Conservative Political Commentary

...usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Congress Reaches New Lows in Legislative Substance and Form


Substance
Ah, where to begin? The Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill is a new low in just about every way it could be. It’s high-taxing, job-killing, industry-destroying atrocity that will not achieve its stated objectives and yet will cost trillions of dollars.

As many people have pointed out, the “climate change” issue is a phony one anyway, and other countries are beginning to pull back on their efforts to deal with it. Australia, for example.

But not only does the bill take a convoluted, fraud-inviting and unfair route to dealing with carbon emissions, it also contains numerous very intrusive, unconstitutional and destructive measures, many unrelated to the climate question, or so micro-managing as to constitute not a climate help but simply a costly, freedom-destroying annoyance. For instance, the bill mandates that government experts have to sign off on a house’s environmental efficiency and necessary upgrades must be made before a house can be sold. This is blatantly unconstitutional, but who reads the Constitution any more? Certainly not our leftist government. And the federal code for houses is just one little item tacked on somewhere in that famous 300-page amendment. Has anyone ever heard of the Tenth Amendment?

Republican House Leader John Boehner (R-OH) read from the bill for an hour in the House of Representatives, saying the American people have a right to know what’s in the bill. And some strange and surprising things are in it (see video).

Form
How could all this legislative junk be approved? Well, probably not by normal means. It took some very sneaky and clever activity to do it.

There was no bill available for House members to read before they voted. That in itself is a breach of not only common sense, but the Constitution. I seem to recall a promise from the Democrats some time back that the text of proposed legislation, especially important items, would be posted on the internet for two weeks for public view. This one wasn’t even available for Congress members’ view. If there really is a House Ethics Committee, maybe they should check this out.

There was delivery of the aforementioned 300-page amendment around 3 AM. I’m sure most of the House members studied it carefully before voting.

I predict that the same types of tactics will be used when the healthcare “reform” (i.e., takeover) legislation is presented. But we’ll see.

Conclusion

The Waxman-Markey bill itself and the sneaky manner in which it was handled are so egregious that every Representative who voted for it should be voted out of office in 2010. It’s that bad. They should have known better. But Obama is happy and can now proceed with his plan in the Senate. Maybe they’ll be just embarrassed enough to reject the cap and trade bill. But don’t bet on it.

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