Read the Bill? Heck, We Haven’t Even Written It Yet!

The Heritage Foundation reports that Congressional leaders, desperate to pass Mr. Obama’s Health Care plans, have come up with an idea on how to get it passed with the minimum of scrutiny and debate.  Don’t put it in writing before the vote.  Instead, they have put forward a “shell” of the legislation which is nothing more than a theoretical concept of what they want to do.  No details.  No actual legislation.  Just an outline.  And they want to attach it to an unrelated bill to get it through.

From the Heritage Foundation’s article:

STEP ONE: The Senate Finance Committee will finish work on the marking up of Senator Max Baucus’ (D-MT) conceptual framework for legislation by this Friday. Baucus has not unveiled final legislation and, according to the Associated Press, he added some new language to the mark up today. AP reports that “under pressure from fellow Democrats, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee decided to commit an additional $50 billion over a decade toward making insurance more affordable for working class families.”

Senators have not been provided any real legislation and are offering amendments this week to Baucus’ 200+ page outline. It is expected that at the end of the process the Senate Finance Committee may produce a bill longer than the 1,000 page House bill that proved so controversial over the August recess. Many Senators are upset that they don’t have final language for a bill, yet still they sit in a Committee Hearing Room this week marking up a draft document that is not in the form of legislative language. The plan is to have this document voted out of the Senate Finance Committee by Friday.


STEP TWO: Next, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will take the final product of the Senate Finance Committee and merge it with the product of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee.  This was the late Senator Kennedy’s (D-MA) bill, introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), which passed the HELP Committee on July 15, 2009 on a party line vote.  Remember, most Senators will still not know what they voted for in the Finance Committee.

STEP THREE: Senator Reid will then move to proceed to H.R. 1586, a bill to impose a tax on bonuses received by certain TARP recipients. This bill was the bill passed by the House in the wake of the AIG bonus controversy and is currently sitting on the Senate Legislative Calendar. Reid will move to proceed, and he will need 60 votes to act on this bill.  After the motion is approved, he will then offer a complete substitute bill purportedly including the combined Senate HELP and Finance Committee products.  This means that the entire health care reform effort will be included as an amendment to a TARP bill that has been collecting dust in the Senate for months.

STEP FOUR: For this strategy to work, the proponents would need to hold together the liberal caucus of 57 Democrats, 2 Independents (Senators Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont), and a potential new member replacing the late Senator Kennedy. This scenario would most likely be implemented after the Massachusetts state legislature gives Governor Deval Patrick the power to appoint a new Senator and that Senator is seated by the Senate. According to CQ, the state legislature may pass a bill and present it to Governor Patrick by next week.

Once the Senate passes a bill and sends it to the House, all the House would have to do is pass the bill, without changes, and President Obama will be presented with his health care reform measure thereby transforming within a few weeks 1/6th of the US economy. If this plan does not work, the Senate and House Leadership may consider using reconciliation to pass the legislation.

Click here for further details.

So, if you just loved the stimulus bill that was passed without members having read the bill, you will absolutely adore this Healthcare Bill that they want to pass before it even exists.  Keep it up Democrats, 2010 is coming and we are taking notice of your complete lack of respect for us, established law and the Constitution.  2010 could be 1994 times ten.


Tags: , Chairman Of The Senate Finance Committee, Committee Hearing Room, Congress, Democrats, Fellow Democrats, Government Takeover, Health Care, Health Care Agenda, Health Care Debate, Health Care Plan, Health Care Plans, , Health Care System, Health Plan, Health Reform, Healthcare Reform, Help Committee, Heritage Foundation, Legislative Language, Max Baucus, , , Page Outline, Senate Finance Committee, Senate Health, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Majority Leader Harry, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Kennedy, Senator Max Baucus, Senator Tom Harkin, Single Payer System, Theoretical Concept, Tom Harkin, Universal Health Care, Unrelated Bill

2 Responses to “Read the Bill? Heck, We Haven’t Even Written It Yet!”

  1. Michael Kleinhenz
    September 23, 2009 at 10:50 pm #

    Why am I not surprised that the Senate would even consider these tactics? Is it the only way for Team Obama to get any of their radical ideas pushed through? I’m beginning to think that it is!

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