The Campaign Spot

Chances Are, Your Congressman Didn’t Really Read the Bill

The Virginia Republican party has been torturing various staffers and volunteers, making them read the Senate version of the health-care bill aloud. Why?
J. Garren Shipley, the state GOP communications director, explains: “If it has taken our team more than 48 hours of non-stop reading to get through this bill, do you think the average Democratic member of Congress has read this bill they’re rushing to pass on Sunday? We’ve found some outrageous stuff in this legislation that has nothing to do with health care, like a federal mandate to put nutrition information on fast food menus. I don’t think you’ll see that in any of the Democratic talking points.”
“And there are tons of other examples of things in here that have nothing to do with health insurance,” Shipley continues. “But you’d never know it was in there unless you read the bill. Got an FSA or HSA through your employer? There are severe limits on how much money can be put into these accounts and how it can be used, like a prohibition on the purchase of non-prescription drugs. And we haven’t even touched on the fact that this bill — and the reconciliation package — levy billions upon billions of dollars in new taxes on citizens of all income levels. This bill is a Democrat Christmas tree of government expansion, packed full of pet projects and fixes to pet peeves — a vision of the federal government as the cure for any and every ill in society. And you wouldn’t know any of this, unless you read the bill. That’s why we’ve been reading it. Hopefully, Gerry Connolly, Glenn Nye, Tom Perriello, and Rick Boucher have been listening. Because if they really knew what was in here, there’s no way they’d still be undecided.”

And you thought the time for talk was over. Obviously, reading aloud takes more time than simply reading a bill, but just how quickly can a lawmaker read a 2,407-page bill and a 153-page reconciliation package?

You can listen to the hoarse-throated, exhausted staffers here.

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