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About the Senate's Version of the "Stimulus" Bill

The following is excerpted from a book called The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion, one of about 20 books that I'm reading simultaneously, but can't seem to finish. The author, an editor for Rolling Stone, is mean-spirited and kind of a jerk, which I'm sad to admit makes the book highly entertaining. Here is an extremely relevant passage that explains how a bill gets passed into law. This is worth remembering as the Senate takes up passage of the "stimulus" bill this week.

Excerpted from pp. 44-46 of The Great Derangement

[W]hen you’re looking at the process by which any bill gets passed into law, on the House side at least there are only a few people who really matter. Those people are the majority leader, the chairman of the relevant “committee of jurisdiction” (i.e. Energy and Commerce for the oil industry, Financial Services for Wall Street firms, etc.), the chairman of the Rules Committee, the chairs of the House-Senate conference committee, the House Speaker and perhaps a few other members of the conference committee.

These people are important because this small group can essentially ram a bill into law all by themselves. If you control all of these seats, you control every space on the congressional Monopoly board within which the bill can be written or altered unilaterally.

There are four main way stations on the road to a bill’s passage. There’s the committee of jurisdiction, where the bill, after being introduced, goes through what is called a markup process. In a markup, the committee decides what goes in the bill and what does not. The markup process is supervised by the committee chairman. Theoretically the markup process is put to a general vote by the committee, but in this Congress the reality is that the chairman puts in what he wants and chucks what he doesn’t want out the window.

He then sends the bill to the Rules Committee, where other House members from outside the committee – usually freaked-out minority members desperate to stop this or that criminally insane provision cleverly hidden in the committee version – have a chance to submit amendments to the bill. The Rules chairman tries not to laugh, somberly nukes every meaningful amendment request with a pained, regretful expression, and then takes the bill behind closed doors, where it can be rewritten (usually in the middle of the night) to include all the shit the House leadership knew was way to evil to survive public discussion in the original committee of jurisdiction.

Rules then puts the finishing touches on the bill’s language and sends it to the floor the very next morning. The version that leaves the rules committee is now called not a bill, but a rule. The Rules Committee is supposed to give House members three days to read the rule before it goes to a vote, but the three-day period can be waived in case of emergency. The “emergency” has been in place for five consecutive years now; virtually every bill that has passed through the house in the Bush era has been voted on just hours after emerging from the hairy womb of the Rules Committee.

After the House passes the rule, which of course no one voting on it has read, the world then waits for the Senate to pass its own hideous version of the legislation. But alas, the bill cannot be sent to the president until the differences between the House and Senate versions – consisting generally of differing sets of campaign donor hand-jobs hidden in the two bills – can be ironed out. This ironing out is done in the conference committee.

The mechanism of conference committee is a special voodoo all unto itself, a monstrously complex bureaucratic maze whose diabolical scheme is known to a select few congressional practitioners. But for the moment, only two facts are important.

The first is that the bill can again be completely rewritten here, rewritten from top to bottom, rewritten even so that it has a completely opposite meaning from the bills that passed the two houses – in a word, re written in such a fashion as to render the whole process up to now meaningless.

The second is that a majority vote of conference committee members, called “conferees,” is not even required for passage. Again, the conference committee chairs are the key players here. Whatever the top dogs from the House and the Senate want generally occurs. They redo the bill according to whatever swinish commercial dynamic happens to govern this back-room deal (for the conference hearings are almost always conducted out of the public eye), then send the final version for a vote, again giving the members just a few hours’ notice before they make an essentially blind decision on the by-now completely revised legislation.

Somewhere along the line, campaign donors apparently figured out that by a careful stewarding of their contributions, they could – instead of spending gargantuan sums to buy the wide majority of House and Senate members necessary for an open vote on the floor – instead target those members who could simply rewrite the important parts of the bill in secret.



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So, that is how it really works?

