The Senate majority’s contempt for the American people rears its ugly head again. The Senate Finance Committee just voted down a GOP amendment requiring that Obamacare legislation be available online 72 hours before the panel votes. Instead, the Democrats offered to make “conceptual language” available.
Dems lied, transparency died:
Senate Finance Committee Democrats have rejected a GOP amendment that would have required a health overhaul bill to be available online for 72 hours before the committee votes.
Republicans argued that transparency is an Obama administration goal. They also noted that their constituents are demanding that they read bills before voting.
Democrats said it was a delay tactic that could have postponed a vote for weeks.
The Democrats noted that unlike other committees, the Finance Committee works off conceptual language that describes policies — instead of legislative language that ultimately becomes law, and which the GOP amendment would have required.
Democrats accepted an alternate amendment to make conceptual language available online before a vote.
Philip Klein has more:
Currently, the only version of Chairman Max Baucus’s proposal we have is a 223-page draft (PDF) that is written in plain English and explains the bill in conceptual terms. Republicans argued that until the bill is written in legislative language it will be impossible for the CBO to provide an accurate cost estimate.
The Bunning ammendment would have required the committee to have the legislative language of the bill, along with the CBO cost estimate, posted on the internet for 72 hours before a vote.
Democrats argued that waiting for the legislative languange to be written, and for the CBO to evaluate it, would needlessly delay the process by weeks.
“Let’s be honest about it, most people don’t read the legislative language,” Sen. John Kerry said.
The Bunning amendment was defeated by a 12 to 11 vote, with Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln the only Democrat voting in favor.