The "cromnibus" came together with a last-minute backroom deal between Republicans and Democrats that forced the House to vote on the 1,603-page measure before anyone could reasonably read it , and plenty of lawmakers are upset — including Speaker John A. Boehner.
"This is exactly the way I don't want to do business," Boehner said Thursday, just hours before the House was slated to vote on the funding package.
The Ohio Republican campaigned for the speaker's gavel by pledging to give lawmakers 72 hours before voting on pieces of legislation, and he's previously been an opponent of pieces of thousand-page legislation.
And while he's recently been defending the process , Boehner noted Thursday that this wasn't his best-case scenario.
"Ideally, we would have been able to do this work one bill at a time," Boehner said, referring to a regular appropriations process. But he said his hand was forced by Senate Democrats, who did not pass a single appropriations bill.
"None," Boehner emphasized. "Zero. Nada!"
He stressed that the cromnibus plan was put together after consultation with GOP members. And he said no members should have objections to it.
But plenty of members do — on the grounds of process and on substance. The $1.1 trillion cromnibus would fund government operations until October, with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security, which would be funded until Feb. 27. Republicans say that will give them some leverage over President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, but many conservatives say their opportunity to block the action is now, and the cromnibus wouldn't do that.
Meanwhile, Democrats have expressed discontent on the bill over a number of riders, including those increasing the amount of money individuals can contribute to political party committees and provisions revising the Dodd-Frank Act.
Ultimately, Boehner is hoping enough Republicans and Democrats come together to support the deal, and he gave members the hard sell on why they should vote for the cromnibus Thursday.
"If we don't get finished today, we're going to be here until Christmas," he said.
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