Dear Representative Moran,
Please stop the HR 2454 madness.
Per the house.gov website, your oath reads, emphasis mine:
"I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."How does that oath square with this sort of news, sir?
House Democratic leaders late last night released a revamped, 1,201-page energy and global warming bill (pdf), clearing the way for floor debate Friday even though it remains uncertain if they will have the votes to pass it.To quote the Sunlight Foundation:
The House bill posted on the Rules Committee Web site has grown from the 946-page version adopted last month in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Sources on and off Capitol Hill said the bulk of the changes largely reflect requests from the eight other committees that also had jurisdiction over the bill, including the Ways and Means Committee and Science and Technology Committee.
Here’s the timeline [for HR 2454]:
- Introduced - 5/15/09
- Reported with amendments out of Energy & Commerce - 6/5/09
- Discharged by Education & Labor and Foreign Affairs Committees - 6/5/09
- Discharged by Financial Services, Science & Technology, Transportation, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Ways & Means Committees - 6/19/09
- Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 90 - 6/19/09 (This version is 946 pages)
- Submitted to House Rules Committee - 6/22/09, 4:22pm (This version is 1,201 pages)
So, where along the line does the bill suddenly expand by 300 pages? According to the New York Times, the various committee chairs held behind the scenes meetings and hashed out a compromise with no allowance for public input. (What lobbyists were involved in those meetings?) And now we are expecting a Friday vote on a bill that has had no public hearing in a committee with jurisdiction over it and that is not yet available in the main engine of public disclosure, THOMAS.
This raises serious questions about how we expect Congress to disclose their activities to the public. Is a bill posted to the House Rules Committee and not THOMAS truly publicly available? While the bill may be available for 72 hours prior to consideration, the public does not have reasonable access to it. Nor does the public know how the final details were reached.
And that isn’t even the worst part. This, apparently, isn’t even the final bill. The final bill will be a manager’s amendment that will be drafted later this week! From a posting on the House Rules Committee, we know that the deadline to submit amendments is Thursday at 9:30am. And there is talk that this will be voted on on Friday. Thus, the final version of this bill will likely only be available for less than 24 hours.
Sunlight has been advocating for all bills to be posted online for 72 hours prior to consideration. It doesn’t look like that is going to happen here. If you think that Congress should read the bills they vote on, you can tell your congressman to both support the Read the Bill resolution, H. Res. 554, and to give the public enough time to read the final version of the cap and trade bill, whenever that is made available.
At some point (speaking hypothetically and by no means advocating illegal activity), patriots may need to consider subverting staffers and having them insert self-destruct clauses into this kind of bill. Such trojans would be written to ensure that these hasty, illiberal, unanalyzed pieces of...legislation would expire within a couple of minutes of feeling the impact of the executive pen. The American people will cheer the demise of yet another disgusting insult to the concept of representative democracy.
On the other hand, your attention is drawn to HR 833 "The Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act". It is still possible to stave off the country's descent into becoming a third-world tyranny, sir.
Further WSJ coverage.