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Senate Approves the ______Act Of____ 571

Posted by samzenpus
from the need-to-know-basis dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apparently the Senate was in such a rush to get out of town that it forgot to name an 'important' bill that it passed, so the bill goes to the House as The ______Act of____. That's how it appears in the Congressional Record, though the Library of Congress has it listed as The XXXXXXAct ofXXXX. As for what's in the bill, well that appears to be as mysterious as the name. It was officially announced as a bill to tax bonuses to execs who received TARP money. But then someone simply deleted the entire bill and replaced it with text about aviation security. And then it was deleted again, and replaced with something having to do with education. However, because of these constant changes, many of the services that track the bill have the old details listed. On top of that, Nancy Pelosi called the House back for an emergency vote on this unnamed bill, and anyone trying to find out what it's about might be misled into thinking its about aviation security or something entirely unrelated to the actual bill. And people wonder why no one trusts Congress." It appears that the government's new martial law plans are being passed after all.
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Senate Approves the ______Act Of____

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  • o rly? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:32AM (#33204770) Homepage

    At this point, why don't they just write (or print) these things with dissappearing ink? It's not like they look at it again once it gets voted on.

    "Wait, we aren't supposed to do this...isn't this against the law since we passed ::insert random bill::"

    "What the hell are you talking about?"

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Shivetya (243324)

      Disappearing ink is used for Ethic's rules.I heard it also is used with campaign promises and that check in the mail.

      Congress has long been like this, they just haven't been so cavalier about it. When one party leads the Congress and the Presidency the American people will get the shaft. The real problem now is that instead of the press harping on every thing the Congress and Presidency did while under Republicans they have suddenly clammed up.

      So the people are left with one choice, the ballot box. Hopef

      • Re:o rly? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@gm a i l . c om> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:44AM (#33204942) Homepage Journal

        The real problem now is that instead of the press harping on every thing the Congress and Presidency did while under Republicans they have suddenly clammed up.

        Well thank God Fox News is finally off the air... wait, what?

        • by baffled (1034554) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:49PM (#33205872)
          Intelligent folk should be above it. Both parties are broken, neither party aligns with your beliefs. Government isn't a sports game - the only real winners or losers are the people. The people of the US are giving up their independence and freedom to numbing mountains of laws and bureaucracy. They are ignorant of government spending and its resultant inflation and debt. The almighty dollar is the foundation we all stand upon and if you don't recognize the need for concern, you need to start paying attention to what our own accountants are saying - your Congressmen are not.
      • The real problem now is that instead of the press harping on every thing the Congress and Presidency did while under Republicans they have suddenly clammed up.

        What? Not a day goes by that I don't see something in the mainstream media bitching about what Congress is or isn't doing.

        I think you may have selective sight, hearing, and/or reading skills.

      • Re:o rly? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ephemeriis (315124) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:00PM (#33205178)

        When one party leads the Congress and the Presidency the American people will get the shaft.

        Agreed.

        The real problem now is that instead of the press harping on every thing the Congress and Presidency did while under Republicans they have suddenly clammed up.

        I guess that depends on what "press" you're listening to.

        I was shocked and appalled at how much the Bush administration got away with. It didn't seem like anybody was holding them accountable. Sure, there was some noise about this or that... Primarily on the "liberal" channels like MSNBC... But nothing of any substance at all.

        These days the "liberal" channels don't seem all that concerned about what Obama is doing. The "conservative" channels like Fox News, however, are plenty noisy. And you still get the occasional complaint out of someone on MSNBC that Obama isn't being "liberal" enough. But again it's still just noise with no substance at all.

        Nobody is holding any of these folks accountable for their actions. It doesn't matter if there's a D or an R next to the name, they're all lying through their teeth and getting away with it.

        Not even the usual campaign promise white lies either... Straight-up, stupidly blatant stuff like saying "I support this" on Monday, and then claiming on Tuesday that you never said you supported anything, even while the tape rolls on-screen. And nobody cares!

        • Re:o rly? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by a_nonamiss (743253) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:28PM (#33205552)

          And nobody cares!

          Honestly, the best reporting on this type of stupidity is "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." It's a shame that a news program whose explicitly stated goal is humor is the only outlet reporting this stuff.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by lorenlal (164133)

            I'd say it's a problem when your satirical news has more substance and information than the real news... But it's so damn funny.

          • Re:o rly? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by h4rm0ny (722443) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @01:05PM (#33206070) Journal

            Humour is one of the safest ways to report the truth.

