Here it is, a new year. And just what does that mean for the “historic” health care bill that is about to be foisted upon us? That the two houses, the Senate and the House, are supposed to get together to work out their differences before presenting a unified bill to President Obama for his signature.
Well, there is one organization that has a request for Congress, and that would be C-Span. Surely you remember the numerous times Obama promised to debate healthcare in the open, so constituents could see what their elected officials were doing, and that it would be aired on C-Span, rather than the bill being crafted in secret, behind closed doors? Well, naturally, we should have known (and many of us suspected), that scenario, the secret meetings one, was EXACTLY what the Democrats have done. C-Span is over it, and recently sent this letter to the Powers-That-Be:
December 30, 2009
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi The Honorable Harry Reid
Speaker Majority Leader
United States House or Representatives United States Senate
The Honorable John Boehner The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives United States Senate
Dear Speaker Pelosi:
As your respective chambers work to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate health care bills, C-SPAN requests that you open all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings, to electronic media coverage.
The C-SPAN networks will commit the necessary resources to covering all of these sessions LIVE and in their entirety. We will also, as we willingly do each day, provide C-SPAN’s multi-camera coverage to any interested member of the Capitol Hill broadcast pool.
Since the initial introduction of the America’s Affordable Health Care Act of 2009 in the House and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the Senate
C-SPAN has televised literally hundreds of hours of committee hearings, mark ups and floor debate on these bills for the public to see. And importantly, we have archived all of this video for future generations to study in the C-SPAN Video Archives.
President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation’s editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation’s health care system. Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.
We hope you will give serious consideration to this request. We are most willing to employ the latest digital technology to make the cameras, lights and microphones as unobtrusive as possible.
Please contact me if I can answer any questions.
I guess Mr. Lamb couldn’t put “Honorable” in quotation marks, though I think I would have been sorely tempted to do so for the members he addressed. But that’s just me.
And what kind of response did C-Span get? Nothing formal yet, but Speaker Pelosi and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D,MD), among others, appeared before the cameras in the video below. Wait until you hear Speaker Pelosi’s response about Obama’s campaign promises. That’s a good one. And Rep. Van Hollen goes on at some length about the process behind the Healthcare bill. I suggest you not drink or eat anything while he is speaking. Just a suggestion. Then it goes back to Speaker Pelosi. Does it ever get funny around the 7:45 mark:
Okay, just HOW is it that none of their heads exploded while they stood up there lying through their teeth? Mr. Van Hollen’s voice did go up and crack, a tell-tale sign he’s lying, and Pelosi just blathered on with impunity.
I might add, yes, there were all kinds of Town Halls, Mr. Van Hollen, and the vast majority of people then told you and your colleagues that We. Do. Not. Want. This. Bill. As. Crafted. We have been saying it, screaming it, writing, it, and phoning it in, Rep. Van Hollen. The problem is, y’all aren’t listening. Even today, the majority of Americans do not want this policy you are about to shove down our throats.
This certainly explains another poll, that the majority of Americans think Congress is doing a poor job. Yeah. No kidding.
Oh, wait, maybe there’s another possibility for the La-La Land response by the giggly Speaker of the House. Perhaps Nancy just doesn’t understand the word. That is the only possible explanation I can think of to explain her emphatic insistence that this has been the most transparent process EVER. Either that, or I’m thinking really, really good drugs. Considering her giddy, giggly self, I am inclined to the latter. Ahem.
In case you didn’t catch what she and Rep. Hollen said, this aptly entitled article,
Nancy Pelosi’s Response, has it:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended Congress’ work on a healthcare bill Tuesday saying the process has displayed historic transparency, just as C-SPAN mounts an effort to open the negotiations.
C-SPAN wrote a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday asking that TV cameras be allowed to film negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate versions of healthcare reform legislation.
But Pelosi said Congress has already been transparent throughout the process.
“There has never been a more open process for any legislation,” Pelosi said at a press conference.
Pelosi also hinted that holding informal negotiations–likely without TV cameras–might be the most practical way to push the legislation through.
“We will do what is necessary to pass the bill,” Pelosi said.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), assistant to the Speaker, said the healthcare bill had been “subjected to unprecedented level of public scrutiny.”
Pressed on whether C-SPAN cameras would be allowed in negotiations, Van Hollen hedged.
“We don’t even know if there’s going to be a conference committee,” he said, alluding to the likelihood that Democrats will reconcile the two bills behind closed doors.
Oh, yes, unprecedented “public scrutiny.” Seems to me Rep. Van Hollen has been smoking a bit too much of that Hopium if closed-door, often partisan, meetings in which decisions are made to payoff Big Pharma (Obama – before the official work on the Healthcare Bill even got started), the insurance industry, and to force taxes on the middle class that will make it the working poor class. Staggering. Again, Rep. Van Hollen, we have said – CLEARLY – that we do not want this bill of yours. (The Comments after this article are mighty telling. I didn’t see a Pro-Pelosi one among them. Here’s the Link if you’d like to see for yourself.)
Oh, and the White House? If you had to guess, what do you think Obama would do? If you guessed avoidance, you’d be right. If you wish to read Robert Weasel Gibbs’ slippery response to queries about the C-Span letter, click HERE. If you have a strong stomach, or high threshold for bullshit, that is.
Here’s the reality of the situation:
You tell it, Johhny Mac. Transparency on this issue, with this Congress, is simply non-existent. Oh, and Mr. Lamb? I wouldn’t be holding my breath for Nancy, Harry, or Barry to let the cameras in anytime soon…