“It’s only 99 pages”: Republican mocked for whining that 3 days isn’t enough time to read debt bill

After returning to work Tuesday following Congress’ long weekend recess, a House Republican complained that legislators only have 72 hours to review the 99-page debt deal that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., struck over the weekend. 

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., expressed disappointment with the new legislation, which would suspend the debt ceiling until 2025, institute federal spending caps and add work requirements for welfare recipients, during a Tuesday appearance on Fox News’ “America Reports.” 

Host John Roberts referenced Rep. Dan Bishop’s, R-N.C., opposition to the bill and call to bring a motion to vacate the chair, which would prompt a vote on whether McCarthy would remain speaker. 

“Would you consider a motion to vacate the chair over this?” Roberts asked.

“It depends how McCarthy deals… from here on out,” Norman responded. “I mean, we were over Memorial Day, and to get a call to comment, support a bill, the negotiated bill we hadn’t even read. It’s like the Pelosi days. You have to pass it before you can read it. This needs–”

Roberts interrupted Norman, reminding him that McCarthy is granting members of Congress 72 hours to review the document before voting on it, something former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, R-Calif., whose infamous comments on the 2010 Affordable Care Act Norman referenced, did not do.

“For this serious of a bill affecting the dollars that it is, and the financial security which is national security, you oughta have a lot more time and I think the date–” Norman continued after acknowledging the allotted consideration time.

But Roberts interrupted again.

“It’s only 99 pages,” he noted about the debt deal. When Norman responded seeking clarity, Roberts repeated himself.

“It’s only 99 pages – not the 2,000-plus that the Affordable Care Act was,” he said.

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Norman laughed and brought up one of Biden’s previous bills, which he said was over 4,000 pages and Congress had less time to review, before expressing his “serious concerns” about the legislation.

“At the end of the day, I think we gave away way too much and it’s time to negotiate and go back to the table,” Norman said.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif, mocked his Republican colleague’s claim on Twitter.

“Let’s do some math,” he wrote. “If GOP Rep Ralph Norman works 8 hours a day, that’s 24 hours over 3 days to read 99 pages. That comes out to reading a little over 4 pages every hour. And these are double spaced text pages.

“Alternatively, he can have AI summarize the bill for him in 1 min,” he added.

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