The omnibus is Washington at its worst. It’s a huge end-of-year $1.7 trillion spending bill loaded with significantly expanded government authorities and programs and little opportunity for most members of Congress, much less the American public, to review it. This bill also shows that neither Congress nor the White House is serious about huge annual budget deficits and 40-year-high inflation, choosing instead to double down on reckless fiscal policy. Of course, special interests are never fully happy, but this is a windfall for industries with lobbying power. While there were some members in Congress fighting to keep some of the worst provisions out, unfortunately, the bill expands government, subsidizes big business, and ignores the interests of taxpayers while circumventing regular order in Congress.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come under significant scrutiny following controversies relating to Covid-19, infant formula, and slower drug approvals. Congress reauthorizes the agency every five years and usually takes the opportunity to reform its operations.
This year, however, reforms were not included in the FDA’s reauthorization process, removing the chance for substantive debate around reform. The omni is being used as a vehicle to stuff some of those priorities into a larger bill.