In 2005 Republicans oozed out their own version of this year’s “Slaughter Rule”. Nancy Pelousy, Henry Waxman, and Louise Slaughter herself went to court to oppose the ugly Republican contrivance utilized to pass a raise in the debt ceiling. Pelousy, Waxman, and Slaughter argued in court that the Republican procedure was a violation of the Constitution, Article I, Section 7, and that an actual vote was required on an actual bill. Now, in March of 2010 Louise Slaughter, Nancy Pelousy, and Henry Waxman, bathe themselves in the same corrupt waters.
“The bad news for present purposes is that they lost the case. The D.C. Circuit in Public Citizen v. U.S. District Court upheld the procedure. Upheld in this case does not mean endorsed. The Court did not say the self-executing rule was constitutional. It said it could not reach the question due to the standards of deference that apply between departments of government: If the presiding officers of both houses of Congress attest that their respective chambers have passed a piece of legislation, the Court is required to accept those representations as conclusive.
That doesn’t mean it is proper for government officials to execute a procedure that violates the Constitution, nor does it mean that a presiding officer should attest something that is not true. It does, however, suggest that it may be an uphill battle to get a court to declare the process null and void.”
Eric Massa is right when he said “The leadership of the Democratic Party have become exactly what they said they were running against.”
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Barack Obama is celebrating “Sunshine Week”:
“As Sunshine Week begins, I want to applaud everyone who has worked to increase transparency in government and recommit my administration to be the most open and transparent ever, an effort that will strengthen our democracy and ensure the public’s trust in their government. We came to Washington to change the way business was done, and part of that was making ourselves accountable to the American people by opening up our government.
Obama can’t be trusted by friend nor foe. When Obama says “sunshine” we look out the window and see clouds. Obama’s “sunshine” in this case, clouds over the Raw Story report that “Obama agencies invoking secrecy provision more often than under Bush”. So much for Sunshine.
After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate’s health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.
Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers “deem” the health-care bill to be passed.
The tactic — known as a “self-executing rule” or a “deem and pass” — has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.
“It’s more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know,” the speaker said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. “But I like it,” she said, “because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.”
The Washington Post Editorial Page:
“WE UNDERSTAND the administration’s sense of urgency on health-care reform. But what is intended as a final sprint threatens to turn into something unseemly and, more important, contrary to Democrats’ promises of transparency and time for deliberation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Monday that she is leaning toward a parliamentary maneuver under which the House would vote on a package of changes to the Senate-approved reform bill, and the underlying Senate bill would then be “deemed” to have passed, even though the House had never voted on it. That may help some House members dodge a politically difficult decision, but it strikes us as a dodgy way to reform the health-care system. Democrats who vote for the package will be tagged with supporting the Senate bill in any event. Why not be straightforward about it?
Dodgy? Try calling it what it is: Corrupt! Arrogant! Incompetent!
“More worrying is that Congress and the country have yet to see the changes, for which Democrats hope to win quick House approval and which they then hope to speed through the Senate under a procedure that would bar filibusters. These changes — the so-called reconciliation bill — are not all minor “fixes”; some could have far-reaching consequences. Such changes deserve to be fully understood and debated before they are voted on. [snip]
The health-care debate has been going on longer than a year, and House members want to get it over with. They don’t want it hanging over them during the Easter recess. President Obama wants progress to have been made before he leaves for Indonesia on Sunday. These are understandable desires, but they don’t outweigh the need for a reasonable process on a matter of such importance.
It’s not the Lord that cometh. It’s a thief in the night. A murderer in the dark. Dirty business takes place in the dark of night, in the shadows of the day.
The conservative Cincinnati Enquirer uses the correct word “Arrogant”.
“Now, despite the deep reservations of a majority of Americans, congressional leaders plan to ram through their proposal this week – bypassing normal congressional procedures.
It is a distressing prospect. [snip]
Among themselves, Democrats cut a series of backroom deals that in any other context would be considered criminal payoffs and bribery.
Here’s how blatant it’s become: Last week, President Obama nominated for a federal appeals court the brother of a wavering Democratic House member from Utah.
