Top Headline Comments 3-16-10 | Main | GTFOOH: Democrats Want to Talk about "Tea Party Etiquette" (BUMPED)
March 16, 2010

Everything You Didn't Want to Know About the Slaughter Solution

Folks are asking me what this Slaughter business is all about. First, a description of the process is in today's WaPo. They describe it as "procedural slight-of-hand."

Second, why it's unconstitutional, according to retired 10th Circuit judge Michael McConnell in yesterday's WSJ. (Click on either of the top two links to get past the Journal's subscriber wall.) The short version: the Constitution requires that both houses of Congress pass the exact same bill before it can become a law. Reconciliation is only used on laws. So, no matter how they do it, the House has to pass the Senate Bill before they can alter it via reconciliation.

There's more than a little chicanery to the Slaughter Solution. With one breath, Democrats are saying that it's constitutional and entirely business-as-usual because a vote for Slaughter is a vote for passage of the Senate bill, even as they simultaneously amend it. But then, in the very next breath, they claim that it will be easier for reluctant Democrats to vote for Slaughter than the "unpopular" Senate bill. Really:

"It's more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know," [Nancy Pelosi] said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. "But I like it," she said, "because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill."

Undecided Democrats appeared unconcerned by the flap. Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), a retiring lawmaker who opposed the original House bill and is undecided on the new package, mocked Republican criticism of the process. Ultimately, he said, voters will hold lawmakers responsible for any changes in law.

"I don't think anybody's going to say that we didn't vote for the bill," he said.

Uh huh.

Here's the problem. If they vote for the Senate bill and simultaneously amend it via Slaughter, they will be sending to the Speaker two mutually-contradictory bills. One of which, having been passed by both houses, is constitutionally supposed to be presented to the President (the Senate bill) and one of which is constitutionally supposed to be sent to the Senate (the reconciliation sidecar).

That Democrats are openly referring to this as "sleight-of-hand", "cover-of-darkness" legislation should be having more impact, but after their Christmas Eve shenanigans they have exhausted most voters' capacity for outrage.

digg this
posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:39 AM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Barky, returning science to its proper role: " And they dared call you deplorable. Posted by: ..."

dyno-elite canned hate: "Beautiful picture. The American flag is kissing Pr ..."

Curious : "So Bourdain bad mouthed the Clintons, then showed ..."

Northernlurker: "Six months today I had my last conversation with F ..."

boulder t'hobo: "What name does Monica Louise Berlin use when she c ..."

hogmartin: "[i]Dammit! Not first! I really needed the set of g ..."

Pete Seria: "Hey, top 50! Yay me ..."

tonypete: "Six months today I had my last conversation with F ..."

boulder t'hobo: "If Boulder agrees on something, it is wrong. ..."

Anon a mouse: "Ahh. Nice. *stretches out* ..."

Mike Hammer, etc., etc.: "The cheapies: Wiki: Air-activated hand warme ..."

Brad Smith: "Microsoft has helped innovate facial recognition s ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64