02.28.2010 0

The Slaughter House Lies

  • On: 03/17/2010 09:55:41
  • In: Health Care
  • By Robert Romano

    It has been called blatantly unconstitutional. Talk show host Mark Levin has declared it a “brazen and open violation of one of the most fundamental aspects of our Constitution.” House Republican Leader John Boehner on the floor of the House stated, “the Majority plans to force the toxic Senate bill through the House under some controversial trick.”

    Which is about the size and shape of the “Slaughter House Rules.”

    At controversy is a plan by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter to enact the Senate version of ObamaCare without actually voting upon the bill itself. House Leaders say the procedure is common, and that it has been used before. To be certain, it was used most recently to raise the national debt ceiling by $1.9 trillion to $14.294 trillion.

    But bad behavior does not excuse more bad behavior. Because a violation of the Constitution, the law of the land, is repeated ad infinitum would not make it any less unconstitutional.

    Writing for the American Spectator, Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter stated, “using the ‘Slaughter House Rules’ to skirt a substantive vote and ‘deem as passed’ the Senate’s government-run health care bill would violate constitutionally prescribed procedures for duly passing and enacting federal legislation.”

    He’s right. Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 states “Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it… But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively.”

    Levin said that “This clause goes to the heart of this Republic… to the heart of how our representative body, Congress, makes laws.” His case, and the case of the rule of law: for a bill to become law, both houses of Congress have to pass it with a recorded vote. Not a rule. Not a statement. A bill.

    In this case, the House would vote on a rule providing for consideration of the reconciliation package. The rule shall “deem as passed” the Senate bill. Presumably, Obama would quickly sign the rule — it’s not a bill — so that the consideration of reconciliation on the House floor would bear some resemblance to the intent of reconciliation, which is to make minor budget fixes to existing law.

    Only this will be no law. It will be a lie.

    To gain support among reluctant Democrats, the reconciliation gambit is little more than a ploy. According to top Capitol Hill sources, if a House Democrat is opposed to reconciliation, (s)he is told that this is his or her chance to pass the Senate bill. If the member is against the Senate bill, he or she is assured that reconciliation is their salvation.

    Except the Senate may never, and probably will never, even bring up the reconciliation ploy. It’s a lie to bring in reluctant members so they can say they never voted for the Senate bill. That their vote was to modify the Senate bill. And since that is their intent, the unconstitutionality of the process is exposed on its face.

    Once modified in the House, a bill, before it can become law, must proceed to the upper chamber under normal rules. The House cannot on one hand, say that it has voted “deem as passed” the Senate bill, and on the other, say it has only voted to modify the Senate bill. They cannot have it both ways.

    The Constitution provides one way for a bill to become law. The bill has to pass both houses of Congress. That is the bare minimum.

    In the meantime, some endangered Democrat members of the House want to pretend they have no idea what they will be voting on. They too are creating a lie.

    On Tuesday, the Albuquerque Journal reported that New Mexico Democrat Congressman Harry Teague was claiming to be undecided on the impending health care vote. Teague was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to say for sure until we see exactly what the Senate sends over, but we’re going to look at it.”

    Only, it has been over 100 days since the Senate passed its bill. The House has been looking at it for months. The lies don’t stop there.

    Yesterday Virginia Democrat Congressman Tom Perrierllo issued a statement that read, “I have plenty of serious problems with the Senate bill and, until I see the final language, I cannot take a position on final passage.” Doesn’t he know the Senate passed their version on Christmas Eve?

    Of he knows. So does Teague. Clearly both believe the people of their districts are fools. And that they cannot be held accountable for their lies.

    Has he read the bill? Perriello went on to state that “the existing language on abortion in the current Senate bill meets the pledge I made to ensure no federal funding for abortion in this health care bill.”

    This is about the most bizarre statement that can be made. Not only does it indicate he has indeed read the Senate bill, it is clear he does not understand it, or is deliberately misrepresenting it.

    Said Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson on Perriello, “What a disingenuous lie. I know Perriello is Nancy Pelosi’s favorite pet, but maybe he should spend more time talking with members of his party besides the House Speaker.” Indeed.

    Wilson continued, “Clearly, Congressman Perriello is at odds with the overwhelming majority of those who care about this issue, including the Conference of Catholic Bishops and members of his own party like Congressman Bart Stupak.”

    To be certain, the Senate bill does provide funding for abortions via the insurance exchange. It’s nothing more than a lie to say otherwise.

    Furthermore, Perriello inadvertently exposes the lie that reconciliation will ever be voted on in the Senate (if it even passes the House). His intent is to persuade members of the House to vote for the Slaughter rule by any means necessary.

    But, rather than defend the indefensible reconciliation ploy, he chooses to lie about the Senate bill’s abortion funding. Perriello is already laying the groundwork for the reality that the Senate version will be the only version.

    He, along with Democrat leaders, will say anything at this point to secure the 216 votes they need to take over the nation’s entire health care system.

    Such are the “Slaughter House Lies.”

    Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of ALG News Bureau.

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