Two years after Republicans blasted Democrats for pushing through massive legislation without giving lawmakers time to read it, the No. 2 Democrat in the House said the GOP itself is doing the same thing with the payroll tax cut.
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said the 369-page bill — which contains the payroll tax cut, major changes to the unemployment insurance system, higher payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients, and language trying to force a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline — will end up surprising lawmakers by some of the provisions tucked inside.
“I’d be shocked if any member has read this bill — shocked,” Mr. Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said on the House floor as he wondered where the outrage was at the GOP’s bill.
Republicans introduced the legislation on Friday, meaning it has been posted on the Internet for four days, but Mr. Hoyer said there have not been the kinds of extensive hearings and committee debates that often accompany major pieces of legislation such as Democrats’ health care and global warming legislation in 2009.
Those Democratic bills drew protests in the summer of 2009 as tea party activists demanded to know whether their congressmen had read the legislation.
Mr. Hoyer said he’s waiting to hear the tea party complain about the GOP this time around.
“I haven’t seen you, I haven’t heard you, I haven’t gotten a letter from you,” he said.