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December 22, 2009
Harry Reid slips in a bombshell for Obamacare foes
What did we ever do to deserve Harry Reid?
When the "manager's amendment" was passed in the dead of night, I pointed out that the wonks had yet to give it a good going over to discern what other surprises might lurk in the convoluted language used to obscure so much in the bill.
I'm sure you'll be happy to know that the wonks have not disappointed us.
Buried in the amendment is a bombshell; there will be no way to amend parts of Obamacare. Apparently, Reid wants to make this bill something like a royal decree where no one can change what has already been wrought.
The Weekly Standard blog has the story:
Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) pointed out some rather astounding language in the Senate health care bill during floor remarks tonight. First, he noted that there are a number of changes to Senate rules in the bill--and it's supposed to take a 2/3 vote to change the rules. And then he pointed out that the Reid bill declares on page 1020 that the Independent Medicare Advisory Board cannot be repealed by future Congresses:
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.
i mean, we want to bind future congresses. this goes to the fundamental purpose of senate rules: to prevent a tyrannical majority from trampling the rights of the minority or of future co congresses.
Get that? No repeal, no amendments, no nothing. That part of Obamacare is as set in stone as the idea that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It is unalterable - which, of course, means the entire bill is off limits.
The goal is to guard against the possibility that the GOP may win back the House and Senate some day and may wish to repeal or drastically alter Obamacare. In the dead of night, Harry Reid has turned the United States from a constitutional republic into a banana republic monarchy.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky