The Slaughter dissolution
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Proposed plan to pass health care reform is unconstitutional as it nullifies the role of the House of Representatives
For the eight years of President George W. Bush’s administration, I heard liberals cry day after day that Bush was shredding our Constitution. This was mainly in regard to the infamous Patriot Act — a measure that I too oppose, as it severely violates many constitutional provisions.
But the same liberals are stunningly silent when our Constitution is now being shredded before our very eyes.
What am I talking about? If you guessed health care “reform,” I suppose you’d be partially right. It does involve health care legislation currently on the table, but the violation has to do specifically with the way some Democrats want to pass this bill. If you also guessed that I’m speaking of reconciliation, you’d be partially right again.
But what I’m specifically talking about is the so-called “Slaughter solution” put forward by New York’s Democratic congresswoman Louise Slaughter, which would, in principle, dissolve the existence of the House of Representatives.
Here’s how everything fits together: Since the Senate passed its version of the health care reform bill back around Christmas, the bill hasn’t been able to make its way through the House — mainly because Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have the votes to pass the Senate bill in the House.
To remedy this situation, the Senate wanted to use a complicated parliamentary procedure known as “reconciliation,” which has been used enough times before. But this process can only be used once the House has voted on the bill. As you’ve probably already guessed, the purpose of “reconciliation” is to solve differences between the House and Senate in the Senate with a simple majority vote.
But the bill has been stalled in the House due to the lack of votes. In desperation, the “Slaughter solution” was proposed, which basically says that the Senate’s version of the bill should be deemed as passed in the House of Representatives without ever having been voted on in the House.
This move would essentially void the role of the House of Representatives in the legislative process and completely ignore the Constitution. It’s funny that liberals aren’t crying about this.
Wait a minute, they’re in power, so it must be OK.
The fact of the matter is that regardless of whichever party tampers with the Constitution, be it the “Slaughter solution,” proposed health care reform or the Patriot Act, it is wrong.
But let’s take this a step farther. If the “Slaughter solution” were to be implemented, not only would it have a detrimental effect on the House of Representatives, but it would weaken the power of the Congress overall. What will stop future legislators from one house from using this strategy against the other?
Why do we even need a legislature to create and pass laws if, without ever having voted on those laws, they can be deemed passed?
If this were to happen, the executive branch would have unlimited power to make laws without the consent of the governed. But this sort of practice already occurs thanks to the hundreds of agencies and bureaucracies who create and pass rules and regulations that are never voted on by anyone.
But if Congress had no power, the executive branch, and by extension President Barack Obama, could do as he pleases. Since the legislature would be insignificant, there would no longer be a real process to amend the Constitution, which means the executive branch could do it at will.
Granted, this scenario is a complete exaggeration of this situation, but this is what happens with “progressive” political ideology — you eventually progress into Totalitarianism.
So I ask my liberal friends, are you OK with the U.S. Constitution being shredded so long as it’s your guy who is doing it? The ball is in your court.