Leahy: I didn’t bother reading bill that I demanded pass into law

posted at 2:09 pm on August 2, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Greta van Susteren publishes Senator Pat Leahy’s admission that he had no clue what was in the financial regulation bill before pushing it into law with an appropriate headline, so be sure to check it out.  Leahy pledges to fix the law that he supported in order to fix what he never bothered to read:

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,
On FOIA Exemptions For The Securities And Exchange Commission
August 2, 2010

“The Freedom of Information Act is our nation’s premier open government law, and a powerful guardian of the public’s right to know. The Wall Street reform bill that has now become law makes great strides toward enhancing transparency in our financial system. However, I am concerned that an overly broad Freedom of Information Act exemption, originally drafted in the House of Representatives and which was included in the final law, is contrary to the very important goals of the Wall Street Reform bill – restoring accountability and transparency to our financial markets. The SEC should immediately issue guidance narrowly interpreting this FOIA exemption in a manner that is both consistent with the President’s policy of government transparency and with Congressional intent. I will work with the Obama administration and others in Congress to ensure that the SEC remains subject to FOIA and accountable to the American people.”

Oh, come on now.  It’s not as if Congress usually passes bills without reading them.  Or, um, actually … it is.  For those who may have missed it this weekend, Democrats refused to fix the ObamaCare provision that requires companies to drown themselves and the IRS in 1099s for business-to-business transactions over $600 in order to qualify them as tax deductions.  Thanks to their pay-go rule, they won’t strip that requirement unless Republicans agree to  hike taxes on other businesses to make up for the $19 billion in phantom revenue Democrats claim this change would have provided — even though more and more Democrats realize that this gives strong evidence that Democrats have a hostile approach to the private sector.

While we’re talking about accountability, Senator Leahy, perhaps voters should hold you accountable for your dereliction of duty.  After all, you chair the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has at least some connection to FOIA issues and government accountability.  Why didn’t you read the bill and discover this yourself?

Len Britton’s ad looks more and more relevant each day, and not just on economics.


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He had vote for it so he could find out what’s in it. Don’t you know how things work around here?

Akzed on August 2, 2010 at 2:13 PM

Leahy pledges to fix the law that he supported in order to fix what he never bothered to read:

Hell of an efficient way of conducting business…..

ted c on August 2, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Scott and the Maine twins didn’t bother to read it either it seems.
L

letget on August 2, 2010 at 2:14 PM

To a Democrat all business is evil and greedy. Somehow I don’t think that will ever change.

Dasher on August 2, 2010 at 2:15 PM

“Hey, you’re getting a little thin on top there, Leaky!”

Del Dolemonte on August 2, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Leahy pledges to fix the law that he supported in order to fix what he never bothered to read:

One wonders: Will he read the “Fix” before he votes on it?

VelvetElvis on August 2, 2010 at 2:18 PM

So Leahy. What’s it feel like to actually BE all the things you accused Bush of? Moron!!!

capejasmine on August 2, 2010 at 2:18 PM

All senators should read the bills before voting on them. But that being said, don’t the senators have staff that can read the bills and alert them to problems like this one?

TeleL on August 2, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Ed, the Hannity interview with Weiner who would not go on record saying he’d never vote for another bill without reading it would be a fitting addendum. Priceless.

conservative pilgrim on August 2, 2010 at 2:21 PM

While we’re talking about accountability, Senator Leahy, perhaps voters should hold you accountable for your dereliction of duty.

right, essentially the senator’s vote was a concurrence that he read and concurred with the bill that was proposed…now he wants to fix it? this is bunk.

ted c on August 2, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Leahy’s job,is like all other Liberals,

to vote YES or NO,thats it,and then,off
to the cocktail partys,and BS about the bill
you voted yay or nay to!!

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:23 PM

so, he disagrees with the first bill then….

ted c on August 2, 2010 at 2:24 PM

A good fix to this, after he reverses the FOIA exclusion for SEC, would be for Patty to trundle back to VT and stay there, on a farm where he can use a real shovel to move real poop around. He can handle poop in large quantities, based on his performance, so let’s make that a good-sized farm.

Those who can handle poop should be given poop to handle.

Harry Schell on August 2, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Seems we didn’t read any bills either before dems got in charge.

tomas on August 2, 2010 at 2:26 PM

If they don’t read the bills they pass, they obviously don’t wrte them either. So who does write these 2,000 page messes? Staff, lobbyists, White House staff? George Soros’ staff? Who is accountable?

