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Guess How Much Time the Senate Took to Review its 154-Page 'Fiscal Cliff' Bill


You can count the number of minutes on one hand...

The lights of the U.S. Capitol remain lit into the night as the House continues to work on the "fiscal cliff" legislation proposed by the Senate, in Washington, on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The U.S. Senate in dramatic last-minute fashion voted 89-8 Tuesday to pass the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.”

But considering the fact that senators spent all day locked in meetings and the fact that the vote didn’t take place until the wee hours of the morning (1:58 a.m. ET to be exact), it was all but certain that none of them had actually read the 154-page bill.

And it appears that none of them did -- at least not all of it.

“Multiple Senate sources have confirmed … that senators received the bill at approximately 1:36 AM on Jan. 1, 2013 – a mere three minutes before they voted to approve it at 1:39 AM,” CNSNews.com reports.

“The bill is 154-pages and includes several provisions that are unrelated to the fiscal cliff, including repealing a section of ObamaCare, extending the wind-energy tax credit, and a rum tax subsidy deal for Puerto Rican rum makers,” the report adds.

So, yes, a bill that would later make its way down to the lower chamber and find approval in the House was never actually read in its entirety by the Senate.

“The bill avoids the fiscal cliff by making permanent the Bush tax cuts for individuals making less than $400,000 per year and couples making less than $450,000 and by putting off the automatic spending cuts (sequestration) from last year’s debt ceiling deal until March," according to the CNS report.

The bill also puts off the automatic spending cuts (i.e. the “sequester”) for two months. After that, Congress will have to figure out deal with those while they also debate the debt ceiling limit.

Final Thought -- We totally called this:

Seriously, this whole "we don't read bills" thing has become a really, really bad habit.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter       

Featured image courtesy Getty Images.

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