Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Help me understand this 

For most of August people attended town halls on the health care bill with copies of H.R. 3200 that they had printed off on their home computers.  They debated details.  But the Senate Finance Committee says now you're too stupid to read the language of their bill.
The Senate Finance Committee considered for two hours today a Republican amendment -- which was ultimately rejected -- that would have required the "legislative" language of the committee's final bill, along with a cost estimate for the bill, to be posted online for 72 hours before the committee voted on it. 

Instead, the committee passed a similar amendment, offered by Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.), to put online the "conceptual" or "plain" language of the bill, along with the cost estimate. 

Usually, the Senate Finance Committee considers "conceptual" language because the actual legislative language in a bill is filled with jargon and references to existing legal code that can make it nearly impossible to follow. 

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) described his attempts at reading the legislative language of a bill: "You read it and say, 'What did that say?'" The committee, he said, uses "plain language so that even I can understand" a bill. 
I wouldn't accept that excuse from my students.  Why do Delaware voters accept it from Carper?

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