to bring up a statement about disrespect of Christians for them working during the holidays. Well, I am a Christian and I feel that I have been disrespected by their filibustering and voting down important bills which have been brought to the floor these last two years. They have only said "No" to everything. That's Disrespect!

    December 15, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  242. Dave

    The Obama Tax deal should only be a vote on the tax, not any of the add ons. Up or down vote to extend.

    The Omnibus Budget bill should be kicked out of Congress. Congress should be forced to do a real budget and meet budget deadlines. The Omnibus Bill is a pork budget. What is wrong with Congress? They cannot do their job, they attempt to push through pork and they give away taxpayer money like water in a river.

    We need a constitutional amendment that Congress should pass a budget in January of the year it is sworn in, Congress must read and understand every bill they vote on and no bill can be more than one page of standard type. Once a bill is submitted it cannot be amended except for the stated purpose of the bill. No more omnibus type bills.

    Any business person who did their job like Congress is doing would be fired on the spot for non performance. We need performance levels for Congress and only pay for performance.

    Stop the madness, vote these non performers out of office,

    December 15, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  243. Cher

    McCafferty gave Senate Republicans a pass today when he blamed the Senate for jamming up important bills in the lame duck session. The reason for that is Republicans using filibuster rules in unprecedented numbers, more than 80 this session, with the sole intent to slow down Senate action.

    Place the blame where it belongs!

    As for the whine about seeing the 2,000 page spending bill for the first time, 1) this is unlikely to be the first time legislators have seen these proposals; 2) legislators have aides who scour through these bills; 3) these pages are not single-spaced with narrow margins, so the repetitive whine about "too many pages" ignores the formatting of bills.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  244. Jerry

    Jack' How can they pass the tax breaks for the upper class high income when so many people have been laid off by corperations and so called small businesses. How about the 99ers, the very same workers that made these people the profits. I dont hear one senator or congressman even mentioning us. I have lost My home ,job etc...I voted for Obama, and Never will again.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  245. Jim

    Read the bill? How can they swear no more earmarks and vote for a bill with earmarks, especially for earmarks for their constituents? By lying and saying they didn't read the bill.

    Surprisingly, many Republicans can't believe this. What would P.T. Barnum say?

    December 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  246. Henri D. Kahn

    I believe that every Senator and Representative hones in on what part of any spending bill is relevant to his constituency.
    The system is strictly "what will keep my voters happy and me in office, PERIOD.
    Henri D. Kahn

    December 15, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  247. Langston

    Sounds a lot like last December when Democrats held Congress hostage until the healthcare bill was rammed through. What is with the month of December? To add insult to injury, Democrats, who shout that Republicans are not willing to work across party lines, are meeting in back rooms creating a wreckless omnibus spending bill layered with pork. So, should Congress pass it? Why not Jack. Money doesnt seem to be an issue hence our $13 trillion deficit.

    Macon, GA

    December 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  248. JimGreenm Seguin, TX

    Jack….the media is always going on about the proposed budget—but rarely, if ever, talk about how much money was brought to pay for this deficit—or what was collected for Social Security, etc….so for the record—the government’s total revenue was $2.57 trillion—so in that context $1.1 trillion is hardly worth a “Holy Cow”—and Social Security has brought in more than it paid out almost from the beginning-so lighten up!

    December 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  249. David Henson

    I want to know who, literally who sat down and typed this hype. 2,000 pages of type. That took some serious time. What person would do this? Minimum wage or not....wow

    December 15, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  250. Tod Jones

    If any of the complainers above were to consider a total change in government to a) eliminate competitive democracy, b) campaigning and electioneering and c) lobbiests, they one and all would refuse claiming we have the best governance system in the world.

    It will sink itself in greed and my kids and grand kids will suffer through the declaration of bankruptcy of the largest economy in the world. A fiscal house built on sand!

    Ultimately we will have to replace this system of governance with one that can't be corrupted by big money...

    December 15, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  251. cheryl jamison from Largo Florida

    I couldn't believe that after the first stimulus bill with all its pork that there were more "goodies" waiting to unload on the public. It seems at any moment in time, Congress can unload one dump after another and expect us to pay for it. Congress, if the pork is that good, you eat it.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  252. wendy

    Why should they read it? Does anyone think they will be held accountable for that mistake or problems that ensue? In Massachusetts, we elected an auditor (with no auditor experience) who was caught cheating on her taxes just weeks before the election. No problem! There is no personal responsibility anymore and this is par for the course.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  253. Ann

    Michele Obama spent FOUR AND A HALF BILLION DOLLARS, of OUR money, on schools. When do these people leave the Whitehouse? Not soon enough........................................

    December 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  254. Nina

    Increasing the National deficit by one more trillion dollars would just drop us further into the abyss unless the money is spent in a manner that would be beneficial to ALL Americans and not just for the wealthy, banks, corporations and Wall-street! I am tired of making them wealthier! When is enough, enough?

    December 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  255. Tom

    Why would anybody, Republican or Democrate, be surprised? This won't change until the system is changed in a way that directly affect the Senators & Representatives.

    Elected gov't workers should only get paid (including benefits) if there is sufficient revenue to cover it after all the bills are paid for. This would include past Senators/Reps that are enjoying the benefits from their overspending over the years. If spending exceeds revenues, the senators are volunteering their time and the retired senators don't get their pension or healthcare. This is the only way to ensure a balanced budget.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  256. rich

    if it means my family gets to eat another year even tho we live with my mom and take the bus to save money, Pass it now work out the kinks next week. Time to get the average working Joe in office Jack, None of these politicians ever have to worry about groceries let alone working evidently. I would run for office, but who would hear me? Keep up the good work , Jack, i love what you do!
    – plumb for president in phoenix, AZ

    December 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  257. Steve in Canada

    Come on Jack, why don't you tell the public the whole story. You don't mention the fact that the Republicans have spent the last two years saying no and just last week said they would do nothing until they get the tax cuts. Why is it that CNN is increasing looking more bias against airing real fact over political dribble. You should be asking why the Republicans are continuing their obstructionist methods. From Canada right now All Americans look pretty childish and unrealistic, the fact you just borrowed more to give youself tax breaks is a real example. It is going to take a Greece like financial hit to open the eyes to the US that in todays age you are not the SPECIAL people you make yourselves out to be. I just hope the rest of the world can decouple their investments in the US before the next incredible financial crash begins. At least then you won't take the rest of the world along for the ride into the massive ditch you are driving straight towards at the moment.

    December 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm |