Posts Tagged ‘bills’

It’s a game. I think the American public wants to believe that their elected officials care, but deep down they know it’s a game, too. Legislation generally gets passed across the country not because it’s the right thing to do but because of the deals behind the scenes.

One of the most troubling realities is this country if far from a democracy (or a republic, for that matter). It is a series of little dictatorships. What that classic and beloved School House Rock cartoon fails to mention during its famous “Bill” song is how those bills can get stuck in a committee simply because the chairman of the committee doesn’t like the bill. It is up to the chairman of those committees to release the bills for a vote. So while the entire rest of the committee may be a favor of a bill, if the chairman wants to he has the power to kill it via “drawer veto” and never letting it out for a vote.

This is a process of which most of the public is unaware. One person can decide the fate of potential law. One person can decide whether victims can be protected. One person can decide the civil rights of all. Enter the deal.

Behind the scenes politicians jostle and hustle for votes for their bills. “If you don’t give me your vote on this bill then you won’t get mine on your bill and I’ll make sure politicians A, B, C, and D don’t vote for it either.” Of course, the one withe the most power for those deals is the chairman. “If you even want your bill put out for a vote [insert deal here].”

Imagine that. In America where it’s been drilled into us for years that “your vote matters” so many good bills that could help people die because the bill can’t even get out for a vote. The process is broken and the mini-dictatorships need to be usurped.

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