Do Something! – Senate Rules Pummel Good Policy

The one rule of good republican government is the rule of law.

Majority Rule: a political principle providing that a majority usually constituted by fifty percent plus one of an organized group will have the power to make decisions binding upon the whole. (Merriam-Webster)

A Democrat majority passed the Affordable Care Act – aka ObamaCare – the single greatest tax increase in the history of our country by majority vote. Not even one Republican senator voted for the bill. The Democrats are the sole ‘owners’ of ObamaCare. [See GovTrack vote on H.R. 3590]

Republicans are now the Senate majority, but they submit to arcane rules mostly crafted by Democrats, rules that prevent a full repeal of ObamaCare.

I quote from the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, ObamaCare Tax Relief, Nov. 12, 2017.

The trick is Senate procedure. The GOP is invoking a budget process that allows the party to pass the bill with 51 votes. But Republicans have to comply with the Senate’s Byrd Rule, which says the legislation can’t add to the deficit beyond the 10-year budget window starting in 2028. The Senate draft doesn’t meet this standard, so some parts of the bill may have to expire after a decade unless Republicans can fill the hole. It’s a shame this process pummels good policy.

Back in the day when I was a young supervisor over A6A fire-control technicians, we had to keep most of 38 A6A Intruders flying along with three Gulfstream trainer aircraft. This was during the Vietnam War. Due to the demoralizing effect of the anti-war movement, the men under my command were generally not motivated to do their best. Finding a man idle, I would tell him, “Do something, even if it’s wrong.” You may think my idea of leadership unworkable, but you would be wrong. My Navy record of achievement speaks for itself.

I now call on career fund-raiser John Cornyn and the rest of our Senate Republican majority to do something, even if it’s wrong.

The reason my over simplistic method works is this: people sitting on their butts never do anything, nothing right, nothing wrong. If you can get them off their butts, and push them to do something, most of the time they will choose to do the right things.

House Republicans have fulfilled their campaign promises to the hilt. It is the Senate Republicans that have failed – perhaps refused a better verb – to fulfil campaign promises.

John White

Rockwall, Texas

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