December 1, 2010
We used to say there were two major parties in the United States: The Corrupt Party and the Stupid Party; and most of us reading this blog are members of the latter.
Well, we may have to change the former to the Corrupt and Stupid Party:
A food safety bill that has burned up precious days of the Senate’s lame-duck session appears headed back to the chamber because Democrats violated a constitutional provision requiring that tax provisions originate in the House.
By pre-empting the House’s tax-writing authority, Senate Democrats appear to have touched off a power struggle with members of their own party in the House. The Senate passed the bill Tuesday, sending it to the House, but House Democrats are expected to use a procedure known as “blue slipping” to block the bill, according to House and Senate GOP aides.
The debacle could prove to be a major embarrassment for Senate Democrats, who sought Tuesday to make the relatively unknown bill a major political issue by sending out numerous news releases trumpeting its passage.
As they say, "heh."
Note that this guff about tax bills needing to originate in the House, not the Senate, is not just a congressional regulation or even a law; it come straight from the United States Constitution, Article I, section 7:
Although there was a previous version of this bill that did originate in the House in 2009, it seems that Senate Democrats added "a set of fees that are classified as revenue raisers;" that triggers the constitutional concerns (and Democrat embarassment).
The two possible responses are:
- Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 95%) can try to ram it through the Senate again after (if) the House wastes time passing it.
- Or Reid can just drop the issue -- and look even more of an ass, after that PR blitz -- to focus on the DREAM Act, granting amnesty and full voting rights to any illegal immigrant willing to swear allegiance to the Corrupt and Stupid Party.
Of course, Reid must be familiar with this sort of self-humiliation; he is a repeat offender:
This is not the first time that Reid has run afoul of the Constitution’s tax origination provisions. His efforts to pass a tourism promotion bill that was key to his re-election hopes was temporarily stymied earlier this year because the Senate passed a version with revenue raisers similar to those in the food safety bill.
Scott Johnson of Power Line posted today about the Senate GOP's letter to Reid, in which they promised to filibuster all bills until and unless Congress (a) passes a budget, and (b) rejects the built-in tax increase that the Democrats forced into George W. Bush's tax cut bill of 2001. Scott concluded his post thus:
The letter is a good idea, but couldn't they have signed off on it before the Senate passed the stupid and misguided Nanny state food bill on Monday?
Looks like Christmas came early to Mr. Johnson this year!
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 1, 2010, at the time of 1:14 PM
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