Posts Tagged ‘ Congress ’

Obama Flunked High School Civics

Bret Baier spars with the an Muhammed Ali-like President Obama

I’ve asked it before and I’m asking it again, why is it that anytime someone says, “let me be perfectly clear,” they proceed to be anything but. In the above interview, Obama reminded me of Muhammad Ali as he verbally danced like a butterfly around questions and attempted to sting like a bee by excoriating Baier for interrupting his long-winded attempts not to answer the questions.

The most amazing moment came, though, when the President flatly admitted that he doesn’t care how Congress passes the health bill as long as they do.  President Obama told Bret Baier of Fox News, “I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or Senate.  What I can tell you is that the vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform.  And if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform.  And I don’t think we should pretend otherwise.” In the parlance of the web, WTF?!  So what is he saying?  I believe he’s saying, it doesn’t matter how they pass it, as long as I get to use that new pen I bought for the signing. He sounds to me like someone who didn’t pay attention in civics class.

Slaughter House Rules

When I first heard talk of the so-called “Slaughter Solution” I scoffed.  Really?  Even Nancy Pelosi knows you cannot subvert the Constitution.  Certainly, the President would refuse to sign an illegally passed law.  I could not image any Administration openly supporting the passage of a law that had not been properly voted upon.  The House and Senate bills are not the same bill.  The Senate rewrote and substantially changed the House bill.  According to tradition and my understanding of the Constitution the house must vote upon the Senate version of the bill.

As I listened to the debate I was heavily impacted by the Republican references to Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution.  It was so obvious this tactic was unconstitutional.  However, I notice the quoted text was always abbreviated (as indicated by ellipses.)  The researcher I am, I decided to reread the Constitution.  Wouldn’t it be ignorant to based my opinion on an excerpt?  But hey, most Americans base their opinions on far less – ask any liberal and they tell you what they “feel” is right.

The Constitution Assumes Democracy

Unfortunately, this is where I piss off my conservative friends, but please keep reading, then research it and convince me I’m wrong or that there is a better Article upon which to base a Constitutional challenge.

Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

This article appears to be talking primarily about overriding a Presidential veto.  I reread the entire Constitution excluding amendments to find any clear language regarding bills where the Senate substantially changes a House bill.  Clearly, over time Congress has established a long history of messing with bills and reconciling the versions into a new bill which is then passed by both houses.  But such procedures are not specifically spelled out in the Constitution.  It seems the details of how to originate a bill and pass a bill is largely left up to Congress.  When it says, “Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States,” it does not even mention their having voted on that bill.

Scary omission as we have always assumed they vote.  Today, we have Congress run by ideologues, who comb through the Constitution looking for loopholes and what they can get away with.  I believe the founding fathers took it for granted that common sense would rule Congressional procedure. They assumed any bill presented to the President was the same bill voted for by both houses of Congress, but the fact is, they forgot to spell it out for the idiots of the future. Oops.

The good news may be that the long-standing tradition of both houses voting on the same bill may sway the Supreme Court to nullify the health care law.  The bad news is that Article I, Section 5 reads, “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings…” and this will likely be the basis for Pelosi’s defense.

If Republicans were in the majority and the Slaughter Solution were even discussed, the press would be circling like sharks, insinuation dictatorship, ect.  It might have even been nicknamed the “Final Solution.” Instead today we see editorials and sycophants in the MSM defending it and claiming it’s commonly done.  To that I must exclaim, BULLSHIT.

This is an affront to American political tradition, democracy, and freedom.  If we let them get away with this, there will be no bound to how far they will go the next time!

The Idiot quote of the Year

Comes from Nancy Pelosi.

“We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it”


If you care about this nation.  If you believe in innovation.  If you oppose rationing.  If you do not trust the government to make your health care decisions.  If you have a telephone, now is the time to act.  Yesterday the President used an emotional argument to sway wavering Democrats to support legislation they know is bad.  This bill is thousands of pages long and no one has completely read it or understands it. It is NOT that we want to do nothing – many great ideas have been put forward, only to be ignored and go unacknowledged.  Something should be done to encourage lower premiums, lower medical costs, and greater coverage but this bill will raise premiums, reduce access to care, and stifle innovation and research.

