Legislative Political Glossary

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Omnibus bill

Several bills are combined into one larger bill.  The individual bills are not related to one another.   Appropriations bills are often combined.  While a  single bill may be contentious, placing them together may strengthen their chance of being passed. 

The strategy is used to force members of Congress to vote for things they might not favor, by putting those things in a bill that they do not want to defeat.  Party A wants something to become law, while Party B does not.  If the objectionable provision is placed into a bill that Party B wants even more and will not vote against, Party B has been forced to vote for something they did not support.


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