            The comedians are the last ones to go before protest and news goes entirely underground.

            Serious people aren't too hard to shut down. Those that appear unserious, are much harder. When they actually shut down the satire, your society is a few breaths away from actual insurrection.
        • Re:o rly? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by CannonballHead (842625) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @01:08PM (#33206092)

          And nobody cares!

          And there is the real problem.

          It's hard to really blame the politician when the people just plain don't care or aren't interested enough to really find out what someone really stands for (if anything).

          Not that I'll defend said politician, of course. Wrong behavior is wrong :)

      • by brwski (622056)
        Oh, that Ethic and his crazy rules! I'm SO sick of him...
      • Re:o rly? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by locallyunscene (1000523) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:35PM (#33205640)
        I've seen a lot of this "one party control" talking point recently, but the problem is not "One Party Control" it's "Two Party Control". Voting for a Republican "in order to bring some balance" is sidestepping the problem unless you really care about banning gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research. If you care more about defense, terrorism and its laws, Iraq, Afghanistan, rampant Federal spending, Federal regulation and de-regulation, increased federal power for immigration control, the war on drugs, and the slow erosion of Citizen and Non-Citizens' rights in general, then the two parties, for all intents and purposes, are identical. They'll pull the same stunts and make the same political hay in the media no matter who's in office, who's the majority leader, or who's the minority leader because it's still the same group of people in power, the same party leaders pulling the strings.

        If you want a change by all means vote out your incumbent congress-critter. But please acknowledge you're not going to get a change with someone who has a D or and R next to his or her name. Try something different with an L or a G or even an I.
    • Re:o rly? (Score:5, Funny)

      by nospam007 (722110) * on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:59AM (#33205148)

      "It's not like they look at it again once it gets voted on."

      Again?
      You are not seriously implying that you think they read it even once?

    • "Wait, we aren't supposed to do this...isn't this against the law since we passed ::insert random bill::"

      No no no- you don't understand how government works. Since Congress is the one writing laws, it can't actually break them (as a group through passing legislation, that is. Individually, they can and do break all sorts of laws; ethics violations are quite separate).

      Congress is only limited by the constitution, though it requires the judicial to rein in an overstepping legislature. When congress writes a law that conflicts with another it's still up to a judge to determine where and how to resolve them if

    • That really depends on if the purpose of the law is to say what they can do (healthcare) or what they can't do (constitution). One gets used, the other ignored. Guess which.
    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Although originally, I would think that it's laziness, if it's this easy for them to have a template for a bill, why don't they do something to make it easily trackable when people are making changes (version tracking)?

    • Re:o rly? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jpmorgan (517966) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:39PM (#33205696) Homepage

      Congress cannot constrain its own future actions (at least, not without a constitutional amendment). That's a general principle of all legislative bodies. Otherwise Republicans would pass laws making universal health care illegal, and Democrats would pass laws making unions untouchable.

      So no, strictly speaking congress doesn't have to read their own laws. They can pass as many conflicting laws as they want. It's the executive and judicial branches that are responsible for reading and interpreting.

  • Bureaucracy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:35AM (#33204814) Journal

    When the system for legislation gets so confusing that not even the people passing the bills can keep it straight, I think it shows that there is some fundamental flaw in the system, or it didn't scale well or something.

    Do we have to go back to Schoolhouse Rock?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by morari (1080535)

      I'm just a bill.
      Yes, I'm only a bill.
      And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill.

    • Re:Bureaucracy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by causality (777677) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:14PM (#33205360)

      When the system for legislation gets so confusing that not even the people passing the bills can keep it straight, I think it shows that there is some fundamental flaw in the system, or it didn't scale well or something.

      Do we have to go back to Schoolhouse Rock?

      There's an easy fix for this. Make the following change to the Constitution:

      Each year, before any new law can be created or any existing law modified, the Speaker of the House must first read aloud every last federal law on the books while all other members of Congress listen. If that takes more than one year (and the federal tax code alone would easily do so) then Congress is allowed only to repeal existing laws the following year. The next year after that, the reading aloud begins again and only if completed within one year can a new law be passed or an old law modified.

      • Re:Bureaucracy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by natehoy (1608657) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:23PM (#33205476) Journal

        What we need is a body of the Legislature whose sole job is to eliminate obsolete, obscure, and unclear laws.

        Since their job would be the opposite of that of Congress, I suggest a name that is equally opposite.

        "Pro" is the opposite of "Con".

