The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a government appropriations bill Thursday evening and, with a day until the vote, lawmakers still have not received the text of the legislation.
“No one has seen the final wording of a long and complicated bill we will be expected to vote on tomorrow evening,” Republican Maryland Rep. Andy Harris told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “That’s no way to run a legislature.”
Republican Study Chairman Mike Johnson also confirmed that “as of lunch on Wednesday, members of the RSC, and to our knowledge, even members of the conference committee, had not seen the text.”
“It has been reported that [House Majority Leader Steny] Hoyer has said if the bill is dropped today we will consider it tomorrow. This is reminiscent of the, ‘you must pass it to find out what is in it,’ Obamacare debacle,” Johnson said to TheDCNF. “This bill is expected to be well over 1,000 pages, and we will potentially have less than 24 hours to digest it. This is absurd.”
The bicameral and bipartisan Homeland Security funding conference committee signaled last week that they are nearing a final border security deal that could be voted on prior to the Feb. 15 funding deadline. However, after hitting a snag over Democrats’ demand to limit to how many criminals Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be allowed to detain, Congress reportedly reached an “agreement in principle” late Monday.
The agreement includes $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new bollard fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, far short of the $5.7 billion that President Donald Trump initially sought for 234 miles of steel or concrete walls.
Regardless, the legislation is expected to be finalized Wednesday night, giving members of Congress less than 24 hours to read what they are voting on. A senior House Republican source confirmed to TheDCNF that no Republican lawmakers have received a copy of the legislation or seen any text as of Wednesday afternoon. (RELATED: Democrats Wall Deal Seeks To Limit ICE’s Ability To House Criminal Illegal Immigrants)
“When one bemoans the swamp, look no further than spending a trillion dollars and jamming through legislation when none of us have even seen it,” Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy told TheDCNF. “We should be a no on such incompetence even if it weren’t perpetuating drunken spending and failing to actually secure the border.”
“Pelosi and the Democrats promised a full 72 hours to review legislation,” a senior conservative congressional aide told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “But now we’re voting on a massive, probably thousands-page long conference report tomorrow and we haven’t even seen text the day before? This is worse than under Speaker Ryan.”
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