Is there a name for a popular measure being added to another bill for the purpose of attacking people who voted against that bill?

The Politicus
Jun 01, 2021 10:27 AM 0 Answers
Member Since Sep 2018
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I personally always call this a kittens-are-cute bill, but that's sadly not a word that actually exists. The basic idea is that party A wants to pass a certain bill, but they know it's wholly unacceptable to party B. So what they do is add some (often only vaguely related) measure that will attract a lot of popular support from both parties' voters (as a joking example, "we hereby declare kittens to be cute"). Then they later point out that party B voted against a bill that says kittens are cute (or that party B abstained from voting, which to a lot of people is the same thing).

I see this strategy a lot, yet I don't remember ever seeing someone give a name to it. The word I'm looking for is not "omnibus bill", in that an omnibus bill can also be a true compromise where both parties get something they want. Not every omnibus bill is a kittens-are-cute bill, but of course every kittens-are-cute bill is, to some degree, an omnibus bill.

Note that whether or not party A has a majority and as such gets the bill to pass is irrelevant. What's relevant is that all/most of party B votes against, party A knew this, and party A decided to add a very popular measure to that same bill to later use as a rhetorical weapon.

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