        Therefore, I suggest we call the new body "Progress".

    • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorpNO@SPAMGmail.com> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:55PM (#33207422) Homepage Journal

      When the system for legislation gets so confusing that not even the people passing the bills can keep it straight, I think it shows that there is some fundamental flaw in the system, or it didn't scale well or something.

      Do we have to go back to Schoolhouse Rock?

      I've been looking at the constitutions of other countries, past and present, and ironically, I think the best solution to this was actually included in the Confederate constitution during the Civil War. They banned the practice of sneaking in pet projects on the back of a bigger ones:

      "Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title."

      Keeping legislation to one topic both simplifies the process and eliminates logrolling, at least outright. If we were to vote on a new round of amendments to the Constitution, this would be near the top of my list. I'm so tired of reading about a slew of pet projects on the back of a bill completely unrelated to the subject... things like grants for local agencies tucked into a defense bill.

  • No One Trusts Them (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:36AM (#33204824) Homepage Journal
    But they keep voting for them.
    • No one votes FOR a candidate, everyone votes AGAINST the "other guy". That's the only way to explain Pelosi, Obama, Bush, Hatch, Stevens...

    • by mrsurb (1484303)
      Don't blame me - I voted for Kodos.
    • by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:06PM (#33205236) Homepage Journal

      It works very much like public schools. People will bemoan the fact that schools are not doing well, except the school their child attends.

      The same logic is used when voting for the incumbent. Congress is awful, but not my Congressman.

      We won't get these guys out until our political process is open to everyone fairly. As it stands now it is near impossible to get a non Democratic or non Republican elected. They can redistrict that possibility out. If they cannot do that way they will make your source of campaign funding illegal, or you method of distributing your message.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jpmorgan (517966)

        Why do you assume adding a third party will improve things? Political systems get more retarded as the population increases, not as the number of parties decreases. In all honesty, when you consider the primary election system, you yanks have a lot more variation in opinion at election time than we do up in Canada. And after election, your Congress is like a herd of cats, everyone has their own opinion and turf to defend. Honestly, you have too much political choice and opinion, as far as I can tell. With s

  • Ugh! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PsychoElf (571371)
    Bah! I can't wait for the zombie hordes to attack so we don't have to worry about stuff like this anymore...BRAAAINZZZZZ!!!!!
  • Any objections? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jwthompson2 (749521)

    At this stage are there any objections to simply unseating every single encumbent? Certainly a large influx of "freshmen" to the halls of congress couldn't make matters any worse.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I'm all in favor of a "Recall them All" option every election. Which if it wins, all INCOMBENTS are summarily fired and forbidden from holding any elected office (everywhere) or position in any firm that Lobbies Congress.

      It is high time the elites in DC learn that we're sick to death of the crap they feed us, but refuse to eat themselves. If it is so good for me and mine, why the hell are you exempted? HUH?

      By the way, when was the last time you read the entire Declaration of Independence? THE WHOLE THING? I

      • Re:Any objections? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Monchanger (637670) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:09PM (#33205274) Journal

        Sounds like you need a refresher yourself. It wasn't about the question of federalism- that came later on. The Declaration was about a lack of self determination.

        The problem with all these stupid calls to read the Declaration and Constitution is teabaggers seem to equate unelected tyranny with LOSING THE ELECTION BECAUSE THEY WERE THE FUCKING MINORITY.

    • Re:Any objections? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@gma ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:48AM (#33205022) Homepage
      At this stage are there any objections to simply unseating every single encumbent?

      I don't know how every single incumbent is voting. I'm sure there are principled, effective congresspeople; voting all of them out would seem overly drastic.

      Certainly a large influx of "freshmen" to the halls of congress couldn't make matters any worse.

      Had something similar to that happen with the Republican revolution in the 90's. I seem to remember it making matter much worse.
      • I don't know how every single incumbent is voting. I'm sure there are principled, effective congresspeople; voting all of them out would seem overly drastic.

        Given the current Congress I'd be willing to accept the collateral damage of losing a few principled congress critters if it succeeds in ousting the majority of corrupt useless ones we seem to be saddled with.

      • Sorry, What?? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Alaren (682568) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:18PM (#33205424)

        Which part of the unprecedented peace and prosperity of the 1990s would you qualify as "making matters much worse?"

        I was a tween when the country elected Bill Clinton. Many adults in my super-conservative religious community basically told me that this was heralding the apocalypse. Clinton would destroy the world with his wicked ways.