Below is a list of wavering Representatives that NEED to hear from YOU.  Even if you are not a constituent call them.  Here are the phone numbers:

Rep. John Adler (NJ) 202-225-4765

Rep. Jason Altmire (PA) 202-225-2565

Rep. Michael Arcuri (NY) 202-225-3665

Rep. Brian Baird (WA) 202-225-3536

Rep. John Barrow (GA) 202-225-2823

Rep. Marion Berry (AR) 202-225-4076

Rep. Tim Bishop (NY) 202-225-3826

Rep. John Boccieri (OH) 202-225-3876

Rep. Dan Boren (OK) 202-225-2701

Rep. Rick Boucher (VA) 202-225-3861

Rep. Allen Boyd (FL) 202-225-5235

Rep. Bobby Bright (AL) 202-225-2901

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA) 202-225-6131

Rep. Chris Carney (PA) 202-225-3731

Rep. Ben Chandler (KY) 202-225-4706

Rep. Travis Childers (MS) 202-225-4306

Rep. Jim Costa (CA) 202-225-3341

Rep. Artur Davis (AL) 202-225-2665

Rep. Lincoln Davis (TN) 202-225-6831

Rep. Joe Donnelly (IN) 202-225-3915

Rep. Steve Driehaus (OH) 202-225-2216

Rep. Chet Edwards (TX) 202-225-6501

Rep. Brad Ellsworth (IN) 202-225-4636

Rep. Gabby Giffords (AZ) 202-225-2542

Rep. Bart Gordon (TN) 202-225-4231

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD) 202-225-2801

Rep. Baron Hill (IN) 202-225-5315

Rep. Paul Hodes (NH) 202-225-5206

Rep. Tim Holden (PA) 202-225-5546

Rep. Larry Kissell (NC) 202-225-3715

Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (FL) 202-225-2706

Rep. Frank Kratovil (MD) 202-225-5311

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH) 202-225-5871

Rep. Dan Maffei (NY) 202-225-3701

Rep. Betsy Markey (CO) 202-225-4676

Rep. Jim Marshall (GA) 202-225-6531

Rep. Jim Matheson (UT) 202-225-3011

Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC) 202-225-2731

Rep. Michael McMahon (NY) 202-225-3371

Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA) 202-225-4031

Rep. Walt Minnick (ID) 202-225-6611

Rep. Harry Mitchell (AZ) 202-225-2190

Rep. Patrick Murphy (PA) 202-225-4276

Rep. Glenn Nye (VA) 202-225-4215

Rep. Bill Owens (NY) 202-225-4611

Rep. Collin Peterson (MN) 202-225-2165

Rep. Earl Pomeroy (ND) 202-225-2611

Rep. Mike Ross (AR) 202-225-3772

Rep. Mark Schauer (MI) 202-225-6276

Rep. Kurt Schrader (OH) 202-225-5711

Rep. Heath Shuler (NC) 202-225-6401

Rep. Ike Skelton (MO) 202-225-2867

Rep. Zach Space (OH) 202-225-6265

Rep. John Tanner (TN) 202-225-4714

Rep. Gene Taylor (MS) 202-225-5772

Rep. Harry Teague (NM) 202-225-2365

Rep. Dina Titus (NV) 202-225-3252

Rep. Charlie Wilson (OH) 202-225-5705

CNN backs Dems claim

CNN covers Obama’s campaign

Regardless of which side of the health care debate you may find yourself on, you should be very concerned about how any health care bill is passed.  Democrats claim that their proposed use of “reconciliation” to force their health care bill into law is nothing extraordinary, but rather a standard parliamentary move used repeatedly in the past and even used by Republicans. In the noon hour today, CNN’s Tony Harris repeated the Democrat claim, listing historical examples in-which “reconciliation” has been used.

The problem for me is that the procedure is not called “reconciliation,” rather it’s called, BUDGETARY RECONCILIATION”. The not-so-subtle difference is that the process was created to pass spending bills, NOT whole new laws.  The Democrats are not attempting to pass a budget or tax bill.  They are trying to fundamentally alter the American health care system and in effect, the economy.  I know my opinion may mean nothing to you, however, it is a fact that in nearly every instance in-which Budgetary Reconciliation has been employed it was to pass a budgetary or tax bill.  Where it has been employed otherwise it was an abuse of power – regardless of whether it was Democrats or Republicans who did it.

