Midnight Passage


Midnight Passage

The House of Representatives has had lots of reasons to keep its work out of the public eye this session. On the one hand, it’s been “spending money like a drunken sailor” (to quote John McCain); on the other, it’s been slashing vital programs, including veterans’ benefits and future Head Start funding. Who wants to see any of that in the morning papers? So it should come as little surprise that members of Congress have been working overtime—long past reporters’ deadlines and under cover of darkness—to pass some of their most controversial bills.

WHAT

WHEN

TIME

MARGIN

Cut to veterans’ benefits

Friday morning, March 21, 2003

2:54 a.m.

3 votes

Reduced funding for education and health care in 2004 budget

Friday morning, April 11, 2003

2:39 a.m.

5 votes

Bush’s second tax cut, worth $350 billion

Friday morning, May 23, 2003

1:56 a.m.

31 votes

Health privatization and prescription drug bill

Friday morning, June 27, 2003

2:33 a.m.

1 vote

Head Start “reform”

Friday morning, July 25, 2003

12:57 a.m.

1 vote

The $87.5 billion bill for Iraq and Afghanistan

Friday morning, October 31, 2003

12:12 a.m.

177 votes

The $530 billion Medicare bill

Saturday morning, November 22, 2003

5:53 a.m.

5 votes