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October 01, 2008

No One Seems to Understand the Wooden Arrows Ploy

On FoxNews, everyone's talking about the wooden arrows as if they're pork added to the bil.

Here's the explanation for wooden arrows tax breaks:

They didn't attach that crap to this bill. They attached this bill to that crap.

Why? Because all bills dealing with revenues must originate in the House. This one, the wooden arrows tax break one, already came up from the House -- and it already passed the Senate 93-2.

So, to get around that, they took the bill that already passed the House -- one dealing with revenues -- and attached the bailout to it. The bailout bill is not being voted on, technically, itself (rules prevent that), so it's being voted on as an amendment to a House bill already passed.

It's purely a bit of procedural chicanery.

"the Senate is attaching the Treasury bailout to the AMT patch/tax extenders bill (H.R. 6049) that passed the Senate 93-2 last week. Note that this language contains far more tax relief than tax increases (i.e., it is a net tax cut by tens of billions of dollars). Americans for Tax Reform remained silent on the Senate-passed extenders bill and said it was NOT a taxpayer pledge violation."

So, yes, they're taking this legislation very seriously. They had to look for a House-initiated bill, that passed the Senate almost unanimously, in order to attach this bailout as an amendment (just like Dave J and Molon Labe already said.)

Thanks to notropis.

So, if you don't like the tax breaks for wooden arrows -- fair point. But that actually already passed. This rescue bill is just being added to that bill, which already passed, to technically comply with the Constitution's requirement that revenue-raising bills must originate in the House.

(I haven't checked, but a reader tells me the Constitution specifically allows any amendment to a House bill, by the way, so, assuming that's right, it's not unconstitutional. It's just tricksy. I'm observing the rule here, right in 90% of cases, that my readers know their stuff.)

Everyone on Fox is talking as if the tax extenders were added to the bill, rather than the bill being added to the tax-extender bill which had already passed.

Bill Sammon is selling this as some sort of victory for conservative tax cutters, when it was only a procedural gimmick. The tax break extender was already passed.

And they're all still talking wooden arrows.

I didn't understand this myself, so I can't criticize them too much.

But while this has been known since 12:13 pm (not by me, but by others, posted at The Corner), everyone is still talking wooden arrows.

Can the people who read my site from Fox please clue in your associates?

This is going to be demogogued over wooden arrows. Bad bill or not, this demogoguing is off-base.

In Case You're Wondering... No, this doesn't mean that the bailout has now passed in both chambers. The chambers must agree too, and vote for, bills with identical provisions and language.

Obviously this bill is no longer even close to identical to what the House passed.

So now it goes back to the House, which can either pass it as it stands, or the two houses can appoint conferees to work together on a bill that can be submitted back in both houses.

digg this
posted by Ace at 10:27 PM

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