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June 24, 2009
Have you read the Climate Change Bill?
Don't feel bad if you haven't because virtually no one else has read it either.
It is a 1200 page monstrosity of a bill that Stacy McCain points out is about as transparent as cotton candy:
Here's the timeline [for HR 2454]:
- Introduced - 5/15/09
- Reported with amendments out of Energy & Commerce - 6/5/09
- Discharged by Education & Labor and Foreign Affairs Committees - 6/5/09
- Discharged by Financial Services, Science & Technology, Transportation, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Ways & Means Committees - 6/19/09
- Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 90 - 6/19/09 (This version is 946 pages)
- Submitted to House Rules Committee - 6/22/09, 4:22pm (This version is 1,201 pages)
So, where along the line does the bill suddenly expand by 300 pages? According to the New York Times, the various committee chairs held behind the scenes meetings and hashed out a compromise with no allowance for public input. (What lobbyists were involved in those meetings?) And now we are expecting a Friday vote on a bill that has had no public hearing in a committee with jurisdiction over it and that is not yet available in the main engine of public disclosure, THOMAS.
This raises serious questions about how we expect Congress to disclose their activities to the public. Is a bill posted to the House Rules Committee and not THOMAS truly publicly available? While the bill may be available for 72 hours prior to consideration, the public does not have reasonable access to it. Nor does the public know how the final details were reached.
Here we go again. The bill is to be voted on Friday. No public debate because who the hell has read the darn thing? This massive, nation-altering bill will pass into law and nobody - except perhaps ultra-liberal Congressman Henry Waxman - knows anything about it exept bits and pieces.
The House Democrats can do this simply because of their massive majority. And the question of how much the senate will be able to change the bill is up in the air. A lot of horse trading went on in the House to get this bill to the floor so in any House-Senate conference, it is likely that most of what's in the House bill will end up in the final version.
Yes - but at least we'll be saved from global warming.