Hoyer: No one would vote for ObamaCare if they read the bill

posted at 8:33 pm on July 8, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The modern definition of gaffe is “the accidental act of a politician telling the truth.”  Steny Hoyer gives us a demonstration in his assessment of the health-care reform bill his party is pushing in both chambers of Congress.  The bill will get plenty of support as long as no one actually bothers to learn what it does:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that the health-care reform bill now pending in Congress would garner very few votes if lawmakers actually had to read the entire bill before voting on it.

“If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn’t read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes,” Hoyer told CNSNews.com at his regular weekly news conference.

Hoyer was responding to a question from CNSNews.com on whether he supported a pledge that asks members of the Congress to read the entire bill before voting on it and also make the full text of the bill available to the public for 72 hours before a vote.

In fact, Hoyer found the idea of the pledge humorous, laughing as he responded to the question. “I’m laughing because a) I don’t know how long this bill is going to be, but it’s going to be a very long bill,” he said.

This goes beyond the inanity of Hoyer in this particular application.  We elect Representatives from each district and Senators from each state to make the laws which govern us.  We didn’t elect their staffs to do that work for the empty suits who go to Washington.  The culture in the Beltway has evolved to the point where our elected officials have more or less become accessories to the permanent aide class within DC.

Elected officials will claim that legislation has become too complex to master individually.  Well, there’s a solution for that, too — stop offering bills so hideously complex and expensive that only the most skilled Talmudists can discern their meaning and impact.  It’s precisely because the legislative process has run off the rails that we get bucketloads of unintended consequences from bills like the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, and McCain-Feingold.

A good rule of thumb: if a Representative or a Senator can’t be expected to read it, it shouldn’t pass into law.  Apply this standard, and watch how that stops the growth of government and the stupidities of the law.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Mr. Pickles on July 8, 2009 at 9:47 PM

Lobbyists write them, aides read them, members of Congress fund raise. I am sure it’s just as the Founders planned it. /

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 9:51 PM

Vote these bums out of office!

TN Mom on July 8, 2009 at 9:50 PM

Wouldn’t it be cheaper, faster and fairer to just shot them???

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 9:53 PM

How about this:

When Congress passes any new or revised social or fiscal reform, it should only apply to them for 1 year to test it out.

Also, there should be a law where they can never, ever exempt themselves from any legislation.

BacaDog on July 8, 2009 at 8:44 PM

How about this. If a bill proposed in the House of Representatives exceeds 3 pages in length, and is not written in common English, it cannot even be considered for a vote. Nip it in the bud.

jimmy2shoes on July 8, 2009 at 9:55 PM

And that’s just read it, nevermind understand it.

Dash on July 8, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Capitol Hill has become the ‘Escape From New York’ movie. Bunch of wackos running around.

TN Mom on July 8, 2009 at 9:59 PM

Congressional Oath:

“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Vote these bums out of office!

TN Mom on July 8, 2009 at 9:50 PM

Words. Just words.

— Barry

Loxodonta on July 8, 2009 at 10:02 PM

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that the health-care reform bill now pending in Congress would garner very few votes if lawmakers actually had to read the entire bill before voting on it.

Biden: “We badly misread the economy”

Vote. These. BUMS. Out.

TN Mom on July 8, 2009 at 10:03 PM

Loxodonta on July 8, 2009 at 10:02 PM

“Look, there was a huge mandate in November, the American people do NOT want us to read the bills” -Barack Obama

TN Mom on July 8, 2009 at 10:07 PM

TN Mom on July 8, 2009 at 10:03

Obama spin PM

While some economists have long forecast jobless rates this high, Vice President Joe Biden now admits that the administration “misread how bad the economy was.”

Not exactly, according to the president.

“I would actually — rather than say misread, we had incomplete information,” Obama recently told NBC.

William Amos on July 8, 2009 at 10:10 PM

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 9:53 PM

Have you noticed the occasional comment from The Ronin Edge? Very cryptic. Sort of a have pitchforks will travel kind of comments.

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:10 PM

William Amos on July 8, 2009 at 9:59 PM

I’ve thought all along that he planned to spend it strategically as election time gets closer.

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:12 PM

GOP on the rise ?

The GOP has seen candidate recruitment rise as joblessness continues to climb to new highs and Wall Street retreats after a brief respite in March, April and May. Compounding the situation, Republicans say, are Democrats’ recent moves to push forward with politically divisive efforts on energy and healthcare, along with broaching another stimulus package.

