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February 13, 2009

Another reason to fear Friday the 13th

How appropriate that on Friday the 13th -- a day associated by many with ill fortune -- Congress is preparing to pass an $800 BILLION "stimulus" bill that is in reality little more than an attempt to stimulate the reelection chances of our senators and representatives (via strategic bribery of the electorate).

Our congressfolks are undoubtedly intimately aware of the sections in the 1000-page bill that are directly related to their pet projects, but it is also quite likely that they have little significant knowledge of everything else that is in there. But, as CNSNews reports today, that won't stop many of them from voting for it [typos in original]:
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) predicted on Thursday that none of his Senate colleagues would "have the chance" to read the entire final version of the $790-billion stimulus bill before the bill comes up for a final vote in Congress.

“No, I don’t think anyone will have the chance to [read the entire bill],” Lautenberg told CNSNews.com.

The final bill, crafted by a House-Senate conference committee, was posted on the Website of the House Appropriations Committe late Thurday in two PDF files.

[...] Both Republicans and Democrats told CNSNews.com they were eager to read the unseen bill--once they could get get their hands on a copy of the final legislation.

Nonetheless, members from both sides of the aisle in both the House and Senate admitted they doubted they would have adequate time to read the bill before they actually voted for it.

“Certainly I hope to have the opportunity to go through [the bill] before the vote takes place,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told CNSNews.com. “But that’s something I’ve found doesn’t always happen around here.”
Whether from principle or from the fact that this gives them political cover, some Republicans have stated this as one of the reasons they will vote against "Porkulus" (one of the popular derogatory nicknames for the bill on the internet: pork + stimulus = porkulus).

Whatever their reason for voting against, more power to them. This bill must die.

UPDATE: For good measure, here's what Rep. John Shadegg has to say about it over at RedState:
How fitting is it that the stimulus bill is coming to a strong-arm vote on Friday the 13th?

This entire process has been a horror story. The exclusion of Republicans. The pork and paybacks for special interests. The secret, closed-door meetings. The mammoth bill text kept hidden until hours before the vote.

But of course the greatest horror is not the process – it is the product. At the end of the day we have an economic stimulus without economic stimulus. A recovery package that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says will shrink the GDP. An historic transfer of wealth and power to the federal government – which the government has no plans of returning to the people.

Commonsense Americans have been expressing their concern, frustration and outrage for weeks. But Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid – and yes, President Obama – have not listened.

With the clock ticking before this vote, we must continue sounding the alarm. We must raise our voices. We may lose the day – but do not let history record that we went down without a fight.

Congressional Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

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