10:16 PM

Sunday with Ferris

Posted by Skye |

In 1776, the rallying cry was, "No taxation without representation."

Today, it could be, "No taxation without totally clueless representation."

That's what Americans got on June 26, when the House voted 219-212 for the "cap-and-tax" energy bill, as the Republicans refer to it. The bill ran more than 1,000 pages, and before members had time to digest that tome, 300 pages of amendments were added after midnight. When Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R., Ohio) started to read the additions, bill cosponsor Henry A. Waxman (D., Calif.) objected. He was rebuffed. There are no time limits for comments by House leaders.

"When you file a 300-page amendment at 3:09 a.m., the American people have a right to know what's in this bill," Boehner said.

Whether this bill will lessen greenhouse-gas emissions - as Democrats hope - or kill countless jobs - as Republicans predict - or ever pass the Senate, remains to be seen. But the House vote did raise a question that cuts across party and ideology:

How can lawmakers vote on something so important without a thorough understanding of what's in it?

Can you imagine that this would be a topic of issue in Congress? How did Congress acquire this destructive habit?

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