        Looking back, having a moderately liberal president spending most of his time with an inexperienced but highly principled opposition in Congress is quite possibly the best possible situation we could have hoped for. In fact the same is largely true of the Reagan years during which he mostly struggled against a democratic congress.

        Probably the worst thing to come out of the Gingrich era was the amount of trust people put in Bush II. Look back at his platform in the days pre-9/11. Small government, freedom, etc. But conservatives in "military mode" are a whole different issue.

        The last 18 months or so have been just as terrifying as when Bush II had control of Congress. In spite of their relative inability to pass the kind of stuff the American people were promised, the Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House have radically changed the landscape, and not for anyone's long-term benefit. I don't know that Republicans will manage to control either house after midterms, but I hope so. And in the unlikely event that Obama loses his inevitable bid for re-election, I hope we continue to have some control divisions between the two parties.

        Yes, in large measure both parties will work together to screw you in favor of their own self-interest. They're all crooks, thieves, etc. etc. but in my lifetime, at least, things seem to work better when the political parties are too busy fighting each other to turn their sights on the rest of us.

        • Re:Sorry, What?? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cgenman (325138) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:41PM (#33205724) Homepage

          the Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House have radically changed the landscape, and not for anyone's long-term benefit.

          If you accept that the massive influx of government spending is the proper response to a dead economy (I do), and that it is temporary (god I hope so), what specifically are you referring to? The healthcare bill got watered down to the point where all it did was set up a competitive price exchange for healthcare... sort of the Amazon.com of getting sick. They changed student loans to be a bit more fair, and expanded Pell grants for needy students. They passed an act where if your landlord gets foreclosed upon but you have a lease, your lease survives. And if you don't have a lease, you have 3 months to find a new place. They passed a few credit-card acts counteracting some of the more egregious offences, and giving business owners some rights. They passed a toothless wall-street reform act.

          What bills, specifically, are you referring to? I'm not asking facetiously. I know we tend to filter news through our own perceptions, and I wonder what I missed.

          And saying this is as bad as Bush II is going too far. We're not stuck in any new intractable wars, we haven't lost all of our allies, and we haven't had any new worldwide economic collapses.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jimrthy (893116)

            I can't speak for the original poster. But I disagree with pretty much everything you said so strongly that I couldn't resist putting in my $0.02.

            If you accept that the massive influx of government spending is the proper response to a dead economy (I do),

            I don't. Massive government spending turned a minor little recession into the Great Depression. It's never helped, and it never will. Central planning the Keynesians love so much has failed time and again.

            If something doesn't work, the answer is not to do more of the same thing. Get the government out of the way and let the free market work. (And, no, we have

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by CAIMLAS (41445)

          The "peace and prosperity" of the 1990s was not the result of anything Clinton did. In fact, the assertions are actually false.

          It wasn't unprecedentedly peaceful. During Clinton's term (not even the full 1990s), there were more military actions than there were from 2000-2010. If you're going by number of sanctioned actions, the 1930s were the most peaceful (only three - related - actions, in China).

          From the start of Clinton's presidency in 1993 - right off the fucking bat - he starts throwing stones at the

    • At this point, I am not worried about incumbents as much as I am the lack of constitutionally empowered oversight of the legislative branch by the people.

      There is nothing in the constitution about us (the people) changing the way senators are selected, or changing the rules by which the senate operates, which means that to do so would require a constitutional amendment. This, of course, requires a *two-thirds* majority vote by the Senate, and to change that requirement, of course, requires a constitutional

    • by PhreakOfTime (588141) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:17PM (#33205418) Homepage

      Well, since all you are doing is complaining, yes I object.

      You offer no detailed plan, you aren't even running yourself for any of these offices.

      There ARE elected representatives that actually do know what they are doing, and would be a shining example of that rare specimen of 'statesman'. But since you are too ignorant to know about them, as they don't represent your backwoods bunker, might as well throw them out too?

      Get a grip on reality, more specifically, that your personal experiences don't transfer to every other citizen of this country. Worry about your OWN elected officials, and stop overlaying your miserable experiences with others just because they are similar in that they are 'elected officials'.

  • by StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:36AM (#33204836)

    More than likely an intern was getting the paperwork in, not trained, under paid, wanting to get out the to bar to meet the gang. Ah, government by the staff.

