[Ads-l] "skinny" bill

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 28 04:39:55 UTC 2017

Mark Peters has the skinny on "skinny," as in the "skinny repeal" of


As Mark mentions, I looked into the history of "skinny" as used in
congressional parlance. Here are some cites.

Dow Jones, June 29, 1982
[Senate Republican Leader Howard] Baker said there were "two or three
things wrong" with the House-passed version of the skinny bill - it did not
rescind about $1 billion in spending included in the earlier "fat" bill
Reagan vetoed.

Los Angeles Times, Sep. 26, 1983
[House Speaker Tip O'Neill] suggested that he has the power to send the
resolution back to the various committees that normally handle issues
addressed in the 22 amendments. Meanwhile, the leadership could send a
"skinny bill," as one aide called it, to the House floor.

Associated Press, Sep. 19, 1994
Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Senate Finance
Committee, last week called for the Chafee group to give up, saying its
approach would harm Medicare and Medicaid. But Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.),
the top Republican on Finance, said, "It would be possible still to pass a
very skinny bill. But it would be skinnier than the 'mainstream' plan."

New York Times, June 11, 1997
Republican Senators emerged from a luncheon meeting divided on how to deal
with the aid bill. "Some wanted a skinny bill while others want us to stick
to our guns," said Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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