Democrats have given some info to the press on their omnibus bill, so as to get their spin out first, but Republicans haven’t seen it and have no idea what’s in it. From a friend on the Hill:
The bill is still not available. It was supposed to be released to Hill offices at 2 pm today, but still nothing. They write these bills in MS Word like the rest of the world, but instead of making that easily searchable doc available, they will likely print it out, make a few handwritten notes, and then scan it into pdf so that no one can search the bill.
From the AP story alone, it looks like it will be about $19.1 billion over GWB’s levels. They say earmarks are cut, but they offer no concrete numbers no money for Iraq, just Afghanistan, but they are expecting an amendment to add $40b for iraq in the Senate.
It would then go back to the House and pass over the objections of anti-war Dems. So get this logic, the omnibus to fund the entire federal government was written in secret by Democrats, but after we add Iraq funds, this Democrat bill will be passed by largely by GOP votes and possibly opposed by the majority of Democrats. Odd isn’t it?
UPDATE: Several readers have suggested optical character recognition software to deal with the pdf problem. To this, my friend replies:
It usually works for about 90 percent of the bill, which can be helpful, but when you’re dealing with specifics and billions of dollars, missing some stuff can throw everything off. It misses whole pages and can’t pick up handwritten notes (which is why the appropriators do that).