"The Unabomber has a higher approval rating than members of Congress right now"
Nancy Pelosi has said that she will do "anything necessary" to pass ObamaCare. As John Fund of the Wall Street Journal put it yesterday regarding the 2,700-page bill, “Democrats are in danger of passing what amounts to the longest suicide note in history."
Fund is reporting in his article that the Rules Committee will meet on Saturday to set the rules for debate [that should be, "debate"]. Following the letter of the 72-hour rule would mean no vote before late Sunday, but Democrats have allowed themselves an out. "The Democratic leadership has declared 'martial law,'" Poltico.com reports, "allowing leaders to bring legislation straight to the floor on the same legislative day." That could mean a vote as early as Saturday, with a floor debate of just four hours. The public and members of Congress would have only 48 hours or even less to examine the bill.
Yesterday, President Obama told Bret Baier of Fox News: "I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or Senate." But both members of Congress and the American people have been given repeated assurances they would have at least 72 hours to look at the final language and numbers. Mr. Obama may not spend much time fretting about whether that promise is kept, but voters may think otherwise.
So evidently then, this healthcrap bill will be passed using a procedural sleight of hand called "deem and pass," which is the House's way of not voting on but still passing the most significant piece of legislation in a lifetime. I didn't think they would do it, but Pelosi has said she would do anything necessary to get it passed, and she obviously meant it. Well, anything but put the bill on the line honestly, with a real vote for or against.
This whole thing is simply beyond belief.
Expect court challenges to the bill if Pelosi uses this unconstitutional tactic. Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli told Fox's Greta Van Susteren on Thursday that if Speaker Pelosi uses deem and pass to ram ObamaCare through the House, then he will be in court as soon as the bill is signed by President Obama. Virginia last week became the first state in the country to pass a state bill declaring it illegal for the governmet to require individuals to purchase health insurance, a key part of the ObamaCare bill.
Cuccinelli has sent a letter to Pelosi warning her that using the "deem and pass" procedure would open the measure to additional constitutional challenges from the states.
March 17, 2010
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Office of the Speaker H-232,
U.S. Capitol Washington, D.C.
Dear Speaker Pelosi:
I am writing to urge you not to proceed with the Senate Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act under a so-called "deem and pass" rule because such a course of action would raise grave constitutional questions. Based upon media interviews and statements which I have seen, you are considering this approach because it might somehow shield members of Congress from taking a recorded vote on an overwhelmingly unpopular Senate bill. This is an improper purpose under the bicameralism requirements of Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution, one of the purposes of which is to make our representatives fully accountable for their votes.
Furthermore, to be validly enacted, the Senate bill would have to be accepted by the House in a form that is word-for-word identical (Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998)). Should you employ the deem and pass tactic, you expose any act which may pass to yet another constitutional challenge. A bill of this magnitude should not be passed using this maneuver.
As the President noted last week, the American people are entitled to an up or down vote.
Sincerely, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II Attorney General of Virginia
Other states have passed laws to nullify the ObamaCare mandate that everyone purchase insurance, including Idaho and Utah. More will follow suit. Arizona voters will decide the matter in a referendum in November.