New Congress Will Be Anything But Open and Transparent

Posted: Jan 06, 2009 1:07 PM
In about an hour, the 111th Congress will be sworn into office and the first matter we will take up is consideration of the new House Rules Package. Not only does the new package miss the opportunity to make important improvements to the earmarking and budgeting processes, such as increased transparency, it also essentially shuts off debate and prevents Republicans from proposing policy alternatives to the Democrat majority’s agenda.

No ifs, and, or buts about it - the Democrats are denying debate through gimmicks and legislative maneuvering, suppressing alternative ideas and dissenting views.

The Democrat-controlled Congress is coming off two years of abysmal leadership that denied the opportunity for debate more than any other Congress in our nation's history. Speaker Pelosi promised Americans transparency and open government in the political process, but sadly, we've received just the opposite.  And, somehow, they’ve managed to make it even worse.

But, the restrictions on debate and the roadblock to alternative ideas are just where the bad news begins.

The Democrats are actually rewriting the rules to make it easier to spend your money and harder to cut your taxes.

Their rewrite of the “pay-as-you-go” rule includes a provision to tax and entitlement bills to be “packaged” together for purposes of calculating PAYGO compliance. This insulates their proposals from having to stand against Republican alternatives and makes it easier to circumvent rules that are supposed to keep Congress from running the federal balance sheets into the red.

Furthermore, the rewrite of the PAYGO rule allows for “emergency” designation of spending. It allows anyone to designate spending as “emergency,” exempting it entirely from PAYGO enforcement.  The emergency designation isn’t even debatable.

This Rules Package is anything but open and transparent and creates an express lane for Democrats to tax and spend your money with nothing and no one to stop them.