Saturday, October 31, 2009

Harry Reid - Slow Learner

The nations #1 Senator, Harry Reid (D-NV), continues to struggle with politics. It’s amazing really.

We all know that one of the prime specifications the president has made for Obamacare is that it must come in with cost estimates under $1 trillion. (I continue to believe that it is an effort to cause us to take our eyes off the ball. We debate the COST of the bill rather than the PREMISE that health care is a God-given Constitutional right, which it clearly is not.)

So, the umpire of the $1 trillion or less requirement is the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). They run the numbers and announce their findings. Seems reasonable enough, though only a fool will believe the estimates. Cost overruns are a Federal specialty.

So, along comes Harry Reid with a new version of the bill and he sends it to the CBO for a score without sharing the plan with the GOP senators or the American people. I’m sure Harry doesn’t want the critics tearing it apart at this point. His hope is that the price tag will be such good news that the content of the bill will be secondary.

But to hide this plan from the voters is foolish and political. Harry has tried before to circumvent debate on critical issues. And each time he has lost.

For example, in July of 2007 Harry tried to circumvent discussion on the immigration bill by invoking a procedure called “The Clay Pigeon.” It didn’t work.

Then in October of 2007 Harry invoked “Rule 14” to pass the DREAM Act (college and citizenship for illegal aliens who attend high school here.) Again, the attempt failed.

In both cases, the procedure involves shutting down discussion and rushing the vote.

In April of 2008, Harry trotted out “Rule 14” once again. This time to cut short debate on MEDICAID rules. Once again, his effort failed.

In May of 2008, Harry tried to bury a worker visa bill in the Iraq War Funding bill. This was designed to not only add to the number of H2B visas, but throw in a path to citizenship as well. Again, the Hail Mary Pass was incomplete.

Throughout the Obamacare debate, Reid has threatened to try procedural tricks to avoid a filibuster. Each time, conservatives have complained that health care reform is too expensive and too far-reaching to be rushed through.

And congress has been publicly humiliated for their stunt of hiring a speed reader for the cap-and-trade bill. They all got a good laugh but the voters weren’t amused.

And Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), makes it clear that no one in congress is going to read a 1,000 page bill and find out what it means.

Again, taxpayers were not amused.

I wonder if Harry even contemplates the meaning of one million people in Washington on September 12th, many carrying signs expressing their dissatisfaction with congress; or the anger expressed at town hall meetings around the country.

This “pull a fast one” attitude doesn’t sit well with Americans. And hiding the content of proposed Obamacare legislation is just another example of politics as usual.

When will Harry learn that in this Internet age congress must behave differently?

Hopefully Harry will learn next November when voters send him packing.

P.S. – The Internet improves memory. You can no longer depend on voter amnesia over anything you did a year ago. Your record is out there for everyone to see.

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