When Budget Reconciliation was used

So how has Budgetary Reconciliation been used in the past?  Let’s look at the historical uses of Budgetary Reconciliation and which party used it.

(Source: NYT, “S”=Senate “H”=House, Controlling parties only updated when there was a change.)
  • 1981 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act     (S-R    H-D)
  • 1982 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • 1982 Tax Equity & Fiscal Responsibility Act
  • 1985 Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • 1986 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • 1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act     (S-D    H-D)
  • 1990 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • 1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • 1996 Personal Responsibility & Work Opportunity Act   (S-R    H-R)
  • 1997 Balanced Budget Act     (S-D    H-D)
  • 2001 Economic Growth & Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (S-D   H-R)
  • 2003 Jobs & Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act  (S-R    H-R)
  • 2005 Deficit Reduction Act
  • 2005 Tax Increase Prevention & Reconciliation Act
  • 2007 College Cost Reduction & Access Act  (S-D    H-D)

So we can see that in 30 years this procedure has been used 15 times.  In all but two (2) uses it was used properly to pass budget or tax acts.  Only twice has it been employed to pass non-budget items, in 1996 when Republicans pushed through welfare reform and in 2007 when Democrats rammed through a student aid program.  If you will open the NYT graphic linked above, you can see reconciliation wasn’t even needed in most of these cases.  In eight of the 15 cases the bills were passed with clear super-majorities.

American History: Protecting the Minority

Why should Congress even waste time with super-majority votes?  Shouldn’t a simple majority be all we ever need?  I mean, we elect Presidents and every other official with simple majorities, right?  However, the founding fathers set the government up to protect minorities. What? You’re surprised?  It’s likely you are, as liberals have polluted our understanding of American history, portraying our ancestors as murderous bigots.

True the founding fathers, for the most part, didn’t have Africans or Native Americans in mind, but they did protect minorities.  The House of Representatives directly represents the population and in theory it should reflect the will of the people.  However, the Senate does not reflect population, as every state no matter it’s size, has exactly two votes.

They established the House  as the LOWER body of Congress, not the upper body.  The minority was empowered to stop bills through the process of filibuster and it requires a super-majority of 2/3 to prevent or stop it.  You see they wanted to provide a process whereby the minority can stop legislation that may be harmful or disadvantageous to them.

In 1974, Democrats in Congress, established Reconciliation as a method to pass spending bills.  Effectively undermining the minority.  I find the entire procedure to be counter to the intentions of the founding fathers.  (A note to the gotcha-crowd, a super-majority is not required to pass legislation – only to prevent or stop a filibuster.)  What they are attempting now is what Democrats have become very comfortable doing, crushing opposition by prohibiting the opposition from speaking.

Closing Observations

It is worth noting that my family has been touched by cancer as well.  I understand the high price of health care and the current problems with insurance.  I am currently trapped and unable to voluntarily change jobs as my wife’s history of cancer make her a high risk.  I know the cost of cancer.  I was lucky, my “Cadillac” health insurance covered the vast majority of our costs.  I am sensitive to the plight of Natoma Canfield.  I listened to her tell her own story on CNN (BTW, who else thinks CNN could be on the Obama payroll?) Natoma’s story underlines the need to do something but does that mean doing something stupid, reckless, or dangerous to national solvency?

Perhaps the most amazing statement made supporting the use of Reconciliation to pass this health care bill came from the President just moments ago (as I was writing.)  The President emotionally and forcefully said, “They don’t want us readin’ polls.  …  they want us to show courage and act now.”  Wow, if you are a thinking person what would you think this meant?  Is the President saying the majority of Americans want this bill passed without regard to polling data?  What would that mean and why would the majority care since, if indeed the majority wanted this bill passed, then the polling data would simply back that fact up.  Ah, but the polling data shows – even in the MSM – that the majority don’t want this bill.  Rather, I believe what the President is actually saying is, damn the majority, I want this bill passed because some Americans including and especially me want it passed. This is signature rhetoric from a radical ideologue.

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