William Amos on July 8, 2009 at 10:12 PM

came across this..

txag92 on July 8,2009 at 9:47PM.

txag92:I’m sooooooooooooo glad,I’m a guy!

Only 14 things to worry about!

But 75 things a women should know!

Sounds like the makings a female spy,
or qualifications there of,yikes!!haha:)

canopfor on July 8, 2009 at 10:15 PM

Have you noticed the occasional comment from The Ronin Edge? Very cryptic. Sort of a have pitchforks will travel kind of comments.

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:10 PM

ROTFLMAO….. You do know what a Ronin is dont you???

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 10:16 PM

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 10:16 PM

Okay, make me feel stupid, I do not. I’ll be back, Google is my friend.

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:25 PM

Okay, make me feel stupid, I do not. I’ll be back, Google is my friend.

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:25 PM

A Ronin is a samurai warrior without a master to serve, he offers his services to the highest bidder. Today it is often used by mercenaries as a nickname that identifies their profession. ;)

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 10:28 PM

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 10:16 PM

That didn’t make any difference, the comments are still weird. It’s towards the end of the Waxman thread above where you get annoyed with ernesto.

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:28 PM

That didn’t make any difference, the comments are still weird. It’s towards the end of the Waxman thread above where you get annoyed with ernesto.

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:28 PM

ROTFLMAO…. Cryptic messages suggesting a willingness to participate in acts of violence made by a Ronin. Can you say… Department of Homeland Security special cyber agent trolling for rightwing conservative terrorists???

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 10:32 PM

ROTFLMAO…. Cryptic messages suggesting a willingness to participate in acts of violence made by a Ronin.

Department of Homeland Security special cyber agent trolling for rightwing conservative terrorists???

Problem is that a Ronin has no master. These are more like Ninjas with an agenda.

William Amos on July 8, 2009 at 10:34 PM

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 10:32 PM

It crossed my mind. Ignore or email Ed? It the second one I have seen over a couple of days.

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:34 PM

Okay, make me feel stupid, I do not. I’ll be back, Google is my friend.
Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:25 PM

Make Google the slobby, hippie roommate that you finally kicked out for stealing from your change jar.

Bing should be your new friend, or Dogpile.

Bishop on July 8, 2009 at 10:36 PM

I won

Grafted on July 8, 2009 at 10:36 PM

We’re going to end up with a bill crafted by the health insurance companies that requires people to buy health insurance with government money.

The caveat will be that insurance companies will have to accept all patients. The end result is that rates will go up across the board, but insurance companies will make money from the government.

They’ll call it ‘health care reform’. But the only reform that will happen is money from the government to the health insurance companies. That would be good for me. . . if it passes that’ll be how it’ll pass.

ThackerAgency on July 8, 2009 at 10:37 PM

He wasn’t saying that they wouldn’t vote for it if they read it. . . he was saying that they wouldn’t read it. The title and premise is a little misleading from the quote.

ThackerAgency on July 8, 2009 at 10:38 PM

Bishop on July 8, 2009 at 10:36 PM

I use to use Dogpile, I don’t know why I stopped. If you use MSM or some “mainstream” engine and put in HotAir or Instapundit it says that they can’t find it but they can pull up HuffingtonPost quick like a bunny. I know that sounds paranoid but it’s true.

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:40 PM

I won

Grafted on July 8, 2009 at 10:36 PM

Excellent???

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:40 PM

Problem is that a Ronin has no master. These are more like Ninjas with an agenda.

William Amos on July 8, 2009 at 10:34 PM

Don’t mistake the role being played for the person playing the role. It’s a fishing expedition.

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 10:41 PM

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 10:41 PM

Thats why I dont call for pitchforks. Washington needs an enema first and Im in no rush to join that crowd.

William Amos on July 8, 2009 at 10:43 PM

Don’t mistake the role being played for the person playing the role. It’s a fishing expedition.
doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 10:41 PM

Well then, I’m turning you in for the reward money.

Don’t worry, I’ll also invent something nefarious for Terry Silver and Hicsuget too, just so you have company in the slam.

Bishop on July 8, 2009 at 10:44 PM

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 10:41 PM

So treat the comment like a troll and ignore?

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:45 PM

So treat the comment like a troll and ignore?

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:45 PM

That’s my plan.

doriangrey on July 8, 2009 at 10:46 PM

Elected officials will claim that legislation has become too complex to master individually.

So why aren’t we voting their staff that read the bills into power instead of them. Apparently the staff are smarter.

katablog.com on July 8, 2009 at 10:49 PM

Apparently the staff are smarter.

katablog.com on July 8, 2009 at 10:49 PM

That’s probably not saying much and probably not true. Maybe better informed. At this point I believe my potted plant is smarter then most folks in Congress. They are all just a bunch of b.s. artists.

