Sunday, June 28, 2009

Isn’t it about time congressmen are required to read what they are about to vote on?

Once again, like the Stimulus bill earlier, congress was willing to vote upon, and enact, a lengthy bill no one could possibly have fully read. All representatives in congress, both those who were for and those against were not allowed to read the Cap and Trade (Cap and Tax) Climate Bill. President Obama and Speaker Pelosi wanted to pass this legislation on a rush basis before too many people became aware of the draconian affect it has on American people and our way of life.

Representative House Minority Leader John Boehner tried to delay the roll call vote by using the Minority Leader’s prerogative of unlimited speaking to read aloud the 300-page Amendment to the bill presented by Democrats at 3:00 AM but he eventually gave up this mini filibuster. Boehner read page after page of the late filed Amendment including passages related to the usage of "qualified youth corps" to regulate energy efficiency in regards to "the sustainability of low-end income communities." "I wonder if ACORN qualifies for these grants," Boehner joked (but the joke was too serious to be funny).

By objecting to the fact that 300 pages were added to the bill at 3 a.m., Boehner gave some time for colleagues and aides to scan the unread extra passages and present certain excerpts on the floor. Speaking for the Democrats, Politico blasted this effort by Boehner:

“Boehner seemed to relish the hour-long stunt, picking out the bill’s most obscure language and then pontificating about what it might – or might not – mean.”

No mention was made by Politico that Democrats presented the amendments in the early hours giving opponents no chance to read let alone argue against the added provisions to the bill.

It is no surprise that the bill co-sponsor Henry Waxman objected to Boehner’s reading the bill on the House floor; he even tried to prevent it on procedural grounds so that it's contents would remain unknown and no one would shift support or delay the bill’s passage. Who can deny passing “laws” in secret is not law at all – it is tyranny and corruption of constitutional ideals - it is a shameful but not unexpected ploy by Democrats in these times.

Waxman also wondered if any “historical records would be broken” by Boehner reading part of the bill and queried whether the tactic was “an attempt to try to get some people to leave on a close vote?” And "so what?" I might respond. Is it an acceptable tactic to call up legislation for vote without giving members of congress time to read it?

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