Yes…they really DID pass HR 2454 in the House of Representatives yesterday.
And if you were watching the mess on C-Span as it was happening, it didn’t help that feeling that your head was, literally, going to explode.
Congress is really totally out of control. It’s not like I’ve never watched coverage of the House before, so it’s not a new phenomenon that I feel a migraine coming on whenever I feel the need for self-punishment. It’s just that many things that have always bothered me REALLY bothered me yesterday.
I have a couple of questions I’d like some answers to, I’ve had them for a while:
- Why are all of those seats empty when members are speaking? Shouldn’t they have to listen to one another?
- Why isn’t Nancy Pelosi running the gavel?
But more importantly, from yesterday’s vote, I want to know:
- HOW can anyone vote on a bill that doesn’t exist anywhere on planet earth in final, printed form?
- How can anyone debate a bill they haven’t read?
I watched people lie right into the camera, right over a microphone, and right into the Congressional record.
Here are some of the better zingers:
Nancy Pelosi, “The most important thing to remember about this bill is four words; jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs.”
“This bill will make us energy independent.”
“This will only cost people cents a day.”
When Rep. Joe Barton asked “Madame Chairman” (who the hell is THAT?) where the bill actually was, she kept saying there was “an official copy” at the desk. The official copy was actually 800+ pages and 300 more that had been added at 3:30AM EST. The clerk was still sorting through the 800 pages and putting the 300 in their proper places at 4:00pm EST, just two hours before the vote took place.
Rep. Markey, one of the two sponsors of the bill sarcastically answered Joe Barton’s repeated questions about the bills whereabouts. He informed Mr. Barton that the bill was available online.
We really are in big trouble, folks.
Very telling was the order of business immediately following the final vote; a Congresswoman stood up and entered a tribute to Michael Jackson into the Congressional Record.
The bill passed by a vote of 219 to 212. There were eight Republicans who voted “AYE” and two who were not present. A roll call of all the votes is available HERE.
To be sure, those eight Republicans did make the difference. But every last one of the members who vote “Aye” should be targets for removal from office.
Of course it’s discouraging that the bill passed. But this fight isn’t over. It must go before the Senate for a vote, to conference committee, and then back to the House.
We must put tremendous pressure on our Senators, and still on members of the House. My representative, Jeff Fortenberry, for instance, did vote “no”, and that is a good thing. But I’ve read his position on the bill, and no is just not good enough.
All of our representatives need to be taking a loud, firm stand, not only on the way the bill was put together, but on its content. Mr. Fortenberry seems to be straddling the middle, trying to please everyone. He seems to be buying into the whole global warming / climate change nonsense.
I think in order to be a member of Congress, you have to have a spine. If you don’t exhibit one, it’s time to go home.
And that brings me to Minority Leader Boehner. I’m told, by Congressional Rules, he is the only Republican at present who is allowed unlimited speaking time in a circumstance such as yesterday’s debate. He COULD have read the entire bill. He COULD have read all 300 of those pages that were added at the last minute. It would have rather been like a filibuster. But he read selections, and that was it.
While he was reading, I had some hope he would continue, at least really send a message, make everyone sit for hours. Perhaps even that would have broken through the twisted “King of Pop, dead!” coverage on the news.
In any case, instead of giving up, we need to take our anger and turn it into action. We need to stay on these guys and we need to be surveying the landscape for replacement candiates in 2010.
The House needs to be swept clean.
We also need to turn this anger into action when it comes to the Senate. They need an avalanche of mail when they come back from their recess, never ending phone calls, and fax machine that needs the paper replaced.
We need to show up at Tea Parties on the 4th in larger numbers than before.
And most of all, we don’t need to get mad, we need to get even. That means showing all of these rats the door.
All of the calls, emails, faxes, etc., did make some difference. The vote was closer than expected.
You can find links to all of your reps in Congress in the post below. Let them all know what you think about what happened in the House yesterday.