Harry Reid Wants to Vote on a Phantom Bill (Dem Dirty Tricks Edition)

by Warner Todd Huston | November 19, 2009 8:00 am

Either today or later this week, Senate Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev) wants the Senate to vote on a “motion to proceed” on the Senate’s version of the healthcare bill. That wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that it has barely been seen by anyone in the Senate. At least not as far as most Senators are concerned. Why is that? Because the bill has not been shown to them with sufficient time to study it, that’s why.

What Reid wants is for the Senate to vote to proceed on a bill that has not been seen, not read, not studied by the very Senators from whom he wants to force a vote. If this bill is so important, why isn’t it imperative that our Senators actually get to see the thing they are expected to vote on?

And that isn’t the worst of the unconscionable dirty tricks that Reid is playing with this “important” legislation. He’s also planning on a bait and switch tactic once he gets his vote to proceed.

News is that Reid wants to use a Senate procedure where a bill can be swapped out with another on the floor. He wants to bring an unassociated bill to the floor and once it gets there he wants to swap that bill out with the healthcare bill. In other words, he wants to bring a fake bill to the floor and pull a bait-and-switch act to suddenly plop before the Senate the heretofore unseen healthcare bill. Then he wants to force a quick vote.

Alarmingly, Reid is making an effort to eliminate any time for Senators to see what is in this economy killing, liberty slaying, big government leviathan before a vote is forced down their throats.

If this bill was a legitimate bill would all of these dirty tricks be necessary? Further, if this bill had such wide acceptance and agreement among Congress and the people alike, why are Democrats afraid to let everyone see the bill?

Reid isn’t a fool, though. He knows that once America gets to see what is in this mess it will become nearly impossible to pass this thing. Naturally, that is why he is trying to eliminate any possibility that anyone might get a glimpse of what is in the bill before it is passed.

The fact is, though, if Reid cannot get his 60-vote “motion to proceed” his sly maneuvers will be stymied for now. So, call your Senators and tell them where you stand on these underhanded tactics, won’t you? Tell them not to vote to proceed until they’ve at least gotten a chance to see this mysterious, invisible healthcare bill.

Lastly, one wonders why the most “transparent” president in history is allowing the Congress to continue day in and day out to press votes on legislation no one has ever seen on bills that haven’t been written? What ever happened to the hoary days of campaigning when Obama kept promising that we’d all get 5 days to see a bill before a vote?

How times change.

Note: As of today, the bill has been posted online so that we can see it. But Reid wants to vote on the motion to proceed today or tomorrow. This is hardly the 72 hours timeline that transparency advocates have pressed for, nor is it anywhere close to the five days that President Obama promised us all.

You can see the bill at http://www.scribd.com/doc/22734971/Senate-Democrats-Health-Care-Reform-Bill[1].

(Cross posted at BigGovernment.com[2].)

  1. http://www.scribd.com/doc/22734971/Senate-Democrats-Health-Care-Reform-Bill: http://www.scribd.com/doc/22734971/Senate-Democrats-Health-Care-Reform-Bill
  2. BigGovernment.com: http://biggovernment.com/2009/11/18/harry-reid-wants-to-vote-on-a-phantom-bill-dem-dirty-tricks-edition/

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