:: eyedot ::: images information ideation ::

:: EYE (anatomy), light-sensitive organ of vision in animals.
:: EYE (verb), to look at to look at something or somebody inquisitively.
:: EYE (noun), an ability to recognize and appreciate something; a point of view or way of thinking.

[::..archive..::]
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
September 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
[::..political..::]
:: media matters ::
:: watchblog ::
:: cost of war clock ::
:: doctors w/o borders ::
:: hungersite ::
:: second harvest ::
:: working assets ::
:: democracy now! ::
:: common cause ::
:: ACTIVISM LINKS ::
:: daily mojo ::
:: gary hart ::
:: this modern world ::
:: people tree ::

[::..comix..::]
:: get your war on ::
:: scary go round ::
:: get fuzzy ::
:: explodingdog ::
:: penny arcade ::
:: homestarrunner ::
:: dieselsweeties ::
:: orneryboy ::
:: perry bible fellowship ::
:: butternutsquash ::
:: this modern world ::

[::..music..::]
:: WFMU streaming radio ::
:: accuradio ::
:: 20minuteloop ::
:: bjork ::
:: onelovehiphop ::
:: erp ::

[::..random + cool..::]
:: boingboing ::
:: fark ::
:: mit ocw ::
:: abebooks ::
:: ursula k leguin ::
:: jon cornforth photos ::
:: sylvia ::
:: lucas krech blog ::
:: noodlebox ::
:: lot47films ::
:: nakd ::
:: lynn fox ::
:: nooflat ::
:: jeff bridges blog ::
:: novica ::
:: ugly dolls ::
:: gama-go ::
:: presstube ::


:: 10.07.2004 ::  



The ways of Washington

In September I posted ten Senate bills or resolutions introduced by Senator Kerry in 2003, none of which made it onto the Senate floor for a vote. Why? All ten were stalled in committee. The committees now have complete control over Congress, and since the majority rules the committees, well, there ya go. Congress did not always function this way, as recounted in this Boston Globe story:
The Accenture episode is emblematic of the way business is conducted in the 108th Congress, where a Republican leadership has sidelined legislation unwanted by the Bush administration, even when a majority of the House seemed ready to approve it, according to lawmakers, lobbyists, and an analysis of House activities. With one party controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress, and having little fear of retaliation by the opposing party, the House leadership is changing the way laws are made in America, favoring secrecy and speed over open debate and negotiation. Longstanding rules and practices are ignored. Committees more often meet in secret. Members are less able to make changes to legislation on the House floor. Bills come up for votes so quickly that elected officials frequently don't know what's in them. [Hm. Could this be what happened with the Patriot Act? - Deb] And there is less time to discuss proposed laws before they come up for a vote.

"There is no legislative process anymore," said Fred Wertheimer, the legendary open-government activist who has been monitoring Congress since 1963. "Bills are decided in advance of going to the floor."

[snip]

....longtime Congress-watchers say they have never seen the legislative process so closed to input from minority-party members, the public, and lobbyists whose agenda is unsympathetic to GOP leadership goals.

[emphasis added]
Thanks to Mom for the link!


Followup:

In fact, that is exactly how the Patriot Act got passed with so few Congressmen knowing what was in it:
The USA PATRIOT Act, too, underwent a Rules Committee remake in 2001. Urged on by the Bush administration, Republicans and Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee engaged in painstaking negotiations to write compromise language they believed gave law enforcement the tools it needed to fight terrorism while protecting the civil liberties of US citizens. The measure passed 36-0 in committee, drawing the support of such disparate political voices as Representatives Barney Frank, Democrat of Newton, and James Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin.

But after Attorney General John Ashcroft complained that the measure didn't give law enforcement enough new authority, the Rules Committee heavily rewrote the bill and presented to the House a new version greatly expanding the government's power to search people's homes without notice. The House spent just one day debating the matter before approving the historic expansion of search-and-seizure rules.

[emphasis added]
Why haven't we heard more about this?

:: Deb 4:29 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::


Comments:



Post a Comment


Links to this post:

Create a Link

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?