Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Running of a Country

I heard this originally at Michelle Malkin, where she was liveblogging yesterday's climate change bill, technically known as HR 2454 or the American Clean Energy and Security Act and colloquially known as the Waxman-Markey Bill:

At approx. 2:35pm Eastern, GOP Rep. Joe Barton announced that there is now a placeholder in the bill to be determined later. Barton notes that this is unprecedented. He can’t recall any final passage of a bill that has a placeholder in it. What the hell is going on? This is deliberation? This is transparency?

So I spent today trying to figure out what this "placeholder" was. From a quick perusal of the Google results of "climate bill placeholder", it appears that several placeholders had been in place earlier in the bill:

  • the creation of a NOAA-centered service called the National Climate Service
  • details on "allowance allocation", which I haven't found defined
  • items put in by Barney Frank that are considered placeholders
So parts of the blogosphere are talking about "placeholders" without clearly defining what the heck they mean by it. That's bothersome to me, as I would like more information on this.

But it is bothersome--regardless of what the supposed placeholder is--that the House would pass a bill that is, in essence, incomplete. If the bill is passed by the Senate, it will no doubt need to go to conference to rectify the differences between the Senate and House bills. Perhaps that is where said "placeholders" would be clarified. But somehow I severely doubt that.

Given the fact that representatives have had to deal with 300-page amendments coming one day before the final vote was cast, it is clear that our elected officials are not the one ruling our country. It is the billwriters, who are often the special interest groups.

It is a sad day in the United States.