How a Bill Becomes Law: Chicago Style
Rory Cooper /
You might think that passing a bill through Congress is a really difficult and honorable task that involves late night debates, hours spent analyzing proposals and reading legislation, policy wonks splitting hairs over detailed issues, and a healthy dose of respectful opposition and transparency. Oh boy, would you be wrong. In this Congress, it’s rahm rahm rahm, Chicago-style.
According to recent reports, Congressional leaders are censoring congressional mailings to avoid the appearance of two sides to the health care debate. And what is being censored? Democrats should be called “the majority,” and the “public option” cannot under any circumstances be called “government-run.” Not being able to say the “public option” is government-run is like being told you cannot call the Earth a planet. It’s simply incompatible with common sense, and the facts.
So for education purposes, here is an updated lesson on how a bill becomes a law in Washington.
Introduce a Bill, But Not the One You Really Plan on Passing: On Friday, June 26, 2009, the House of Representatives voted on final passage of the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade Bill, a major piece of global warming legislation this year that will have a huge effect on the economy and the price Americans pay for energy. Both sides of this debate spent months arguing over the details. And then, at 3:09 am on June 26, the morning of the vote, the majority added over 300 pages to the bill. As of the final vote, not one member had a clear idea what was contained in that amendment. (more…)