  • One step progress
    Two steps congress

  • Is it possible (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ruiner13 (527499) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:36AM (#33204842) Homepage
    That this isn't one bill with a conspiracy theory behind it, but perhaps that that code is used more like a placeholder and constantly overwritten when a new unnamed bill comes along?
  • Well (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:38AM (#33204860)

    If you actually read the bill you'll realize that it contains $100 billion for spending on "education", clauses to let States governments go suck at the TARP nipple (shocking huh? Whatever happened to green jobs, etc that were promised?), new taxes for foreigners doing business in the US, foreign companies doing business in the US, and US citizens previously entitled to tax credits from living abroad, and well over $1 trillion worth of rescinded spending (presumably to get money to give to the State governments). There are other details, obviously.

    • Re:Well (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dachshund (300733) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:19PM (#33205438)

      new taxes for foreigners doing business in the US, foreign companies doing business in the US, and US citizens previously entitled to tax credits from living abroad, and well over $1 trillion worth of rescinded spending (presumably to get money to give to the State governments). There are other details, obviously.

      And you should be thrilled about this. The House is now operating under PAYGO rules, which means that any new spending has to be offset by budget cuts or tax increases elsewhere.

      According to the CBO, if we manage to stick with PAYGO discipline, our debt will stabilize (i.e., the country will not fucking die). During the 2001-2008 we did not have PAYGO in force. As a result, we did horrendous, possibly permanent damage to the nation's finances.

      Let's pray that we don't go back to those days.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Machtyn (759119)
        During 2009-2010, PAYGO was a nice thought, but we'll just make this one exception.. er, two exceptions... er, nevermind, we'll just exempt PAYGO on all spending bills we really REALLY want to shovel down the public throat.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by FlopEJoe (784551)

        And you should be thrilled about this. The House is now operating under PAYGO rules, which means that any new spending has to be offset by budget cuts or tax increases elsewhere.

        I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said. William F. Buckley, Jr

  • Blame the thousands of lobbyists in Washington. They have many of the politicians in their pockets, both Republicans and Democrats. The lobbyists are their to protect the corporate exec's interests.
  • by Velox_SwiftFox (57902) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:41AM (#33204916)

    It could save a lot of time if they would just pass the executive branch a few blank legislations to be filled in later.

    There isn't anything in the constitution prohibiting it, is there? Of course, you could not apply it ex post facto to dates before the blanks were filled in and so on.

    • by antibryce (124264) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:06PM (#33205238)

      you jest, but that's essentially what congress has been doing for a long time. The health care bill essentially said "all these things will happen by this date" without detailing how they would happen. All of the details were handed over to HHS to work out on their own. Basically it was so vague (deliberately so) that the real effects won't be known until after HHS finishes figuring out how to implement it.

    • by raddan (519638) * on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:34PM (#33205630)
      Yes, it's called the "non-delegation doctrine [wikipedia.org]", which follows from Article One of the US Constitution. The Supreme Court first visited the topic in Wayman v. Southard in 1825, so it is a well-established legal principle. Congress may delegate some small authority, but it has to be severely limited in scope, i.e., simple rulemaking. E.g., the EPA is allowed to determine what constitutes a "pollutant". This was the subject of a recent Court decision. The Chief Executive is also given a little leeway when it comes to national security, see Executive Orders [wikipedia.org].
  • by crow (16139) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:43AM (#33204932) Homepage Journal

    If it is a bill to tax executive bonuses from TARP-receiving companies, then the Constitution says that it must originate in the House, not the Senate, but I suppose that detail is ignored.

  • My plan to have Congress name me king and eternal diety has come to fruition and you're ruining it!

  • If Schoolhouse Rock had been written and produced today, no doubt that popular song would have been VERY different from the one we know today.
  • Get a grip (Score:3, Informative)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:44AM (#33204960) Homepage

    Seriously, guys. A clerk somewhere screwed up, and probably needs to be fired. However, it's a pretty far cry from martial law.

  • OMG (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@gma ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:45AM (#33204964) Homepage
    The world is ending, someone made a clerical error!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jd (1658)

      It is not an error. Repeat, it is not an error. This bill is indeed about censoring the obscene language in XXXX lager commercials.

  • by mr_da3m0n (887821) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:45AM (#33204968) Homepage
    But for a split second there I wax expecting the Python programming language to be mentioned somewhere in there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by forkazoo (138186)

      But for a split second there I wax expecting the Python programming language to be mentioned somewhere in there.

      Wax expectations always seem to melt away once you become more familiar with the subject.

  • Please, someone tell me this is a sick ill-timed April Fool's joke. You Have Got To Be Fucking Kidding Me.