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 10:53 PM

stop offering bills so hideously complex and expensive that only the most skilled Talmudists can discern their meaning and impact.

Amen. Thanks, Ed. Love the “most skilled Talmudists” comment. Brings to mind scenes of Barbara Streisand in Yentil only now interpreting the law for the rest of us.

Christian Conservative on July 8, 2009 at 10:55 PM

You have to wonder how much better off the entire country would be if the earth just opened up and swallowed Washington DC.

While Congress was in session, of course.

trigon on July 8, 2009 at 11:02 PM

Related parody headline and story: “Floor of U.S. House of Representatives Redesigned for Wagers on Legislation Not in Final Form”: http://www.optoons.blogspot.com/ (July 8 entry)

Mervis Winter on July 8, 2009 at 11:03 PM

Well, there’s a solution for that, too — stop offering bills so hideously complex and expensive that only the most skilled Talmudists can discern their meaning and impact.

So hideously true. If it’s too complex for anyone to read or understand, it’s to complex to pass. If found this on the state level–the aides and lobbyists controlled legislation.

Sic transit gloria, I guess.

PattyJ on July 8, 2009 at 11:11 PM

trigon on July 8, 2009 at 11:02 PM

We live to dream. I am almost astonished at my dislike for that city. I wish that we could have a legislative period and force these people to live the majority of the year with their constituents.

Cindy Munford on July 8, 2009 at 11:13 PM

A good rule of thumb: if a Representative or a Senator can’t be expected to read it, it shouldn’t pass into law. Apply this standard, and watch how that stops the growth of government and the stupidities of the law.

Conversely, if your Representative is too illiterate to read and understand the bill — like, for instance, my learned Rep. Jesse “Staples” Jackson, Jr., (D) of Chicago — maybe we shouldn’t elect them to the House of Representatives.

Jaibones on July 9, 2009 at 12:30 AM

It’s ON…..

Surtax On Wealthy Eyed To Fund Health Overhaul
Officials: Surcharge Tax Would Target Americans Making At Least $200,000

These Godforsaken morons will not stop until they’ve confiscated every last piece of wealth that’s possible to confiscate. They won’t rest until they’ve driven the economy into the ground and the producers and the innovators out of America.

Note the so-called “journalism” on display in this CBS article – you would not even think there was a shred of opposition to this criminal wealth grab. It’s as if the only disagreement is in exactly how to go about stealing the money. Republicans are all but airbrushed out of the debate, as well as the opinions of hundreds of millions of Americans who are aghast at what these Democrat bastards are doing to this country.

A revolution is waiting in the wings.

Sharke on July 9, 2009 at 1:12 AM

Guillotine.

guntotinglibertarian on July 9, 2009 at 1:21 AM

Another contender for the Incompetence Squad.

n0doz on July 9, 2009 at 1:36 AM

Stimulus Money The Barack Obama re election campaign fund
William Amos on July 8, 2009 at 9:59 PM

You may be right about the stimulus money being re election money for the President. No doubt it’s bribe money.

yoda on July 9, 2009 at 7:04 AM

What’s Pelosi doing posing with Prince Charles?

Jeff from WI on July 9, 2009 at 7:05 AM

This exactly how a sworn enemy of the USA (George Soros) can manipulate & purchase the chains of power over our government.

Seems most every politician has a price…

Keemo on July 9, 2009 at 8:11 AM

Stimulus Money The Barack Obama re election campaign fund
William Amos on July 8, 2009 at 9:59 PM

You may be right about the stimulus money being re election money for the President. No doubt it’s bribe money.

yoda on July 9, 2009 at 7:04 AM

Have to agree with that, since most of the stimulus money has been designated for 2010 rather than immediate flooding into the system.

Keemo on July 9, 2009 at 8:13 AM

The other, so far unmentioned, purpose of a complex bill is to give the lefty courts the ability to “interpret” the law. If anything is left out they can then scout around the overwritten pages of legislation and pull out just about anything they need.

It all translates into Joe Q Public getting screwed, and the critters in DC being reelected saying they couldn’t possibly read all that so don’t hold their vote against them. They get to throw up their hands and say it is just the way things are done.

InTheBellyoftheBeast on July 9, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Hoyer is stating an absurdum. The bill will not be written yet at the time it is voted on…….. Just like the cap and trade legislation.

Vashta.Nerada on July 9, 2009 at 9:50 AM

God I wish I was a reporter. Sometimes I wonder why questions like this aren’t asked.

