Roll Call
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About The Keyvote

H.Res. 796 is the rule governing the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The underlying bill is a consolidated appropriations bill packed with unrelated legislative items that Congress has not been able to pass. We oppose the rule governing the underlying bill because of the process by which leadership wrote the bill. The process by which this omnibus has been written was awful. After taking the gavel on October 29, 2015, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said, “When we rush to pass a bill that a lot of us don't understand, we are not doing our job.”

In a separate speech a week later, on November 5, Speaker Ryan said, “[T]the way I am trying to do this job is the way that I always thought it should have been done, and that is to make this a more open process so that every citizen in this country, through their elected representatives, has an opportunity to make a difference.”

This omnibus was written behind closed doors, with few privy to what exactly was going in it. The bill is also more than a week behind schedule. Originally, it was supposed to be released the week of March 12, with a vote by the end of the week. That didn’t happen. Leadership hoped to vote on the bill Wednesday of this week, but last second negotiations have continued to delay the release of the bill.

Now, because of the delays to pack this bill with items unrelated to appropriations, leadership plans to waive the “three-day” rule – Rule XXI, Clause II of the Rules of the House of Representatives – which requires that bills and resolutions be available for parts of three calendar days. Members and their staff will have less than 24 hours to review the 2,232-page omnibus before they are expected to vote on the bill.

What’s more, the rule governing the omnibus prevents amendments from being offered from the floor. This has been an all too common theme for legislation brought to the floor. Because this bill spends nearly $1.3 trillion, a more open, deliberative process is needed. Leadership may argue that there isn’t enough time to vote on amendments, but they have only themselves to blame for the time constraints. This is legislative malpractice, and it simply can’t continue.