THE PLANK OCTOBER 8, 2009
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explains why he opposes the Senate Finance Committee's health care reform bill:
“This partisan Finance Committee proposal will never see the Senate floor since the real bill will be written by Democrat leaders in a closed-to-the-public conference room somewhere in the Capitol."
Right. This is called "the legislative process." A bill comes out of a committee, then it goes to the floor, where it can be altered, then the other House votes on a bill, which can be different, and then the two bills are merged in a conference committee, resulting in still more potential alterations. McConnell's argument is an argument against any legislation.
It's pretty amazing. Republians have been arguing against health care reform by citing the deficit and the public option. Now there emerges a bill that cuts the deficit and contains no public option. Still, no Republicans will embrace it. (Olympia Snowe may well vote for it, but her low profile is itself evidence of the intense GOP partisan pressure against the bill.) Yet the Republicans still need a public rationale for their stance of total opposition. So the best they can come up with is a restatement of "how a bill becomes a law," only with a few rhetorical flourishes designed to make the legislative proces sound like some kind of conspiracy.