“Blood Sport Games” on Planet DC
By Carolyn Cormey
The 2010 Budget has now been passed, $3,500,000,000,000 ($3.5 Trillion) projected to $17.5 Trillion over the next 5 years . . . add to this the borrowed money for the TARP and the Stimulus Bill and the Omnibus Bill. . . . . . this works out to be about $12 Billion a day in expenditures within the first 100 days of the new administration.
These numbers are simply too huge for us to comprehend but for those we elect and send to Planet DC, they seem unfazed in spending these dollars which they treat as “play money” to pay back special interest groups for their election support and to promote political party agendas to bring in more campaign donations. The goal is to do whatever is necessary to continue the ongoing control and re-election for whichever political party is currently in the majority. Each year, the “Sport” gets bloodier and we citizens provide the blood.
Legislative Game -
Controversial Bills are quietly introduced in the House and/or Senate with little or no fanfare or notice.
Behind the scenes, the Majority Party Leaders begin to lobby the Legislators for promises to vote for the Bill they have quite often not even seen, let alone read.
When the Leaders are certain they have secured the 60 votes they will need, they set up the legislative process in a way to minimize or eliminate any input from other legislators who may have concerns, objections or may want to make any changes to the bill. (If the Majority Leaders cannot secure the promised votes of 60 Senators ahead of time, they simply do not bring the proposed Bill to the Senate Floor for debate and vote . . . until they can control the process)
If the Majority Party Leaders have secured more votes than they need to pass a piece of legislation, they then “allow” a Senator or Congressman for re-election from a more conservative district – to vote against the bill.
Much of this process is completed before the Senators or Congressmen have even seen or read the Bills they have promised to vote for or vote against.
“Live” on C-Span - We can all watch the Legislative Game on TV or on our computers. Under the “Change We Can Count On,” the political buzz-word is “transparency,” and a more sophisticated back-up plan had to be developed so that the DC Planet Legislative Game could all still happen right under our noses. We watch our Senators and Congressmen vote nobly for the things we citizens want them to vote for BUT as each Majority Party Senator and Congressman there vote, (wink, wink) they each know that no matter what amendment passes, the results can be “fixed,” when the House and Senate versions of Bills go to “Conference,” blending them together into the Conference Report, which becomes the final bill that cannot be further amended. The Majority Party Leaders completely control the Conference Committee and simply remove whatever amendments they do not want in the final bill. Conclusion – “win win” for our Majority Party Leaders (currently Democrats) who get the Bills passed exactly as they want them with no input from the minority AND a “win win” or “free-pass” for our Majority Party Senators who can come back home, proudly showing us their voting record, telling us that they voted for us, against their own party leaders!
2010 Budget Game: In reviewing the Senate Amendments to the 2010 Budget, the following amendments were passed in the Senate sometimes by unanimous voice vote or by significant margins of both Democrats and Republicans in counted votes. Each one of them was removed when the House version of the Budget Bill was blended with the Senate version in the Conference Committee under the control of the Majority Party Leaders.
Conference Committee Removes the Amendments to:
The final 2010 Budget – just what the Majority Party Leaders ordered, was passed and without a footprint left to follow or anyone who can be held accountable for these removed amendments – because most of us will not even be aware of what happened.
“Reconciliation” is 5th Ace in the deck of cards dealt by the Majority Party Leaders who believe that the end justifies whatever they need to promise, say or do to win their game, no matter what it costs us. Passing controversial bills by “Reconciliation” completely by-passes the Legislative process and the safeguards of having to convince 60 Senators to vote to end debate on a bill and call for a vote. Instead, the “Reconciliation” process eliminates Senate debate, amendments and minority party input and the bill simply passes by the 51 Senate Majority easily controlled by the Senate Leadership. In structuring this 2010 Budget Bill, the Majority Party Leaders have made certain that the “Reconciliation” process has been put in place for them to use, if needed to pass future, highly-controversial Climate Change (Cap and Trade) Legislation AND/OR Health Care Legislation (including Universal Health Care). Check-Mate.
The Game “Fix” will continue, only as long as we allow it by continuing to vote blindly for the incumbent Senators and Congressmen because they are Republicans or Democrats. Right now this is a Democrat Game but in the past it was a Republican Game. For certain – it is always an incumbent and seniority game. No matter how much we each like our own Senator or Congressman – if they have been on Planet DC awhile, they are part of the problem, not the solution. We saw that when the Republicans were in complete control and we are now seeing this when the Democrats are in control. Make your voice heard. www.contactingthecongress.org .
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