Question 1: Congressman, what do you think your job is? Does it not consist of reading legislation such that you can provide an educated vote as a representative of your constituants?

Question 2: If you can’t read and comprehend a piece of pending legislature, why should it be passed?

I could go on and on, but I never hear questions asked like this.

NickelAndDime on July 9, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Here’s my proposal – a Constitutional amendment that stipulates that a Representative or Senator must indicate his affirmative vote for a bill by standing up and reciting the entire bill from memory. Or at the very least, to read the entire bill aloud to indicate a yes vote.

peolesdru on July 9, 2009 at 10:44 AM

Who reads anymore?

*sigh*

bluelightbrigade on July 9, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Found on Drudge Lots of Pork in Health Bill

Maybe this is why no one wants to read it.

Brat4life on July 9, 2009 at 11:17 AM

“If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn’t read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes,” Hoyer told CNSNews.com at his regular weekly news conference.

Translation: We write the laws. We don’t read them.

Judge to accused: Ignorance of the law is no excuse. (except for Congress).

So let it be written. So let it be done.

Steve Z on July 9, 2009 at 11:32 AM

I don’t think he is saying that if they knew what was in the bill they wouldn’t vote for it.

He’s saying that they are too lazy to read the whole thing, and if they couldn’t vote for it unless they had read the entire thing, they would choose not to vote for it.

MarkTheGreat on July 9, 2009 at 11:40 AM

In fact, Hoyer found the idea of the pledge humorous, laughing as he responded to the question. “I’m laughing because a) I don’t know how long this bill is going to be, but it’s going to be a very long bill, I only read my paycheck to make sure it’s correct” he said.

Future Gibbs retort to what the douchebag really meant to say.

VikingGoneWild on July 9, 2009 at 11:44 AM

wow, maybe i’m naive?

i don’t know, but i used to think we had it right here in America…

that we had some sort of bullet proof vest that protected us from massively corrupt government…

something like — we’re the good guys, we are the beacon of freedom and liberty! nothing can tear that down because we can’t allow it to happen.

i never imagined what would ever happen to erode the great society of freedom and liberty we built here… i could not even imagine how anything internal or external could ever bring down the American way and the way of liberty in the world….

we only have one way of being heard in this country, but it has to be a massive movement to get washington’s attention…. so, in the meantime i just watch….

and what i see is this… this statement by steny hoyer that is flippant and only worth a laugh to him…

meanwhile, our commander-in-chief is vastly inexperienced and taking all his queues from david axelrod and rohm emmanuel- appointed, not elected…

this article, the subject of this post, represents pure political arrogance to me. these are the things that slowly erode our great nation.

is it just me, or am i seeing more and more of this????

is it too much just to require our congress read the bill before voting? without their arrogant laughter at the notion?

somebody please tell me what’s happening here?

thedude on July 9, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Alas, the rapid accleration in the destruction of the democratic process in the People’s Republik of Amerika continues…

I feel a revolution coming on.

Wyznowski on July 9, 2009 at 12:17 PM

@ MarkTheGreat on July 9, 2009 at 11:40 AM

either way, it should alarm you that congress packs every spending earmark into a bill they can, drops a 300 page addendum into a bill at 3:00am, the morning before a vote and still… still… very few congressmen/women would actually even bother to read the bill before voting on it….

what’s worse is that this is really just the normal mode of operation for congress. no one reads bills, just loads them up with spending and kick-backs for lobbyists/campaign contributors and packs them full of last minute addendums here and there…

no big deal right? just business as usual.

thedude on July 9, 2009 at 1:11 PM

somebody please tell me what’s happening here?

thedude on July 9, 2009

Liberal ideology has succeeded in dumbing-down the electorate and Congress no longer fears us. Simple as that.

SKYFOX on July 9, 2009 at 1:21 PM

In October, 2001, the Republican led House released a 300 page law and gave Representatives exactly 15 minutes to read it. It wasn’t even printed – it could only be accessed on the House Intranet. And that’s how the Patriot Act became law.

Believe me, I hate the Dems as much as anyone, the socialist pigs. But the Republicans aren’t much better. Their howls of unfairness in this case, though correct, are also hypocritical. Sadly, Congressional Republicans only pretend to be conservatives when they are the opposition party to a Democratic president. Put in a big government moderate Republican like the Bushes (or Dole and McCain, had they succeeded), and Congressional Republicans will enact every item on the leftist agenda. Eight years of Bush, with six years of a Republican Congress, gave us bigger government, a doubling in size of the Dept. of Education, open borders, Medicare expansion, free prescription drugs for seniors, and massive spending like the 700 billion dollar bank bailout.