This disgusting process, which Democrats brazenly wish to bring to conclusion this week, is being done with little regard for the opinions of a clear majority of Americans who, while they may believe health care reform is necessary, think this particular approach will take our nation down the wrong economic path. [snip]
Supporters of the Democratic plan can spin it any way they wish, but polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans oppose their heavy-handed approach to reform. Americans may favor general principles such as universal coverage, but they are distrustful of the way this bill has been crafted and how it will change their relationship with their health care providers.[snip]
The legislation has major problems that have not even begun to be discussed in a serious way, and if Democrats have their way will not be debated at all. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, for example, calls the Senate bill “racially discriminatory” because of provisions that “in addition to being unconstitutional, will not improve health care outcomes for minority patients.”
And despite denials, the bill has worrisome implications for Medicare. According to an Associated Press news account, much of the reform bill is “financed with Medicare cuts the government’s own experts say could be unsustainable.”[snip]
Its blatant abuse is yet further damning evidence of congressional leaders’ arrogant, condescending attitude toward the people they ostensibly were elected to serve.”
Obama Hopium addicts, mostly boys on Big Blogs, believe the American people will not care about “process”. After all, they argue (and we agree with them on this point only) Americans have not cared about legislative “process” in earlier years. Let’s be the first to disabuse these Hopium addicts of their delusion. While we agree that Americans have never cared about legislative “process” in years past – Heath care is not just any ordinary chunk of legislation. Americans do and will care about their health care and Americans do and will care about the “process” Congress abuses to pass health care.
“Reconciliation” and other legislative tricks have been used many times before on budgetary matters. But never before have such legislative tricks been employed to change so much of the fabric of the country and on such a personal issue of such importance to each and every American. Because of the personal nature of the health care issue, “process” does indeed matter to Americans.
When John Kerry said “I voted for the bill, before I voted against it” – that was process too. Americans cared.
If the House Dimocrats “deem” the bill passed, Americans will “deem” House Dimocrats dead in November.
“THE health-care dance in Washington, D.C., has gone on long enough. Congress needs to focus on the economy and set health care aside.
This is a change of position for us. This page supported Barack Obama for president, enthusiastically. We have supported the health-care effort until now. We still support universal coverage as a social goal.
But the longer the fight goes on, the more it feels that the timing is all wrong. The economy is wounded. Employers are hurting. The time to think about loading employers with new burdens is when they are strong. Not now.
Right now, Congress needs to focus on the economy. [snip]
President Obama has promised that any health-care bill he signs will not add one dime to the deficit, which already has swelled beyond anything since World War II. The president has put himself in a position where he cannot keep that promise. He has let each house of Congress come up with its own health-care bills.
The result has been chaos: The public option is in then out; the Medicare buy-in for 55-year-olds is in, then out. When the congressional dance stops, the Senate may have 60 votes, but for what? It will satisfy neither Obama’s frugal promise nor progressives’ lavish hopes. Already the Democratic Party’s former chairman, Howard Dean, says the bill is not worth passing in this form.
You know he’s right when you hear statements that something has to be passed, for political reasons. This issue is too important for that. It should wait for a unified proposal and an economy on the mend.”
The Seattle Times is not a conservative newspaper or conservative mouthpiece. The Seattle Times is aware that today Obama incompetents acknowledge there won’t be much job creation for the rest of 2010 and indeed unemployment might grow. The public will continue to reject Barack Obama and his policies.
“Health reform: Down the stretch it comes. President Obama has gone so far as to postpone an overseas trip in a last-ditch push to get a comprehensive reform bill to his desk.
He shouldn’t waste his energy.
Not with unemployment justifiably the nation’s top concern and the possibility of a double-dip recession still looming. Remember how Obama said, in his State of the Union reboot, “Jobs must be our No. 1 focus in 2010“? Well, apparently he doesn’t.
Not with the American people abandoning the President’s prescription in huge numbers. Just one in four voters supports the reform bill as written; half want Congress to start over. Compare that with the popular support other major pieces of social legislation enjoyed before passage, like welfare reform (68%), Medicare (63%) and civil rights (60%).
