Monday, March 07, 2005

BushGreenwatch writes about how GW and his thugs in the Senate are preparing to pass the very unpopular ANWR drilling legislation by way of sneaky, underhanded means. (Again, whatever it takes to achieve an end). They intend to attach it to a budget bill and therefore shield it from any debate or compromise.

Whether you agree or not that drilling in ANWR is of immediate national interest (and apparently most Americans do not by a 53% to 35% margin), that's NOT the point here. What is the point is these gutless legislators should let ANWR sink or swim on its own merit, AND allow for the votes to be recorded specifically on this issue alone so constituents can easily look it up. Ah, but that's exactly what they don't want: accountability.

Better to scurry and hide like roaches when the light is turned on....

Another example of spineless governing, Michael Crowley writes in TNR:
[Representative Roy Blunt's] provision—which had nothing to do with the bill’s creation of the Homeland Security Department—had never been debated in the House, either on the floor or in committee. Yet he tried to add this rider mere hours before his colleagues voted on the intricate 475-page bill, virtually guaranteeing they would never see it. Blunt is correct that illegal cigarette sales are a source of income for terrorists. But it is also the case that such sales, most of which are surely not terrorism-related, eat into the profits of tobacco companies like Phillip Morris, which employs both his son and then girlfriend (and now wife) as lobbyists. If this provision was so plainly virtuous, why didn’t Blunt introduce it weeks earlier for a transparent debate? That way people could have satisfied themselves that Blunt was really acting in the national interest and not carrying water for an industry that has supported him over the years—or doing a favor for his loved ones. It seems elementary that members of Congress should debate—or, at the very least, have enough time to read—legislation before voting on it, and yet Blunt offers no apologies for his attempt at covert lawmaking.
Our representative government at work....

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