Senator Tester’s massive forest bill has been added to Senate omnibus appropriations bill-
Every year the U.S. Congress’ procedure becomes more and more unglued. The reason for this is mostly partisan gridlock. So few freestanding bills (called regular order) are allowed by the opposition to pass or fail on a straight vote that extraordinary measures are now being taken if there is to be any action at all, even on necessary bills.
This year is ending up worse than ever. This is no comment on the merits of Senators Tester’s wilderness/jobs bill. We have discussed that earlier. That bill, however, largely thought to be dead, has been added to the Senate’s omnibus appropriations bill, and could become law with no direct vote ever having been taken on it.
The way the process is emerging is that almost all legislation for a year will come up in one giant bill that contains every other bill that has somehow found its way through the new, arcane process. The only votes that can be said to count will mostly be those on the giant measure. What is in the giant bill will be for everyone to discover after the Congress is over, not before the legislation is passed!
Montana wilderness, jobs bill added to Senate appropriations bill. By Rob Chaney Missoulian.