Not with health care costs having risen 73% over the last decade – with Medicaid growing at 21% a year – and showing no signs of coming down to Earth. Controlling costs is the absolute, unconditional, a-blind-man-could-see-it prerequisite for expanding coverage.
Not with American health care quality actually quite impressive in many respects, including world-leading rates for patients surviving cancer and among the shortest wait times for hard-to-find treatments and surgeries.
Not with a half-dozen accounting gimmicks built into the legislation – including the fact that federal budget projections are based on 10 years worth of tax collections and just six years of spending increases.
Not with the Senate, lacking even a single Republican vote, having to resort to reconciliation, a little-used parliamentary maneuver, to get it through. Sure, it’s been used before – but not on anything that has such limited public support.
Not after all the cynical back room deals – deals Obama has committed to removing – having frayed the public trust. With legislation of this magnitude, that is not a renewable resource. [snip]
But reality has come a-knocking, quite persistently, and it’s saying: Enough already. Fix what’s broken, then move on.”
Whether or not there are constitutional questions left unresolved, the Arrogance! Incompetence! Corruption! is increasingly obvious:
“Many of our members would prefer not to have voted for the Senate bill,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson of Connecticut. Once the Senate legislation is “deemed” to have passed as part of the rule governing debate, the House would vote only on the follow-up health care measure, known as a budget “reconciliation” bill.
However, using such a dicey procedure to enact President Barack Obama’s biggest domestic initiative — the most far-reaching social policy change in decades — could inflame a public that’s already annoyed at the legislation’s tortured path and disgusted with Congress. [snip]
Michael McConnell, a professor of law at Stanford University, wrote Monday in The Wall Street Journal that such procedures are unconstitutional. He cited a 1998 Supreme Court ruling that once one house of Congress approves an “exact text,” the other house must pass “precisely the same text” before the president can sign it into law. That’s been the generally understood principle of how a bill becomes a law for centuries.
However, Pamela Karlan, a professor of public interest law at Stanford, wasn’t so sure. “It’s kind of complicated,” she said, because, she and others said, it’s not entirely clear what “same text” or “exact text” means.”
Time’s Karen Tumulty explains “bending the rules” further. Dimocrat Steny Hoyer in 2003 had this to say about bent rules such as the one he now supports:
“What kind of lack of confidence does that display? What kind of process in pursuit of effectiveness does that mean that we are adopting? What kind of demeaning of democracy is the objective of efficiency resulting in? [snip]
Mr. Chairman, clearly we can do better, and we owe the American people, this institution and ourselves. In these discussions on legislative process, I have always been forthright. When Democrats controlled the House, we did not always provide for fair debates.“
Jason Altimire today has condemned the “deem” cowardice strategy. Perhaps Altimire is waking up to the editorial board revolt. Perhaps Altimire will help to get C-SPAN cameras into the House Rules Committee hearing room which will debate the rules such as the “Slaughter Rule”. Whether Altimire “does” something is unknown, but Altimire is emitting words:
“Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), a member of the Blue Dog and New Democrat Coalitions, said that the plan to pass the plan using the so-called “deem and pass” procedure is “wrong” and unpopular among his constituents.
There’s a lot of discomfort with the reconciliation process, the self-implementing rule, where you wouldn’t have a formal vote on maybe the most important policy of the past 40 years,” he said on Fox Business Network. “I have a big issue with the way they’re doing the process. I think it’s wrong and my constituents don’t like it.”
Altmire, a no vote on the House’s healthcare bill in November who is now undecided, is seen by many as critical to passage.”
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Like thieves in the night, the Obama Dimocrats will attempt to pass Obama’s health scam. Obama Dimocrats will not vote on the Senate bill itself because they are afraid. [The same Dimocrats, like 2×4 Chuck Schumer, who made sure there was no convention vote in Denver.]
To Arrogance! Incompetence! Corruption! – add Cowardice!
The Cowards will shoot you in the back not face to face. It’s the Obama way. The Chicago Way – Arrogance! Incompetence! Corruption! Cowardice!