In the end, Paul Ryan just didn’t worry about appearances. He invited mockery by rushing the 2,232-page Omnibus Appropriations Bill — first unveiled last night — through the House today. Now the Senate will have the luxury of dealing with the bill about 30 hours before appropriations run out and the government shuts down — if, of course, Rand Paul doesn’t decide to filibuster it like he did a previous stopgap measure in February.
Ryan’s task was complicated by Nancy Pelosi’s decision to ask her caucus to oppose the rule for consideration of the omnibus (which she fully intended to support once it did get to the floor) to protest the continued inability or refusal of Congress or the White House to offer protections to Dreamers. All but one Democrat complied, which meant that the Speaker had to lean on Republicans to supply the critical margin (the rule was adopted by a spare 211–207 vote). Even then, corners were cut, according to Politico: “Some members complained they were still waiting to vote when the gavel came down.”
That hurdle out of the way, the omnibus itself passed by a much more comfortable 256–167 margin.
The Senate could move on the bill right away, but the senior senator from Kentucky is waiting on word from the junior senator from Kentucky about his intentions:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont outside his office that the Senate will vote on omnibus “whenever Sen. Paul decides we can,” a nod to Kentucky Republican Rand Paul’s possible objection to moving to the bill.
Paul said he is “on page 56 right now and so I’ve got a few more pages to read” of the omnibus but did not reveal whether he will delay a vote.
At least somebody’s reading it. But it’s probably fortunate for the prospects for final enactment of this vast bill that the president doesn’t much like to read.