Thursday, Nov 20, 2014
Columns

Koller: Democratic delays explained


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If you watched Rachel Maddow recently you might have seen her take on the recent proceedings during the meeting of the House Rules Committee. Brought to the table were amendments to the bill that would bring a lawsuit against President Obama. According to Robert’s Rules of Order the amendments must be voted on and resolved before the amendment itself is voted upon. Many thought these amendments were the Democrats’ way of delaying the vote but when you hear what the amendments address, I think you might disagree with that viewpoint.

These are the amendments as offered by Louise Slaughter, a Democrat from New York and former chair of the House Rules Committee who now serves as ranking minority member.

♦ Amendment 1: That the house general counsel disclose every week how much money was spent on the lawsuit: 4 yays; 7 nays

♦ Amendment 2a: Which would prohibit the hiring of any law firms or consultants who lobby Congress (Slaughter went on to say if they lobby Congress for a living they also should not be paid by Congress): 4 yays; 7 nays

♦ Amendment 3: We cannot hire a law firm that has a financial stake in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act: 4 yays; 7 nays

My opponent, Rich Nugent voted “no” on all three amendments. This does not make sense to me. Some have responded to the first amendment by stating that a weekly accountability is excessive and cumbersome. But as it stands the bill requires that there only be a quarterly accounting. I think the American people deserve to know exactly how much this frivolous lawsuit is costing them, more often than once every quarter.

Also the second and third amendments seem to be no-brainers to me. Why would we hire firms that have a vested interest in the outcome of the lawsuit? Why should we allow firms that lobby Congress to take taxpayers dollars? I don’t know about you but this is just wrong!

As an American I find it appalling that we are considering a lawsuit against our own president for a program that has benefited many of our nation’s uninsured. I also find it appalling that we are suing the president of the United Stated against the wishes of the majority of our citizens! According to CNN, 57 percent of Americans that were polled said they did NOT want to sue Obama, with 41 percent thinking it was a good idea.

We need people in our government who are there to work for their constituents, not for special interest groups, not for big business, but for the people who are working hard every day to take care of their families and to make this nation a better place. The American people deserve more. We don’t deserve the hypocritical gamesmanship of my opponent and his party, who pay lip service to fiscal responsibility and accountability, while wasting precious taxpayer funds so irresponsibly!

We need leaders who will listen to the people who believed in them and take actions that are in the best interests of our country.

Dave Koller is a Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives in District 11.

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