Skip to comments.Passing a Shell of A Bill: Congress’ Secret Plan to Ram Through Health Care Reform
Posted on 09/23/2009 7:04:56 AM PDT by Reaganesque
With the President and Congresss plan to pass comprehensive health care reform reaching increasingly high levels of unpopularity, and reconciliation becoming an impediment, the leadership of the Senate is rumored to be preparing a new secret plan to railroad the bill through the Senate in record time by using a seldom used parliamentary procedure.
Their plan is to proceed to a House passed non-health care bill to provide a shell of legislation to give Obamacare a ride to the House then to the Presidents desk. Sound confusing? We lay out the steps below, but essentially the Senate would pass health care reform as an amendment to a completely unrelated bill so the Senate and House could act quickly and without further debate. Even worse? Nobody really knows what that legislation looks like but they plan on voting for it anyway.
Right now, the Senate Finance Committee is in the midst of marking up health care reform legislation. Due to Senate procedure, what they are actually marking up is a 200+ page conceptual framework of the actual legislation, not a real bill. That means that not only has no Senator even read the bill but, there is a high probability that the bill hasnt even been written yet. If the Committee sticks to their artificial deadline of completing work by this Friday then they would have passed a conceptual document reforming the nations health care system, spending trillions, without ever seeing an estimated 1,500 pages of legislation, which may or may not be written.
The current plan is to start debate on Obamacare as early as next week under the following four-step scenario:
STEP ONE: The Senate Finance Committee will finish work on the marking up of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) conceptual framework for legislation by this Friday. Baucus has not unveiled final legislation and, according to the Associated Press, he added some new language to the mark up today. AP reports that under pressure from fellow Democrats, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee decided to commit an additional $50 billion over a decade toward making insurance more affordable for working class families.
Senators have not been provided any real legislation and are offering amendments this week to Baucus 200+ page outline. It is expected that at the end of the process the Senate Finance Committee may produce a bill longer than the 1,000 page House bill that proved so controversial over the August recess. Many Senators are upset that they dont have final language for a bill, yet still they sit in a Committee Hearing Room this week marking up a draft document that is not in the form of legislative language. The plan is to have this document voted out of the Senate Finance Committee by Friday.
STEP TWO: Next, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will take the final product of the Senate Finance Committee and merge it with the product of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. This was the late Senator Kennedys (D-MA) bill, introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), which passed the HELP Committee on July 15, 2009 on a party line vote. Remember, most Senators will still not know what they voted for in the Finance Committee.
STEP THREE: Senator Reid will then move to proceed to H.R. 1586, a bill to impose a tax on bonuses received by certain TARP recipients. This bill was the bill passed by the House in the wake of the AIG bonus controversy and is currently sitting on the Senate Legislative Calendar. Reid will move to proceed, and he will need 60 votes to act on this bill. After the motion is approved, he will then offer a complete substitute bill purportedly including the combined Senate HELP and Finance Committee products. This means that the entire health care reform effort will be included as an amendment to a TARP bill that has been collecting dust in the Senate for months.
STEP FOUR: For this strategy to work, the proponents would need to hold together the liberal caucus of 57 Democrats, 2 Independents (Senators Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont), and a potential new member replacing the late Senator Kennedy. This scenario would most likely be implemented after the Massachusetts state legislature gives Governor Deval Patrick the power to appoint a new Senator and that Senator is seated by the Senate. According to CQ, the state legislature may pass a bill and present it to Governor Patrick by next week.
Once the Senate passes a bill and sends it to the House, all the House would have to do is pass the bill, without changes, and President Obama will be presented with his health care reform measure thereby transforming within a few weeks 1/6th of the US economy. If this plan does not work, the Senate and House Leadership may consider using reconciliation to pass the legislation. For a more detailed explanation of the reconciliation scenario, please see the Heritage Foundations Fact Sheet on Reconciliation here or a handy guide on Reconciliation published in Human Events earlier today.
Does this sound like a transparent, bipartisan and effective way to change the way millions of Americans get their health care? Of course not.
You can say that again. 2010 will be a bloodbath.
This is to be filed under “no Duh”. This was the Dem back-up plan all along.
Nelson (D- Ne )will never go along with this, unless he wants to be toast.
Another reason why any bill passed anywhere in the country needs to be a ONE ITEM bill.
There is far too much ‘piggy-backing’ going on everywhere, especially in Washington.
It is downright fraud, IMO.
This Communist Camel wants to get nis nose under the tent knowing after that ‘revisions’ can be attached as riders on all sorts on really necessary legislation. Its an old, old D.C. tactic perfected by the Libs.
The game is over by 2010.
Spot on the money!
“The game is over by 2010.”
Not unless we man every voting site, and count each ballot.
If politicians don't listen to the American People, it doesn't matter to the Republic that the Congress gets turned over in 2010. The damage will be done and irreversible unless THIS Congress can be induced to repeal in the first couple of months after passage. By November 2010 the bureaucracy will be, in large part, in place- even if they don't really have anything to do for a couple of years- and no Congress, not even a Conservative Republican Congress will dis-employ all those bureaucrats.
Inertia is about to triumph yet again. As the Republicans learned between 2000 and 2006, controlling Congress and the White House doesn't mean you can do much. It is much easier to play defense than offense in Washington.
It will simply not matter even a little who is in Congress in December 2010 if any form of this thing is passed and signed. It is irreversible and ends the Free Economy and, eventually (not long), the Republic.
STEP THREE: Senator Reid will then move to proceed to H.R. 1586, a bill to impose a tax on bonuses received by certain TARP recipients. This bill was the bill passed by the House in the wake of the AIG bonus controversy and is currently sitting on the Senate Legislative Calendar. Reid will move to proceed, and he will need 60 votes to act on this bill.
That may be the saving grace. Hopefully even the RINOS will see what a slimy, sleazy process this is.
2010 is a long way off. We need to keep pounding out the message. But it needs to be refreshed now and again so as not to become boring and repetitive. People are getting motivated. We need to keep that motivation in high gear for a year. A daunting task.
IIRC, something like this process was used to pass the initial bailout bill? Didn’t the Senate gut a bill on the agenda and sub in the text of the bailout bill for the vote? My concern at the time was the Constitution calls for money bills to originate in the House, and this one started in the Senate; but the process circumvented the House origination requirement, I think. I’ll have to do some more checking...
Once govt gets control of medical care, all the defining, controlling features of socialist govt can be introduced, one by one.
We ain't seen nuttin' yet. Obamas got BIG plans, much much BIGGER PLANS for us.
Say goodbye to the US way of life.
Is it truly irreversible? I nkow that it is practically so, but is it literally so?
“Another reason why any bill passed anywhere in the country needs to be a ONE ITEM bill.
There is far too much piggy-backing going on everywhere, especially in Washington.
It is downright fraud, IMO.”
He doesent need any RINOS for this. All our hopes rest on Nelson and Landrieu and a handfull of cautious Democraps in conservative States. A thin reed, indeed.
Time to get in touch with these folks.
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