Recall Barack Obama’s campaign pledge that he wouldn’t sign any non-emergency legislation passed by Congress until after it has been posted on the web for five days. On February 5, barely two weeks after the Democrat had been sworn in as President, Politico reported that he had broken that pledge when he signed SCHIP legislation “barely three hours after the House approved the bill.”
Reporter Carrie Budoff Brown contrasted the speed of that signing with the text of his campaign promise:
“Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them,” the Obama-Biden campaign website states. “As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.”
Well, Senate Democrats seem to be following in the President’s footsteps. They don’t want to give the public the opportunity to review health care legislation before their elected representatives vote on it. “The Senate Finance Committee just voted down a GOP amendment requiring that Obamacare legislation be available online 72 hours before the panel votes.” Democrats opposing the amendment called it “a delay tactic that could have postponed a vote for weeks,” refusing, in JammieWearingFool’s words “to even let the public see what they plan to ram down our throats.” (H/t Instapundit.)
What’s fascinating is that
. . the only version of Chairman Max Baucus’s proposal we have is a 223-page draft (PDF) that is written in plain English and explains the bill in conceptual terms. Republicans argued that until the bill is written in legislative language it will be impossible for the CBO to provide an accurate cost estimate.
Senator Jim Bunning’s (R-KY) amendment “would have required the committee to have the legislative language of the bill, along with the CBO cost estimate, posted on the internet for 72 hours before a vote.” [Read more…]