Rep. Rice on Reading 2,465-Page Bill: 'I Don't Have to Because...I Couldn't Possibly Support It'

By Megan Williams | September 29, 2021 | 12:11pm EDT
House Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.)  (Getty Images)
House Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- When asked if he would read all 2,465 pages of the Build Back Better Act before voting on it, House Representative Tom Rice (R-S.C.) said, “I don’t have to because I know the numbers, and I couldn’t possibly support it.”

On Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol, CNS News asked the congressman, “The Build Back Better Act the House Budget Committee approved was 2,465 pages long, will you read the entire bill before you vote?”

Rice replied, “I don’t have to read the entire bill to know that I’m going to vote no because of the top line numbers. No, again, I don’t have to because I know the numbers and I couldn’t possibly support it.”

The $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act was approved by the House Budget Committee on Saturday. Committee chairman, Representative John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), explained the purpose of the bill in a press release.

“The Build Back Better Act makes the transformative investments at the scale necessary to meet the needs of the American people,” Yarmuth said. “The job is not done until we deliver the Build Back Better Act to the Oval Office and get these investments to the American people.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues in the House on Sunday, explaining their plans for this act and the rest of the week.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“This week is a week of opportunity, as we work to keep government open, conclude negotiations on the Build Back Better Act and advance the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework,” Pelosi wrote.

A potential government shutdown is looming after the Senate voted against a bill on Monday that attempted to extend government funding and suspend the debt ceiling for a year. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) said the Democrats were attempting to use this bill to usher in a new wave of unprecedented spending.

"They are in the midst of an absolutely unprecedented, very damaging spending spree on a scale that we have never seen, and they want us to come along and authorize the borrowing to help pay for it when we are totally opposed to what they're doing," Toomey told CNN.

The House will debate this week and vote on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill on Thursday, Sept. 30, the last day of the fiscal year and the last day before a shutdown would begin.

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