Is This Any Way To Run A Democracy?
As they begin slowing the Senate down to a virtual halt to protest the secret GOP healthcare bill, are Democrats finally learning what it means to "resist"?
With healthcare for millions hanging in the balance, senate Republicans are STILL refusing to hold hearings on their secret bill to repeal Obamacare.
Imagine a legislative body where laws are written in secret with no public hearings and no input from the opposition.
No - I'm not describing some fictional totalitarian dystopia.
I'm describing the US Senate right now in 2017 under the control of Mitch McConnell and his Republican cronies.
After all that talk about "resistance", Democrats are finally putting their money where their mouth is.
Last night they started using a parliamentary tactic known as "withholding consent" to bring all Senate business to a screeching halt:
"Starting this evening Democrats will begin objecting to all unanimous consent requests in the Senate, save for honorary resolutions. We will seek -- in as many ways as we can, as many times as we can -- to refer the House-passed healthcare bill to committee, where it can be vetted, debated, and amended in the open for the American people to see, as is their right."
The goal is to embarrass Senate Republicans and also force them into explaining to the American people why they're trying to repeal Obamacare without so much as one public hearing.
The way Republicans are trying to repeal Obamacare in secret right now is an affront to democracy. It's also completely hypocritical. Here was what Mitch McConnell said back in 2010 about the infinitely more transparent way Democrats passed Obamacare after 20 public hearings over nearly a year-long period:
"Democrats on Capitol Hill are working behind the scenes on a plan aimed at jamming this massive health spending bill through Congress against the clear wishes of an unsuspecting public. What they have in mind is a last-ditch legislative sleight-of-hand called reconciliation that would enable them to impose government-run health care for all on the American people, whether Americans want it or not."
If Republicans were serious about what they said about Obamacare - how is it what they're doing right now remotely acceptable?