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Bill? What Bill?

At The Examiner, David Freddoso adds a coda to the bizarre story of the cap-and-trade energy tax that passed the House yesterday. The bill that the House voted on doesn’t, strictly speaking, exist:

Texas Republican Reps. Joe Barton and Louie Gohmert have just asked the chair whether there exists a complete, updated copy of the Waxman-Markey carbon-cap bill.

“If a bill for which there is no copy were to actually pass this body,” Barton asked, “could the bill without a copy be sent to the Senate for its consideration?”

Through a series of parliamentary inquiries, the Republicans learned that the 300-plus page managers’ amendment, added to the bill last night in the House Rules Committee, has not even been been integrated with the official copy of the 1,090-page bill at the House Clerk’s desk, let alone in any other location. The two documents are side-by-side at the desk as the clerk reads through the instructions in the 300 page document for altering the 1,090 page document.

But they cannot be simply combined, because the amendment contains 300 pages of items like this: “Page 15, beginning line 8, strike paragraph (11)…” How many members of Congress do you suppose have gone through it all to see how it changes the bill?

I can answer that question: none. There hasn’t been time to do so. The manner in which the Democrats have run the House since taking control in 2007 has been disgraceful.

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