(NN&V staff) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) as CAGW’s March Porker of the Month.
The Chairwoman deserves this recognition for conjuring up an eponymous House “rule” that could allow House Democrats to ram through the $2.3 trillion healthcare reform bill without directly voting on it. To quote former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, “Last year, the House was passing bills without reading them. This year, they’re passing bills without voting on them.” This mind-boggling disintegration of the legislative process into procedural travesty was enabled by Chairwoman Slaughter.
The invocation of the “Slaughter Rule” is the latest step in the tortured journey of the bloated, expensive healthcare bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided to use the budget reconciliation process to get the highly unpopular bill to President Obama’s desk, since she was faced with objections within her own party to certain provisions in the Senate version of the bill, including the abortion language, the imposition of a tax on high-value health insurance plans, and giveaways inserted by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to buy the votes of select senators.
In an effort to absolve vulnerable House Democrats of having to take an unpopular vote on the Senate version of the bill without an ironclad guarantee that the Senate would later enact corrections to the most toxic provisions, Chairwoman Slaughter jury-rigged a proposed “self-enacting” rule that would allow the House to vote to “deem” the Senate bill as passed without forcing members to cast individual votes up or down. The maneuver has already provoked questions of constitutionality, let alone fairness and transparency.
“The idea of passing a bill of this magnitude along party lines using the budget reconciliation process was outrageous enough,” said Tom Schatz. “Now, House Democrats seem intent on shredding every last vestige of Congress’s credibility by scamming their way to passage of this atrocious bill. Speaker Pelosi and Chairwoman Slaughter are hell-bent upon imposing their will not only on Republican opposition and the majority of the American people, but also on members of their own party who will not tow the line.”
“The concoction of the ludicrous ‘Slaughter Rule’ is the latest and most blatant manipulation and twisting of the legislative process to accommodate the self-serving desires of those who cannot succeed under the normal legislative rules. This trend has driven the economy over a cliff and produced a $12.4 trillion national debt. If the outcome of this farcical process was not so momentous and one-sixth of the economy was not at stake, the entire episode would be laughable,” concluded Schatz.
For her mindless slaughter of the legislative process and leading an assault on the credibility of Congress, which is poised to ride roughshod over the interests of American taxpayers, House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter is CAGW’s March Porker of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.