fail the smell test

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fail the smell test

To be morally questionable, unacceptable, or untrustworthy. The new pro-drilling bill that's being put through Congress certainly fails the smell test, and many are suspicious that Big Oil has been responsible for its inception.
See also: fail, smell, test
References in periodicals archive ?
Call it a "boondoggle" or an "unwise subsidy" - it still fails the smell test.
Valcourt left the room after addressing the youth having said he might not even table the legislation at all, shelving the bill if consultation determines it fails the smell test.
The sales tax just fails the smell test and (some other commissioners) are hellbent on it.
I hope they take note that their decision that they might not move forward fails the smell test," Dwyer said.