“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government…Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” Or so President Obama says on the White House website. But does he mean it? Of course not.
President Obama is leading the most secretive and least transparent administration in legislative history. And today, we have more proof. The video above was taken as Senate and White House leadership met behind closed doors to cobble together a bill that will make yesterday’s Finance Committee vote irrelevant. There around the cozy table are White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, OMB Director Peter Orzag, Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Max Baucus (D-MT), Chris Dodd (D-CT) and a few other liberal Senators. They will negotiate the final bill that the Senate will vote on. And they’re doing it all behind closed doors, so you can’t see it. Is this an “unprecedented level of openness?”
Would you like to know what they are saying? Of course, and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama agreed with you when he said in August 2008: “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies — they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.” Too bad, President Obama is getting so good at breaking Candidate Obama’s promises.
Watch as Fox’s Trace Gallagher narrates the action saying: “…they’ll shuffle everyone outside, close the door…” and photographers, journalists and cameras are pushed from the room. They are persona non grata in these chambers of the Senate. Barack Obama promised America these negotiations would be on C-SPAN, and he promised we would see who is making what arguments on behalf of whom. But President Obama, Harry Reid and Rahm Emanuel know that the more you learn about their plans for your health care, the less you’ll like it.
On Friday the 13th this past February, President Obama and Democrats in Congress rammed through a trillion dollar stimulus bill without any Members of Congress reading it. It was supposed to create jobs. It didn’t. It was supposed to be online for days before a final vote. It wasn’t.
On June 26th of this year, the House of Representatives passed a massive Energy Tax called Cap and Trade, by adding 300 pages of amendments to the already unread bill only hours before the vote, which was delayed an hour by House Minority Leader John Boehner attempting to read the bill aloud before he was forced to stop. It was supposed to help the environment. It won’t. They said it wouldn’t raise your taxes or kill the economy. It will.
And now, we have another chamber of secrets. A few liberals will get together to craft a hyper partisan bill, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Remember, what was voted on yesterday in the Finance Committee wasn’t a bill, it was the framework of a bill. What they are writing behind closed doors this week will be the ultimate legislation that still leaves millions uninsured while lowering the quality of care and raising the costs for those already covered. This legislation will get quickly shuffled to the floor and voted on through their secret plan which has been exposed by Heritage’s own Brian Darling.
It’s time for President Obama to keep a promise. Open up the doors. Debate the bill in public. Let seniors, families, students and state governors know the consequences of this legislation. Let them see the sausage get made. Harry Potter couldn’t pull off a magic trick this good. Only Harry Reid can make transparency…disappear.