read the bills
In case you are interested in the decisions being made on Capitol Hill and not too caught up in the Michael Jackson circus, I’d like to provide a summary of a very interesting day in the House. As you may have heard, the House passed H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. This is also referred to as “ACES”, “Waxman-Markey”, or the cap and trade (cap and tax) legislation.
The short summary of the bill says that it will “create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition [the US] to a clean energy economy.” The official long summary is quite long. The GOP will tell you that it will destroy our economy.
Rants are nothing new, and they’re always popular. Who doesn’t love to watch a video of somebody totally losing it? Particularly if the person in question is a legislator.
The last time, it was Anthony Weiner, well before he decided to show his, erm, weiner, on Twitter. That was actually pretty funny, I admit, but I think what Mike Bost, Illinois State Representative, had to say was far, far better:
We noted yesterday that Republicans were developing a new “Contract with America” to present to voters ahead of the mid-term election, though it looks at though they will punt on taking a strong stand against earmarks.
House Republicans are set to unveil their agenda this Thursday, September 23rd, in Sterling, Virginia:
House Republicans plan to unveil what amounts to a campaign blueprint on Thursday in suburban Virginia, GOP sources have told CNN.
The much anticipated announcement comes after a nearly three-month-long listening session with the public online and through town hall meetings, dubbed “America Speaking Out,” and is intended to show that House Republicans would have a governing agenda if rewarded with majority control in the congressional elections on November 2.
Many GOP strategists call such an agenda - like the 1994 Contract with America - a critical missing ingredient for Republicans this election season to help give voters a reason to vote for GOP lawmakers, not just against Democrats.
Republican leaders plan to brief rank-and-file House members Wednesday on the details of the plan, which is still being refined, according to the GOP sources.
Unlike the Contract with America in 1994, which was presented with a big signing ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, House Republican leaders will lay out the details of the new plan during a news conference at a hardware story in Sterling, Virginia, following a meeting with small-business leaders, sources said.
A senior GOP leadership aide working on the project told CNN that it will focus mostly on economic priorities like creating jobs and reducing spending.
So much for the “read the bills” movement:
There’s a growing movement at town hall meetings and online to make sure members of Congress read the entire health care reform bill before they vote on it, and to make it available to the public at least 72 hours before a vote.
“Read the bill” is typically another way of saying “not so fast,” but there’s no denying the idea’s appeal. Too many bills have been rushed to a vote in Congress with too little time for scrutiny.
There’s just one hitch: You could read the entire health bill and still not have a very good idea of how the plan would work. Legislative language is notoriously, necessarily murky. Take the opening lines of one of the bill’s most controversial sections, the one about voluntary “end of life” counseling:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer actually laughed at the idea that members of Congress read legislation before voting it into law:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that the health-care reform bill now pending in Congress would garner very few votes if lawmakers actually had to read the entire bill before voting on it.
“If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn’t read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes,” Hoyer told CNSNews.com at his regular weekly news conference.
Hoyer was responding to a question from CNSNews.com on whether he supported a pledge that asks members of the Congress to read the entire bill before voting on it and also make the full text of the bill available to the public for 72 hours before a vote.