Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Follow this?

Normal rules in the Senate prohibit the conference report (the bill that comes back from the conference between House and Senate after each passes its separate version of the bill) from including anything not in either the House or Senate version of the bill. That's because the conference is supposed to be the place where House and Senate work out the differences between what each body voted on, not the place to stick in whatever the few legislators included in the conference can dream up. Except, apparently, where the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is at stake.

Here's a short timeline of what's happened:

1. Ted Stevens decided to stick Refuge drilling into the defense appropriations conference report. This is of course ridiculous, because it has nothing to do with defense appropriations.

2. House leaders forced a vote on bills containing the drilling provision under what they've called "martial law," suspending the normal requirement that a day pass between the introduction of a bill and its passage. Because why read the stack of shit that came out of the back room before you vote on it, right?

3. The Senate will suspend the normal rule mentioned above, allowing the drilling provision to pass with a bare majority rather than the 60 needed to end a filibuster.

In other words, Republican leadership in both houses is breaking a whole stack of rules (not least of which is the normal Senate rule requiring a 2/3 majority for rule changes) to get drilling passed in the Arctic Refuge. I'm fairly sure Democratic Senators will be too pussy to filibuster the defense appropriations conference report, since that will hold up all appropriations for the military and god forbid they be portrayed as anti-military.

At what point during your rape should you stop fighting and hope it will all be over soon?

Frustrated Democrats predicted they could round up the votes to stall the Pentagon measure even if it put them in the awkward position of blocking money for American military operations. They called on Republicans to drop the language allowing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

"I don't have any hesitation to be part of a filibuster," said Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, who is a military hawk and a longtime foe of the Arctic drilling plan. "This is a tough fight," he added. "But it is a fight worth waging."

If The Biggest Pussy in the Whole Wide World™ is saying they won't puss out, maybe they won't, in fact, puss out.

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  • At 6:45 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Wait, so what are the consequences of breaking these rules? Surely there are punishments in place. Aside from "the nuclear option", what could Dems do?

  • At 6:56 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    There are no consequences, unless the Dems decide to shut down the chamber.

  • At 7:51 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Then what is the point of having rules and procedures, if anyone with a majority can ignore those rules?

  • At 7:55 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    The congressional leadership's position seems to be that there isn't really one.

  • At 8:27 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Ah, so you underestimated good old Joe.

    I still don't understand why they have rules if there's no enforcement. In fact, there must be enforcement. I just don't know what it is.

  • At 8:48 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Why must there be enforcement? Where would it come from? Who would do the enforcing? There is no independent body with the authority to enforce these rules.

    No, the reason they have rules and procedures is so that there isn't a complete honking freakshow screaming mess every time somebody wants to get a bill passed. So the only recourse for the Dems is to make the chamber into a screaming mess.


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