Friday, February 13, 2009

Rules Committee Constrains Debate and Review of Stimulus Bill

Will America Be Able to Stomach This Much Hubris?

File:Triumph of Achilles in Corfu Achilleion.jpg

As transparent as your average bowling ball, the procedure for spending nearly $1 trillion of ours and the next three or four generation's money managed to pushed the stimulus bill out of conference for a quick and dirty vote on the floor of the House.

Here are the provisions for the procedures of today's vote, taken directly from the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 1 from the House Committee on Rules, passed 9-4 under the direction of committee chair Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY).

Conference Report to accompany H.R. 1 –

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

1.     Waives all points of order against consideration of the conference report except those arising under clause 9 of rule XXI.

2.      Provides that the conference report shall be considered as read.

3.      Waives all points of order against the conference report.  This waiver does not affect the point of order available under clause 9 of rule XXI (regarding earmark disclosure).

4.      Provides 90 minutes of debate on the conference report.

5.      Provides one motion to recommit if applicable.

For the uninitiated that is what speed-track language looks like.  Since the conference reported sometime around midnight last evening, this leaves precious little time for congressional representatives to weigh their conscience and cast informed votes.  This must rank as one of the most flagrant abrogations of the compact between government and the people as has occurred in the history of the Union.

I am ashamed to say that the only Republican to vote YEA for stamping this bill for its one-way ticket on the express train to Hades was none other than my own state's Rep. Doc Hastings from the Washington 4th District.  Way to go, Doc.  Despite the sizable "investments" in the Department of Agriculture and the Bonneville Power Administration, when the voters realize that most of the money is going to benefit federal employees already on the payroll, not create jobs or improve economic conditions in your district, they can come and ask you why you didn't think it was worth discussing in the public air.

(I am willing to offer a special gift to the first person who leaves a comment on my blog ( about at the top of this post and how it is apropos to what is happening in Congress.)


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