Courtesy of Pundit & Pundette
Is this how Congress, with their huge Democrat majority and alleged mandate for change, would pass a popular, bill? Even supporters of the Obama agenda must see that the maneuvers planned for this week, starting today, are, er, extraordinary.
Philip Klein describes the scheme:
Shortly before midnight on Sunday, Democrats released a 2,309 page health care bill that will start the process of reconciliation -- but don't let that fool you, it's not the actual reconciliation bill with all the changes you've been reading about. Instead, as Rep. Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican member on the Budget Committee, explained to me last week, this is just the "shell" bill -- the vehicle that Democrats need to get moving on health care. Once the bill gets approved (likely Monday), Democrats will send this phantom bill over to the Rules Committee, where it will be stripped, and then they'll insert in all of the actual changes that they've negotiated.
Why all of the theatrics?
Well, under the reconciliation rules in last year's budget, any reconciliation bill would have to have been submitted to the Budget Committee by October 15, 2009. It just so happens that earlier versions of health care legislation cleared the Ways and Means and Education and Labor Committees last year. So Democrats just dusted that legislation off, and are using that as the vehicle to begin the reconciliation process. That's why, for instance, if you look through the 2,309 page bill that was released Sunday night, you'll find a public option, which leadership has indicated would not actually be in the final bill. (Interestingly, the student loan bill is also tacked on at the end.)
Just a "simple up or down vote," remember?
If the TARP bank bailout was a “crap sandwich,” the Democrats’ Student Loan Nationalization plan wrapped inside the latest version of the health care takeover is a Big Government Burrito.
The House Democrats’ 2,309-page reconciliation bill headed for House Budget Committee markup tomorrow has just been posted this evening and you can download the whole PDF file right here.
Or you can read it on Scribd thanks to the Senate Republicans.
The markup hearing will start at 3pm Eastern and will be broadcast on CSPAN – watch online right here.
This is nothing but a monstrous power grab. RS McCain calls it a 2300-page scam that will live in infamy:
This whole Pelosi procedure is nothing but a thumb in the eye of the Constitution. The House could merely have an up-or-down vote on the Senate version of the bill, but Pelosi doesn’t have enough votes to do that – she’d lose the votes of several Democrats who have principled objections to various measures in the Senate version — and so instead they’re going through this bizarre kabuki dance.No, no. It's just that the "rulebooks are confusing"! Ruby Slippers points out this bit of preposterous spin from Ezra Klein:
It's a bit like how painters will reuse a canvas they've already painted on, though they're doing it to save money and the House and Senate do it because their rulebooks are confusing.That's just pathetic.
We know why the Democrats are contorting their process to the point of possible unconstitutionality, and risking their own re-election and majority: a medically entitled, dependent populace is the surest way to strengthen government power and weaken the people's desire to resist it. Axelrod said it himself.