Don Wolfensberger at The Hill:

“Bundling” in colonial America seems a curious and quaint custom when viewed in the rearview mirror of contemporary society.  It was the practice in which courting couples spent the night together in bed, fully clothed, usually in the woman’s parents’ home. Think of it as a dress rehearsal for marriage. Today the term has a considerably different connotation in the House of Representatives. It has become a parliamentary practice whereby amendments, bills, motions, and votes are lumped together to save time and promote efficiency — all with the not so surprising effect of sowing confusion: “What is it, again, that we’re voting on?”

{P]robably one of the most important constitutional prerogatives of the House is to originate money bills — both for taxes and spending. Previously, a dozen annual appropriations bills reported by the full Appropriations Committee were brought to the floor individually and considered under an open amendment process. Today, especially during the pandemic, multiple regular appropriations bills are being bundled into a single, mini-bus bill, either with no amendments allowed or only a designated few. On July 27, seven of the 12 annual money bills were incorporated in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 4502), even though the other six had been separately reported by the committee.

Yes, all these complaints about the evisceration of regular process sound like the nostalgic rants of a procedural purist, and to that I plead guilty, but with cause. The earlier practice of separate and sequential debates and votes on amendments and bills was designed to ensure that thoughtful consideration and decisions were made in the most coherent, open and contiguous fashion possible. The more debates and votes are disconnected, bundled, and even glommed into a single, lump-sum vote, the more members are left to confusedly respond in a Pavlovian manner to the thumbs-up or thumbs-down signals from their leaders. If there is one similarity between today’s House bundling and colonial era home bundling it is this: both depend for success on trust in the dark.