I know it isn't happening as it supposed to. Woe unto us.
It is hard to fight something that you don't even know is happening...Impeach the whole congress and start over?
With rare exception, they are all on the special interest/lobby dole....see opensecrets.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/recips.php?cycle=2010&...

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves." William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783
"I know major allies who fund them" Gen. Dempsey referring to ISIS

Socialism?

The difference between socialism and capitalism? Under socialism, banks are first nationalized and then go bankrupt. In the capitalist system it appears to work the other way around.

Read more on Crunchreport.com.

Yes, Taibbi is a jerk.

Matt Taibbi and Rolling Stone lost what little credibility they had left shortly after the memorable May 15th, 2007 Republican debate.

In an article entitled, "Giuliani: Worse Than Bush", Tabbi starts out the article with this: "Early Wednesday, May 16th, Charleston, South Carolina. The scene is a town-hall meeting staged by GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, only a day after he wowed a patriotic Republican crowd at a nationally televised debate with a righteous ass-kicking of the party's latest Hanoi Jane, terrorist sympathizer Ron Paul."

My Appearance Before The House Ways and Means Committee

In 1978 was about this issue. Laws are not "packages". Whenever, I hear the word, I cringe when I know that raising revenue and making policy decisions in the same bill (package) is why we have gotten to the sad state we are now in. Each policy bill should be seperately enacted. No packages.

Sheldon Waxman
sheldonw72@gmail.com
www.thelawyer.info
www.independentcontractor.info

Let's concentrate our efforts on this:

"Somewhere along the line, campaign donors apparently figured out that by a careful stewarding of their contributions, they could – instead of spending gargantuan sums to buy the wide majority of House and Senate members necessary for an open vote on the floor – instead target those members who could simply rewrite the important parts of the bill in secret."

Let's get RP Republicans in THESE positions first. We really need to focus our money and efforts because there are so many positions and a limited amount of money we can all give. We should give 1 million to 5 positions that are the most powerful instead of $100 to 10,000 positions.
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"We will never give up. We will never give in." - Dr. Ron Paul

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"We will never give up. We will never give in." - Dr. Ron Paul

These committee positions are selected

by the party leaderships, often based on "seniority", and/or blind-obedience to the party line and party leaders.

We can't just "vote in" our elected candidates to these positions. They are "annointed ones".

This line says it all:

"[W]hen you’re looking at the process by which any bill gets passed into law, on the House side at least there are only a few people who really matter. .....These people are important because this small group can essentially ram a bill into law all by themselves. If you control all of these seats, you control every space on the congressional Monopoly board within which the bill can be written or altered unilaterally.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And guaranteed that those "few people who really matter" are all Masons or members of some other secret society that is part of the bankers' network. So you see how these horrible bills can get passed so swiftly, since all the people in those important positions are pushing the same hidden agenda.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"If good government is to be restored all Masons must be purged from public office". - Rayback

Check out America's original "third party", The Anti-Masonic Party :

http://www.dailypaul.com/node/62031

America has never come closer to stopping them than it did over 160 years ago - and most Americans have never heard of it.

That is a screwed up process

Reminds me of what Harry Browne always used to say: "Government doesn't work."

ching ching

ching ching

The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.

- Calvin Coolidge

bump

bump

its being an hour

and I can't believe I was the only one bumping this.
I know my popular beer post gathers a lot of patriotic sentiment but come on folks*)

(Better) to be confused in the search for truth than fully confident and sound asleep in a dream of lies. ~ Michael Nystrom
http://www.votenader.org/blog/2008/09/10/statement-to-ron-pa...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/57925480@N00/2660779139

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

this needs a bump

for Liberty*)

(Better) to be confused in the search for truth than fully confident and sound asleep in a dream of lies. ~ Michael Nystrom
http://www.votenader.org/blog/2008/09/10/statement-to-ron-pa...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/57925480@N00/2660779139

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Michael Nystrom's picture

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