FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Congress had all year to do the public's business, but it didn't.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/12/15/art.reid.jpg caption="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?
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.
Who's gonna teach the Republicans how to read?
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.
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.