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And then he pointed out that the Reid bill declares on page 1020 that the Independent Medicare Advisory Board cannot be repealed by future Congresses: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 congresses.
You can view the video at the WS link above.
Erick Erickson responds:
If ever the people of the United States rise up and fight over passage of Obamacare, Harry Reid must be remembered as the man who sacrificed the dignity of his office for a few pieces of silver. The rules of fair play that have kept the basic integrity of the Republic alive have died with Harry Reid. Reid has slipped in a provision into the health care legislation prohibiting future Congresses from changing any regulations imposed on Americans by the Independent Medicare [note: originally referred to as “medical”] Advisory Boards, which are commonly called the “Death Panels.”
It was Reid leading the Democrats who ignored 200 years of Senate precedents to rule that Senator Sanders could withdraw his amendment while it was being read.
It was Reid leading the Democrats who has determined again and again over the past few days that hundreds of years of accumulated Senate parliamentary rulings have no bearing on the health care vote.
On December 21, 2009, however, Harry Reid sold out the Republic in toto.
Upon examination of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment to the health care legislation, Senators discovered section 3403. That section changes the rules of the United States Senate.
To change the rules of the United States Senate, there must be sixty-seven votes.
Unless you’re Harry Reid, apparently. And this jack-a$$ has the nerve to call for the Senate to be “civil” as the vote on this phony “reform” bill inches closer?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday the Senate needs to have a “Rodney King” moment in its healthcare debate.
During a speech on the Senate floor this morning, Reid channeled King, the victim of a 1991 police brutality incident, who made his famous plea for unity after courts acquitted police officers in his beating, sparking the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.
“I’ve said to a number of people, Rodney King: ‘Let’s just all try to get along,'” Reid said this morning on the Senate floor.
“I said when the Senate opened today and I’ll say again because of the long hours we’ve spent here for weeks now, there’s a lot of tension in the Senate,” Reid said. “And feelings are high. And that’s fine. Everybody has very strong concerns about everything we have done and have to do.”
Damn right they do!
Bill Jacobson puts a fine point on it all:
In this rush to pass legislation by Christmas, the most fundamental aspect of representative democracy is being lost. The Democrats are about to pass legislation which divests the Congress of its ability to change legislation.
This is what we have come to. A Democratic majority ready to hand over a fundamental aspect of our health care system to an unelected panel without any future Congress being able to change this procedure.
Some readers have e-mailed me asking if this is constitutional. The answer is that I don’t know, and in the rush to pass this by the day after tomorrow, no one will have time to fully sort through this issue. But that is the point of the rush. Load up the legislation with so many controversial points that no one can figure it all out prior to the vote.
We are like lambs led to the slaughter.
As to where the “outrage” is on the left, you know, the ones who screamed, whined, stamped their feet, marched on Washington, DC to protest and demand investigations into the “thuggish” Bush administration for allegedly wanting to “steal your rights” in the dark of night under the guise of “keeping you safe”? Don’t hold your breath. This isn’t “stealing” power to these people. This is “doing what’s best for you – even though you don’t know it yet.”