Democrats are going crazy.
Now, they are not going to post the bill for 72 hours before voting on it, as required.
So, once again, Congressman will have no idea what they are voting on. All they know is that they are voting for something the Dear Leader demands in the way of health care reform. Exactly what, they won’t know. They won’t know which taxes are included in the bill. They won’t know what agencies are created, or funded, or eliminated under the bill. Each day, it slips out that something new and unexpected is in the bill.
They won’t have any idea, and neither will the public.
But you see, the Democrats HAVE to do this. Otherwise they might not get their 216 votes to pass it.
We have entered the world of Post-Democratic America.
Democratic leaders are staunchly defending their possible use of a parliamentary maneuver to avoid a traditional vote on health care. Are they also getting ready to abandon a promise that lawmakers would have at least 72 hours to read and evaluate the language of the health care bill?
House Democrats are moving ahead with a package of budget reconciliation changes to the Senate bill that would let members enact the Senate bill by reference. A Democratic staffer tells me House leaders tentatively plan to ignore or blur the 72-hour rule when the long-delayed final analysis is delivered to them sometime this afternoon.
The Rules Committee will meet on Saturday to set the rules for debate. Following the letter of the 72-hour rule would mean no vote before late Sunday, but Democrats have allowed themselves an out. “The Democratic leadership has declared ‘martial law,‘” Poltico.com reports, “allowing leaders to bring legislation straight to the floor on the same legislative day.” That could mean a vote as early as Saturday, with a floor debate of just four hours. The public and members of Congress would have only 48 hours or even less to examine the bill.
Democrats are in a rush for two reasons. One, the longer they wait, the iffier their chances of assembling a majority of 216 House members. Two, they’re also in a hurry because the Senate needs a minimum of a week of floor debate to pass the expected reconciliation bill full of legislative “fixes.” With Congress set to begin its two-week Easter recess on March 26, Democratic leaders don’t want members leaving town before the issue is settled, fearing a pummeling by angry constituents back home that will weaken their resolve.
Cutting short the period for legislators and the public to evaluate the bill would raise hackles. But Democratic leaders are prepared to take the hits. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer signaled as much last Friday on the House floor in an exchange with GOP Whip Eric Cantor. “We will certainly give as much notice as possible, but I am not going to say that 72 hours is going to be the litmus test, per se, because that which we have voted on already in the House and the Senate have given Members months of notice and the American public months of notice on the substance of the propositions that are pending before us,” Mr. Hoyer said.