legislation

The Avoidance of Stupidity (McConnell Mix)

#SomethingTerrific | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY; left), walks with President-elect Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol for a meeting, 10 November 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

This ought to be a striking note from Axios:

Senate Republicans are working to finish their draft health care bill, but have no plans to publicly release it, according to two senior Senate GOP aides.

“We aren’t stupid,” said one of the aides.

Then again, this is the twenty-first century, and these are Congressional Republicans.

(more…)

Yellowhammer Chaos

'Now why was that?'

The legislation may have lacked any real inspiration, but the silver lining is rather quite funny:

Legislation that would take the state of Alabama out of the business of issuing marriage licenses died in the House of Representatives committee today.

“This bill does not destroy marriage,” Rep. Greg Albritton, R- Bay Minette, said. “This bill does not denigrate marriage. This bill doesn’t desanctify marriage because the state cannot sanctify marriage” ....

.... Albritton said the bill would simply substitute the license for a marriage contract that would be filed in the probate office and would take away the requirement for a marriage ceremony.

It was an attempt to prevent chaos from ensuing if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage this summer, he said.

“My goal is not to protect a group,” Albritton said. “My goal is to protect the state.”

(Edgemon)

Yes … protecting the state. From what, exactly?

This is the problem: When they said human rights for homosexuals threatened civilized society, we should have paid more attention in order to recognize what they meant: If homosexuals get human rights, conservatives will set about trying to destroy civilized society.

Prevent chaos from ensuing? But whence comes the chaos? This seems a little bit like preventing a bank robbery by giving the money to the thieves before they walk in.

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Image note: “Now why was that?” Mamimi searches for an answer, under the bridge in Mabase. (Detail of frames from FLCL episode 1, “Fooly Cooly”.)

Edgemon, Erin. “Legislation that would get Alabama out of the marriage license business dies”. AL.com. 3 June 2015.

An Example of How It’s Going to Go

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (L) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wait to speak at the "Exempt America from Obamacare" rally, on Capitol Hill, September 10, 2013, in Washington, D.C.  Some conservative lawmakers are making a push to try to defund the health care law as part of the debates over the budget and funding the federal government.  (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“‘Vote for me because I introduced a bunch of bills that didn’t pass’ is a tough pitch to sell on the presidential campaign trail.”

Steve Benen

In truth, there isn’t really much to add, but if you’d like the detail, the inimitable Mr. Benen does provide:

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives for the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty)Cruz, Paul, and Rubio, meanwhile, are championing all kinds of proposals, but between them, they have precious few laws. There’s a difference between those who push legislation and those who actually legislate.

Consider the problem in a different context: imagine if I told msnbc, “I had great ideas for hundreds of blog posts.” If the network asked me how many I wrote, and I responded, “Well, I haven’t really gotten around to following through on my ideas,” msnbc probably wouldn’t be too pleased.

Wait, what?

Trivia time: Word association―”light bulbs” … go.

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Benen, Steve. “Senators adopt legislative strategy with 2016 in mind”. msnbc. 17 February 2015.

Your Republican Congress

Worst ... speaker ... ever.

Earlier today, Emmarie Huetteman of The New York Times posted this tidbit:

House Republicans are not off to a strong start, Speaker John A. Boehner acknowledged on Tuesday.

Asked about the 11th-hour withdrawal of bills related to abortion and, most recently, border security — both of which were initially considered easy lifts for the emboldened Republican majority before intraparty divisions emerged — Mr. Boehner attributed it to attempts to fast-track the legislation without committee consideration to work out the disagreements.

“There have been a couple of stumbles,” he said.

To the one, we might expect such (cough!) “stumbles” from, say, new leadership. For instance, in the Senate, where new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has much leadership practice, but not in governance or legislating, but doing everything he can to duck those obligations.

Oh. Right.

Still, though, it is not as if pulling bills because he does not actually know the whip count is anything new for Speaker Boehner; he’s done it twice before.

Then again, he’s got nothing on McConnell, who once filibustered his own bill.

Do be certain, please, to thank the next Republican you encounter for causing this.

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Huetteman, Emmarie. “Republicans Are Stumbling Out of the Gate, Boehner Admits”. The New York Times. 27 January 2015.