Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Amendment madness

I would like to continue my non-partisan gripe, soon to become a crusade, about congresspersons who attach bills or amendments onto larger legislation because the larger bill is certain-to-pass, and their amendment might not get consideration otherwise.  I think this is not an ethical practice, even though it seems to be fully allowed and encouraged by practically everyone. 

How many times has a good or necessary bill gone down in flames because of some ultra-controversial rider, or how many bad laws and allocations of taxpayer’s money have ridden on widely supported bills?

Just to show that, despite my conservative bent, I don’t play party favorites on this point, I would like to declare shame upon Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) for trying to attach the ANWR drilling bill to the latest military budget bill.  That bill has money for hurricane relief, and, I’m sorry, but ANWR has nothing to do with military or relief budgets.

      But Stevens, who has fought since the 1980s to pry open ANWR, indicated he would not give up easily.
      "I want you to know we're going to be here until (New Years Day) ... We're going to stay here until this is finished," Stevens said just before the vote. "I can't go home for Christmas. I've already canceled (airplane tickets)."

Do I think the ANWR bill is a good idea?  Sure.  Do I think that environmentalists are talking out of their hindquarters about the impact of drilling.  Yes, I do.  However, I think that holding his colleagues in session for Christmas will get him no more clout or support on Capitol Hill, nor will it get him any kudos from me.

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