A pox on both their houses.

Phildorex on July 9, 2009 at 1:30 PM

what a horribly dishonest post, Ed. I hate to defend Hoyer, but you leave me no choice. clearly his point was if every member was forced to read the bill “in it’s entirety” before casting their vote, very few would have voted because the bill is so monstrous in size that no single member has the wherewithal to read the whole thing (in such a short period of time). your ill-conceived analyst infers Hoyer’s point was if members read the bill, and therefore “actually bothers to learn what it does”, they couldn’t vote for it in good conscience. shame on you, Ed. this kinda crap is beneath you and hotair.com

please note, i’m not taking issue with your broader point, but i do think you’re putting words in Hoyer’s mouth.

WhoKnew on July 9, 2009 at 1:43 PM

@ Phildorex on July 9, 2009 at 1:30 PM

precisely my point.

would you buy a home if the banker said, “you don’t have time to read the contract. the deal is going through now, so you have to sign or the deal is off.”

i believe most people, with half a brain, would WALK AWAY.

thedude on July 9, 2009 at 2:37 PM

@ WhoKnew on July 9, 2009 at 1:43 PM

ED: “A good rule of thumb: if a Representative or a Senator can’t be expected to read it, it shouldn’t pass into law. Apply this standard, and watch how that stops the growth of government and the stupidities of the law.”

i think the point is that each and every congressman/woman should read the bill before they vote on it. that in the overall sense, no bill should be rushed through or passed without being studied by our representatives. or at least read in its entirety.

hoyer was saying if you removed those who didn’t read the bill, there would be very few left to vote on it… even laughing about the notion.

I WANT MY REPS TO READ THE BILL. yay or nay. and i agree with Ed that each bill should not get wildly blown out of proportion so as to be too lengthy or complicated or watered down or even bloated with earmarks to discourage anyone who votes on it to read it, or just leave it to their staffers to… fill them in on it.

i believe there are semantics floating around here…

thedude on July 9, 2009 at 2:47 PM

thedude on July 9, 2009 at 2:47 PM

i agree with everything you’re saying, but Ed attempts to spin Hoyer’s remarks as an admission that if the members of congress + senate read the whole bill, they wouldn’t vote for it and that’s just not true. Hoyer’s point is clear and Ed + hotair.com lose credibility when they try to portray it as otherwise. the headline alone borders on a bald-faced lie because it directly credits the sentiment “No one would vote for ObamaCare if they read the bill” to Hoyer which isn’t even close to what he said.

WhoKnew on July 9, 2009 at 3:16 PM

Hoyer is wrong, dead wrong. A great many people would still vote for ObamaCare if they read the bill…because they wouldn’t understand a god**** thing about the disasters it will create.

The (citizen) supporters behind this bill fall into one or more of the following categories: deluded do-gooders, economically/politically ignorant, welfare freeloaders, hypochondriacs, the something-for-nothing crowd and some just plain lacking a working brain.

I repeat; no amount of facts or evidence will discourage the mouthbreathing masses who think handing the semi-useless fools in DC control of our healthcare will make it better almost as easily as waving a wand and saying “Alakazam!”. There are many of them, and their numbers are not diminishing.

Be afraid. Be afraid for your life, and the lives of your fellow patriots.

Dark-Star on July 9, 2009 at 3:23 PM

@ WhoKnew on July 9, 2009 at 3:16 PM

keeping him honest, i follow ya.

thedude on July 9, 2009 at 3:40 PM

A good rule of thumb: if a Representative or a Senator can’t be expected to read it, it shouldn’t pass into law. Apply this standard, and watch how that stops the growth of government and the stupidities of the law.

Yes, yes, yes!

PersonalLiberty on July 9, 2009 at 5:08 PM

A key part of of the next wave of GOP leaders should include these planks:

We will pass a bill requiring all bills to be less than 200 pages of type readable by the naked eye.

We will pass a law, requiring all legislators to affirm that they personally have read a bill before being allowed to vote on it.

We will propose legislation requiring all amendments to be directly related the legislation it amends.

hawksruleva on July 9, 2009 at 5:15 PM

hawksruleva on July 9, 2009 at 5:15 PM

i conquer… i just find it so sad that such rules/laws would have to be proposed in the first place… good luck with that last one tho… they throw in pet pork projects to negotiate for votes.

i think it’s time to dump congress and re-structure all of their rules.

thedude on July 9, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Comment pages: 1 2