Congress is back in session, and don’t blink or you may miss the plan to transform America in 17 days. Never mind Sen. Joe Manchin’s "strategic pause." Democratic leaders are moving to ram into law their $3.5 trillion plan for cradle-to-grave entitlements with the narrowest of majorities before Americans figure out what they’re doing. As Nancy Pelosi famously said about ObamaCare, Congress will pass the bill so people can find out what’s in it.
The House Ways and Means and Education and Labor committees introduced the text of their sections of the $3.5 trillion-plus spending bill late Tuesday and Wednesday. On your mark, set, go for the 100-meter dash. Within 36 hours, the committees had begun mark-ups.
Industry lobbyists are feverishly trying to parse the hundreds of pages. Good luck. Mrs. Pelosi plans to consummate her crowning career achievement with a House vote by Sept. 27. There will be little or no time to debate the details in the halls of Congress or townhalls with constituents. Democrats in swing districts will be told to get with the program or else.
It’s worth putting Mrs. Pelosi’s blitzkrieg in historic context. FDR’s New Deal programs were passed incrementally over two presidential terms with overwhelming Democratic majorities. Democrats created the Great Society over two years with supermajorities. ObamaCare was hashed out over nine months before Democrats enacted it into law with 56 votes in the Senate. The 2017 GOP tax reform was debated for months, and its principles for years, before Congress voted.
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