Now we have another congressman whining about actually having to read bills before voting on them. First it was Representative John “You gotta be kidding” Conyers, and now it’s New Hampshire Democrat Paul Hodes telling the editorial board of the Nashua Telegraph to get real:
Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes (NH-02) believes reading every bill in Congress “would slow down the business of Congress to a crawl and it would be hard to get done what needs to be done.”
Members of Congress who don’t read the bills they are voting on “is not necessarily the major problem with the way Congress functions,” he said.
Hodes, who is the sole Democratic candidate in the race to replace the retiring New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, made the remarks during a recent editorial board meeting with the Nashua Telegraph.
“Hodes said it’s not realistic to expect members of Congress to read every bill word-for-word, as Congress took more than 2,000 votes in the session that ended in December,” the paper reports.
This year, Hodes voted in support of President Barack Obama’s stimulus package and for so-called cap-and-trade legislation. Both measures were finalized late in the legislative process and rushed to a vote before any individual member could read the bills.
I don’t know. Maybe I’ve got this whole representative democracy thing wrong. Am I silly to think someone I choose to run the government for me should actually understand the choices he makes, rather than push the voting buttons at random? By Mr. Hodes’ logic, why even show up at committee hearings to ask questions and hear witnesses? That’s got to be awfully hard, too, on the poor, overworked congresscritters.
Look, I don’t expect them to read every single bill that comes before the chamber, but on matters as consequential as a $787 billion “emergency” stimulus bill, or health-care reforms and cap-and-trade measures that aim to establish federal control over vast swathes of the economy… You’re damn right I expect Hodes & Co. to read and understand the bills, or recuse themselves from voting on it!
And maybe they should resign, too, if that’s too much to ask of them.
(via Hot Air)
On a related note, Iowahawk again turns over his blog to a guest-editorial, this time from Health and Human Services Secretary Secretary Kathleen Sibelius and Democratic Republican Democratic Senator Arlen Specter on a growing crisis in America – that America’s Government Losing Faith in Out-of-Touch Constituents:
Nowhere has this disturbing trend been more evident than in the recent debate over health care reform. Like hundreds of our fellow legislators and government officials, we recently traveled to a town hall meeting to distribute a grassroots press release explaining why this critical legislation is a done deal. Our advance staffs said that should anticipate a respectful, positive hearing from local media and bused-in union members. Instead we were greeted by a rude howling mob of idiot “voters” who refused to listen to reason, and ruined what should have been a killer photo op for our re-election ad campaign.
Have these arrogant ivory tower armchair quarterbacks ever had to live with the pressures of being a working stiff Senator or Cabinet Secretary in Washington DC? Have they ever had to juggle markup language on a supplemental appropriations bill, or deal with an incompetent Chief of Staff who constantly double-books fund raising dinners? Apparently not, if their whiny obnoxious chants are any indication. “Read the Bill! Read the Bill!” blah, blah, blah, as if we weren’t already exhausted from writing and voting for the damned thing.
Mockery. It’s what makes American politics great.