Today is the kickoff to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, dubbed “March Madness.” While there is going to be some enjoyable and wild games in the coming tournament, the real “March Madness” is found in the Democratic leadership of the United States House of Representatives in regards to the health care bill.
The madness comes in the form of the widely reported “Slaughter Solution” being considered by the leadership of the House. As the Democratic leadership struggles to find Democratic votes in the House to pass the health care reform bill advocated by the President, Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York, Chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, has came up with a way to get around a House vote on the Senate health care bill. The so called “Slaughter Solution” will be a rule maneuver in the House to allow the House to deem the Senate health care bill as already passed when the House votes on proposed changes. In other words, the Obama health care package is passed without a true final House vote.
That gives the House Democratic leadership a pass on getting votes for the legislation that seem in doubt. If they were not in doubt, the House Democratic leadership would have already called for a roll call vote, so that President Obama could get on with his Asian trip.
Perhaps it is the fate of the Obama Presidency that seems to be on the line that inspires the Democratic leadership to such legislative legerdemain. Whatever the reason, and whatever position one takes on the health care bill in question, there is something just mad and frankly un-American about the Democratic House leadership using legislative tricks to pass such a huge bill.
The matter will surely end up in the federal courts. However, the more pressing court of the people should matter more. If legislative legerdemain is used to pass the health care bill, the people’s house will become the conniver’s house. For if the health care bill is so good for the people, why don’t the Democrats in the House demand the chance to proudly cast their votes for it? What in the health care bill worries them so that they consider hiding behind the political sleight of hand in the form of the Slaughter Solution? Perhaps they are mad or afraid or both. Whatever the Democratic House leadership’s motivation or state mind, such legislative tricks are wrong and further erode the confidence that the people have in the institution of the Congress.