The House of Representatives spent last Friday passing the $1.65 trillion omnibus spending blowout, and the bill is loaded with earmarks and pet priorities from health care to public lands that few Members have bothered to read. This is no way to run a government, and compounding the embarrassment is that half of the lawmakers had already ditched Washington for the holidays.

The House had roughly 230 “active proxy letters” on Friday. Speaker Nancy Pelosi through a rule change allowed Members to vote by proxy in 2020, a putatively temporary measure to mitigate the risks of Covid-19. But the reprieve has been renewed every 45 days for more than two years and is now an all-purpose excuse to go AWOL.

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