- The Washington Times - Monday, December 21, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the rushed process ahead of Monday’s vote on a massive stimulus bill, as the text is finally released after long delays.

“It’s not good enough to hear about what’s in the bill. Members of Congress need to see and read the bills we are expected to vote on,” the New York Democrat tweeted. “I know it’s ‘controversial’ and I get in trouble for sharing things like this, but the people of this country deserve to know. They deserve better.”

Capitol Hill leaders announced a finalized deal on $900 billion in coronavirus relief and resources late Sunday evening, but the 5,593-page bill wasn’t released until Monday afternoon.

The deal is part of a much larger package, which includes a surprise billing compromise and government funding, making it thousands of pages and one of the largest stimulus packages at roughly $2.5 trillion.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez isn’t alone in her frustration — other members have criticized what they see as a top-to-bottom system pushing rank-and-file members out of the legislative process.

“When a few people decide everything in Congress, it means we have an oligarchy, not a representative democracy. When the media cast this corruption of our system as a good thing, it means there’s little hope for avoiding further lurches toward one-person rule,” Rep. Justin Amash, Michigan independent, tweeted.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune, South Dakota Republican, told reporters that there are a few technical problems, particularly with the computer system, that is dragging out the process.

“I think it’s a huge project, bigger than anything we’ve done in time, I’ve been here. And, unfortunately, it’s bad time to computer glitch,” he said.

Both chambers are hoping to vote on the entire package by the end of the day, but no times have been set.

“We’re going to stay here until we finish tonight,” Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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