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Democrats Refuse to Post Healthcare Bill Online Before Vote

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:54 pm - September 23, 2009.
Filed under: 111th Congress,Liberal Hypocrisy

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.”  And it takes time to draft that language, but it’s necessary for proper CBO scoring.  And John Kerry whines, “Let’s be honest about it, most people don’t read the legislative language.”   So, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee just wants to keep people in the dark about the precise details and the actual cost?

But, there’s still hope that Congress will act in the spirit of the President’s (neglected) campaign promise:

. . . a bipartisan group of House members is trying to force the Democratic leadership to change the rules so that any bill must be made public for 72 hours before members vote on it.

Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Brian Baird, D-Wash., are collecting the signatures of House members and if they get 218, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will have to schedule an up or down vote on implementing the three-day rule.

It might be difficult for Walden and Baird to collect the necessary signatures, especially given the reluctance of Democrats to sign onto something which would earn them the ire of the House’s Democratic leadership.  Kudos to them for trying.

Still, it’s striking how quickly Democrats have returned to the old politics Obama so decried on the campaign trail last fall.  If he were really committed to a new kind of politics, he would call on Senate Democrats to reverse their vote and support the Bunning amendment and encourage House members to sign on to Walden and Baird’s petition.

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16 Comments

  1. What difference does two weeks make?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 23, 2009 @ 8:13 pm - September 23, 2009

  2. But of course, this is not the bill that will be “rammed down your throat”. ITs only a step along the path. Once it passes the Senate, there will be a conference committee enpaneled to put together the Senate bill with the House bill. Thats where the final bill will be written.

    Comment by Tano — September 23, 2009 @ 9:07 pm - September 23, 2009

  3. And of course, the Senators don’t know what they’re voting on, because Jawn Carrry thinks we is too stupid to read the bill.

    Comment by The_Livewire — September 23, 2009 @ 9:22 pm - September 23, 2009

  4. THE singule biggest change in the relationship between Americans and their government in perhaps the nations history, giving the federal government authority over each citizens life and health, and Democrats dont want Americans to know whats in the bill!

    These people are evil. I’m sorry, its true.

    Comment by American Elephant — September 23, 2009 @ 9:23 pm - September 23, 2009

  5. But of course, this is not the bill that will be “rammed down your throat”.

    Why hide it?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 23, 2009 @ 9:29 pm - September 23, 2009

  6. Last I heard, any “reform” wouldn’t take effect until 2013 (election in 2012 has nothing to to with this… really). If this is still the case then why the hurry?

    #3: Livewire – Jawn Carrry is projecting. Actually, he is too stupid to read and understand the legislation.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — September 23, 2009 @ 9:42 pm - September 23, 2009

  7. #2: “…there will be a conference committee enpaneled to put together the Senate bill with the House bill. Thats where the final bill will be written.”

    …and then rammed down our throats. What’s your point, Tano? No one here is confused about legislative procedure. The issue is whether the public is entitled to access legislation from introduction to enactment that if passed, will dramatically affect their lives. State your opinion concerning the Senate Democrats and their concealment of a “secret version” of the bill, pro or con. Otherwise, shut your racist yap.

    Comment by Sean A — September 23, 2009 @ 10:14 pm - September 23, 2009

  8. Again, if this bill is wonderful, why hide it from the public?

    Comment by V the K — September 23, 2009 @ 10:36 pm - September 23, 2009

  9. tano, this one’s for you. Gays will be more discriminated against if this health care travesty passes.
    http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/60041-expanding-government-run-health-insurance-means-expanding-discrimination-against-gays

    but of course, one’s loyalty is to the Democratic party no matter how much they screw the LGBTs.

    Comment by Leah — September 23, 2009 @ 10:37 pm - September 23, 2009

  10. Tano, would you favor posting the bill on line for two weeks after it clears the conference committee, but before each House votes on it?

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — September 24, 2009 @ 2:15 am - September 24, 2009

  11. Excellent article Leah! Hope Dan and Bruce read it.

    Comment by American Elephant — September 24, 2009 @ 9:36 am - September 24, 2009

  12. Just doing some research today on this breaking story and ran across your web site. I am a conservative heterosexual who believes in equal rights for everyone. I am also very pleased to see that your site and a few others are moving well ahead of the Lap Dancer Media in exposing this distortion and abuse of the legislative process. Good job. I will be passing your sites URL on to some of my friends.

    Comment by DS — September 24, 2009 @ 9:45 am - September 24, 2009

  13. Well there’s always a possibility that if they were to post the bill The Administration might try to silence them.

    Or just call for civility then smear the oposition.

    “Barack Obama’s statements have expiration dates. All of them.”

    Comment by The_Livewire — September 24, 2009 @ 10:36 am - September 24, 2009

  14. It’s pretty transparent. The Democrats are trying to hide what is in the bill, long enough to RAHM it thru. How do you like the Democrat attitude expressed by Mr Kerry….simply Americans are too stupid to understand the language anyway so why do we need 72 hours to read it. Crystal clear who the Democrats are and what they think of the masses. Has the boobula in chief made enough mistakes to switch 5million and one votes yet?

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — September 24, 2009 @ 11:04 am - September 24, 2009

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    Pingback by Obama. Transparency. Healthcare & Other Fairy Tales « Are You Stupid Or What? — September 24, 2009 @ 12:42 pm - September 24, 2009

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    Pingback by Transparency ? Democrats Refuse to Post Health Care Bill Online « www.offmyfrontporch.com — October 1, 2009 @ 5:08 pm - October 1, 2009

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