Recently the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives sought to move a global warming bill – a 900 page bill – that has not been read or digested by any legislator, out of committee and to the full House for a vote. Congressman Henry Waxman, Democrat, the committee chairman, acknowledged publicly that he did not fully understand what was in the bill. He simply wanted to move the bill out of committee and to the House for a vote. At 900 pages, this an enormous bill covering intricate “cap and trade” and other environmental regulations.
“Cap and trade” potentially represents a radical change in the cost to the people of this country of our industrial infrastructure and power generation. This bill has the potential to devastate our economy beyond the economy’s current volatility and yet no one person really knows what is in it. What makes this plan even more flagrant is the cavalier attitude and approach by the Democratic leadership on passage of this bill.
When the committee Republicans were insisting that the bill be read aloud – their right under our Congressional procedures – Chairman Waxman hired a speed reader for the clerk’s staff and threatened to have the entire bill read by the speed reader. Remember, speed readers are those folks no one can understand and are found in comedy routines. Are our legislators this arrogant and whimsical about how they represent us in Congress? Instead of taking bill content knowledge seriously, the Democrats just want to pass an ideologically radical, economically risky 900 page bill without any one legislator knowing what is in it.
Don’t we as citizens deserve more? When we elect someone to Congress, we expect them to represent us on matters of legislation. We don’t expect our legislators to abdicate learning about bills before them so they can make a prudent and intelligent vote. If they are not going to bother learning what is in a bill, then we can either use a dice roll or hire chimps to vote. Hiring a speed reader is not a funny or laughable matter. It is an arrogant abuse of power and a mockery of our constitutional republic. Just how many bills will these legislators vote on without reading? This flagrant approach to bills started with the unread $770B stimulus package. We deserve better.