Talk about Cheating. John Boehner announced today that after the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee passed their version of the Obamacare bill, the the Democrats added 70 substantive amendments to the bill without voting on it, and without telling the minority members.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today expressed outrage after learning that Senate Democratic leaders quietly made more than 70 substantive changes to the text of a health care bill after the legislation was voted on and passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. The changes were made without a vote and without the knowledge of the committee’s minority members. Boehner condemned the practice of adding such “phantom amendments” to bills, and announced that Republicans will introduce a resolution that would change House rules to require committees to post the actual text of adopted bills and amendments online within 24 hours to prevent similar acts of deception.
“The American people are fed up with the way in which Congress does business. Whether it’s passing massive spending bills no one in America has read, or making secret changes to bills after they’ve already been passed by committees, ‘business as usual’ in Congress needs to end,” Boehner said. “The American people deserve a Congress that is transparent and accountable to the people it serves. The practice of secretly adding ‘phantom amendments’ to major bills after they pass committee is outrageous, and it should be banned. Americans should be allowed to read the text of all bills online within 24 hours after they are approved by congressional committees.”
According to a report by IWP News, “Senate Republicans are raising new concerns about being forced to vote on health reform bills prior to the availability of legislative text, complaining that a wellness measure unanimously agreed to during the health committee’s July markup is absent from the recently released bill. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) suggested last week that the committee’s majority staff may have deliberately excluded the amendment, which passed after much hoopla over bipartisanship. The final bill was released on Sept. 17, two months after it was approved along party lines and following repeated demands by Republicans to see the final legislative text. ‘I think that’s an outrage,’ said Enzi (R-WY), who is the ranking member on the health committee.” (InsideHealthPolicy.com, October 2009)
“While the current Congress is the worst I’ve seen, it is hardly the first Congress to have a transparency problem. Republican-led Congresses fell short in this area, too,” Boehner said. “But when I chaired the Committee on Education and the Workforce [now Education & Labor], we always made it a point to make the text of committee-passed bills publicly available within 24 hours after a vote. It isn’t a difficult thing to accomplish, and it’s the right thing to do for the American people, who want government that is open, transparent, and accountable. I plan to introduce a resolution in the House that will require all House committees to post bills and amendments online within 24 hours after they’re adopted, and I hope members on both sides of the aisle will support it. It’s just common sense.”
One of things that proves how bad this Obamacare effort is for the American People is the secrecy its congressional supporters are insisting on.They don’t want to place the bills on line so people can read it, they don’t even want Senators who are on the appropriate committee to see the bill.