Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This is just the beginning

For conservatives who are hoping that they might win enough seats in the next few elections to eventually repeal the worst parts of this bill, I wouldn't be so optimistic. They would nead 60 seats to pass any sort of repeal and, if Obama were still president, they'd need a two-thirds majority to override his probably veto. And that's assuming that more liberal Republicans like Olympia Snowe would go along. Once this bill is passed, it will become as difficult to change or repeal as Social Security or Medicare.

And just to make sure, the Democrats have inserted an interesting and questionable provision in the bill to try to prevent future congresses from repealing Independent Medicare Advisory Board. Jim DeMint noted this last night.
there's one provision that i found particularly troubling and it's under section c, titled "limitations on changes to this subsection."

and i quote -- "it shall not be in order in the senate or the house of representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection."

this is not legislation. it's not law. this is a rule change. it's a pretty big deal. we will be passing a new law and at the same time creating a senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or even repeal the law.

i'm not even sure that it's constitutional, but if it is, it most certainly is a senate rule. i don't see why the majority party wouldn't put this in every bill. if you like your law, you most certainly would want it to have force for future senates.
It used to be a truism that one congress could not bind a future congress. Apparently, that isn't so when the Democrats are writing the rules.

And the Democrats are not going to stop with their efforts to achieve a full public option. Even if they can't get it this year, they'll keep after it. Tom Harkin promises to continue the fight.
“It will be revisited,” Harkin said. “This is just the beginning. … What we’re building is a starter home, not a mansion. And guess what? We have room for expansions and additions later on.”
This bill is just the first step. If they didn't get the full public option now, they'll be back over and over again. And if they aren't completely happy with the language on abortion, they'll be refighting that battle for year. This is just one battle in their 30 Years War to totally take over our entire health care industry.


Craig Cox said...

I agree that this will be tough to overturn, but not impossible. When Social Security & Medicare became law, there was no large public opposition. In fact, many people supported the new govt giveaway. They knew that they would be beneficiaries when they reached retirement age. With this monstrosity, everyone loses. Every American will feel the pain of rationing and reduced care. While there was never pressure to remove Soc Security or Medicare legislation, there is already great pressure to stop this train wreck. When leftist legislators see their counterparts removed in 2010, there will be incentive for them to make things right with their constituents. As far as the Reid maneuver to bind future Senates, this carries no weight. If the parliamentarian ruled that this was a procedure change not requiring a 2/3 majority to implement, then it will only be a procedure change to remove that clause.

Freeven said...

Wouldn't the section that makes it out of order to consider any changes to the bill mean that Dems can't strengthen the bill either?

If so, that's a good thing... except that they will conveniently ignore that section as soon as they have the votes to strengthen the bill.

Any pretense of honesty and willingness to follow established rules have disappeared with this bill.

Pat Patterson said...

But that rule change can be repealed then the previously taboo sections can then be amended or repealed. But it is nice to see that we have become Honduras.

Craig Cox said...

Pat, don't insult the Hondurans. Their legislature & Supreme Court did the right thing by following their constitution. It was only their dictator-wanna-be who tried to usurp it.

Pat Patterson said...

Exactly, but we have never shown the need to make the mere act(though Zelaya was clearly attempting a constitutional coup) that makes amending the constitution illegal. If that was the case then anything beyond the 10th Amendment would have been forbidden and we would still have slavery and a limited franchise.

LarryD said...

At best, rules have to be re-established after a new Congress is seated.

The House could simply refuse to authorize or allocate and funding for the "Independent Medical Advisory Board"

The thing to do, of course, is make repeal of this mess an election issue for every member of the House and every Senator who's up for reelection.