  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:51AM (#33205056)

    All bills should be written on a wiki-like system that is publicly viewable, along with all previous versions of the bill and which member of Congress made which changes.

    • How dare you suggest something so sensible! Don't you know this government prides itself on inefficiency!? Tracking who made the edits... are you MAD??? Accountability makes for all sorts of annoying problems, we don't want those people actually knowing what we suggest! Now get out of my office!
  • A new way! (Score:5, Funny)

    by AntEater (16627) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:56AM (#33205112) Homepage

    I think this could set a new precedent of how things are done in Congress. A far more efficient way. Our reps and senators could get together to vote for an unnamed and unspecified bill. Various congressmen could stand up and speak to the issues that are most important to their constituency and party. Republicans can argue about how the bill is a hand-out sponsored by the democrats and that we all just need to have some personal responsibility. The democrats could argue about how this is required to protect the children/poor/minorities. Once all the grand standing is completed and the various pork riders attached, it will be voted on. Once approved it can then be forwarded to the various lobbyists to fill in the blanks. It would be something like a blank check but a more democratic version. The details never mattered anyways.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cosm (1072588)

      I think this could set a new precedent of how things are done in Congress. A far more efficient way. Our reps and senators could get together to vote for an unnamed and unspecified bill. Various congressmen could stand up and speak to the issues that are most important to their constituency and party. Republicans can argue about how the bill is a hand-out sponsored by the democrats and that we all just need to have some personal responsibility. The democrats could argue about how this is required to protect the children/poor/minorities. Once all the grand standing is completed and the various pork riders attached, it will be voted on. Once approved it can then be forwarded to the various lobbyists to fill in the blanks. It would be something like a blank check but a more democratic version. The details never mattered anyways.

      If only that was different than how they do things now. The depressing thing is that while I laughed through your post, I realized that your hypothetical anecdote is exactly the political status quo. Funny thing how we use laughter to cope with tragedy...

  • Doesn't it have something to do with martial law and an outbreak of flesh-eating classified something or other?

    Seriously, this reads like an Onion story.

  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:04PM (#33205218)
    "I was just wondering what would happen!", cried the page as the men in black suits and mirrored sunglasses bundled him into the back of the black SUV.

    .
  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @01:02PM (#33206044)

    You'd think there might be a political agenda.

    Luckily this is old news and information is already out there.

    "Apparently the Senate was in such a rush to get out of town that it forgot to name an 'important' bill that it passed, so the bill goes to the House as The ______Act of____. That's how it appears in the Congressional Record, though the Library of Congress has it listed as The XXXXXXAct ofXXXX.

    Yes there appeared to be a last minute decision to replace the text of HR. 1586 with the contents of what will eventually become known as the "State Bailout Bill". Apparently there was a need to replace the contents of the "FAA Modernization Bill" with this emergency spending bill. Possibly the senators figured out that the fastest way to get this to the President's desk was to amend the last house passed bill to replace its contents, and then have the house reconvene to approve the change. No big conspiracy here, but some comical fodder about forgetting to put the final name of the bill into the text.

    As for what's in the bill, well that appears to be as mysterious as the name. It was officially announced as a bill to tax bonuses to execs who received TARP money. But then someone simply deleted the entire bill and replaced it with text about aviation security.

    No one did such thing, That's amendment S.AMDT.3486 to HR. 1586 Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 3/11/2010)

    And then it was deleted again, and replaced with something having to do with education.

    See my explanation above, and this was not "deleted again". By the way the amendment is S.AMDT.4575 to HR. 1586 Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (submitted 8/2/2010) (proposed 8/2/2010)

    However, because of these constant changes, many of the services that track the bill have the old details listed. On top of that, Nancy Pelosi called the House back for an emergency vote on this unnamed bill, and anyone trying to find out what it's about might be misled into thinking its about aviation security or something entirely unrelated to the actual bill. And people wonder why no one trusts Congress."

    With the summary so full of political hyperbole, I can see why the submitter remained anonymous. The fact that the article actually provides the PDF of the congressional record proves that the submitter is completely wrong with his assertions.

    This supposed conspiracy doesn't rise to the level of the shenanigans that the Republicans performed when they passed the "Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999" that Clinton signed into law. It was that bill ultimately got us in the sad shape we are in now...

  • by Ex-MislTech (557759) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @01:09PM (#33206114)

    “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”

    ~ George Orwell

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:14PM (#33206904)

    From Hermes: "Sweet something of someplace!"

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev

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