Is *anything* in these bills traceable to the person who entered the text? Is there *anyone* in Congress accountable? Are there *any* limits to what can be hidden within those 2,000+ pages? How about we just deem the US Constitution to be null and void and declare Obama Dictator President for Life?

Skandia Recluse on August 2, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Hey Leaky, remember what
Cheney said to you ?

macncheez on August 2, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Pelosi: we have to pass the health care bill so that you can find out what is in it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoE1R-xH5To

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Leahy NEEDS TO GO!

GarandFan on August 2, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Dare I dream that Len Britton flushes Leaky Leahy down the drain? Unfortunately, Vermonters are stuck on stupid.

RedRedRice on August 2, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Hey Leaky, remember what
Cheney said to you ?

macncheez on August 2, 2010 at 2:27 PM

macncheez: Hehe,yup,here ya go!!:)
===================================================
Cheney Says F Yourself on Senate Floor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYY1oDDYS18

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Leahy NEEDS TO GO!

GarandFan on August 2, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Is that why Rush calls him Senator Depends?

VelvetElvis on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Leaky Leahy’s own words are an atomic bomb for political ads running against the Democrats and the ruling class…

… Will they be used?

(crickets talking amongst themselves)

Seven Percent Solution on August 2, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Darwin did not do the job in congress. Like diving head first into the pool to find out how deep it is. Maroooooons.

Pelosi delende est on August 2, 2010 at 2:32 PM

… Will they be used?

(crickets talking amongst themselves)

Seven Percent Solution on August 2, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Seven Percent Solution: *Sigh*-hopefully!!:)

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:32 PM

This bill and health care are liberally sprinkled with these anti-liberty land mines and none of these idiots has a clue as to where they are. The explosions will continue as these laws are implemented, which will result in even more uncertainty, while damaging the country and its economy every time it happens.

RadClown on August 2, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Accountability?

These are the American Nobility and they do not care to be held accountable to the mob!

It is sickening to watch this band of worthless hucksters destroy a form of government that they hate without understanding.

They are not accountable to anyone and they will fight to keep it that way.

sharrukin on August 2, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Got an idea for Leahy to make thing easier on him and all the reps. No bill can be longer than three paragraphs, and no sentence can have more than two words over six letters in it. Maybe with these restrictions or elected officials can read the bills before they vote on them.

Tommy_G on August 2, 2010 at 2:34 PM

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Water, water every where…

… and not a drop to drink.

Seven Percent Solution on August 2, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Come on now. Even a rube knows you have to first pass a law to find out what’s in it.

ButterflyDragon on August 2, 2010 at 2:35 PM

fill in the blanks president Mongrel.

Is this even Constitutional? Allowing the bureaucracy to do whatever it wants with the people?

tarpon on August 2, 2010 at 2:36 PM

All senators should read the bills before voting on them. But that being said, don’t the senators have staff that can read the bills and alert them to problems like this one?

TeleL on August 2, 2010 at 2:21 PM

They do have staff to read bills and advise them. The problem is they all thought the law was just right until there phone started jumping off the hook. Democrats shoot selfs in foot once again. Ain’t it beautiful.

Dasher on August 2, 2010 at 2:37 PM

To a Democrat all business is evil and greedy.

Dasher on August 2, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Unless they are monopolies or oligopolies that promote the party line. Then they are enlightened.

Count to 10 on August 2, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Cheney Says F Yourself on Senate Floor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYY1oDDYS18

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Heres cutting edge wisdom from a genius

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t32ckkdlcao

macncheez on August 2, 2010 at 2:42 PM

There is NOTHING in the the Constitution that those Teaparty folks are always going on about that requires a law be read before it is passed. Therefore, since what the Constitution doesn’t specifically require Congress to do is actually forbidden, we were prevented from reading this bill by our devotion to the Constitution that we swore with our hands on a Bible to uphold.

Lily on August 2, 2010 at 2:44 PM

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:32 PM
Water, water every where…

… and not a drop to drink.

Seven Percent Solution on August 2, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Seven Percent Solution:Yup:)

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:44 PM

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 PM
———————–
Heres cutting edge wisdom from a genius

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t32ckkdlcao

macncheez on August 2, 2010 at 2:42 PM

macncheez: Utter insanity thats rampant throughout the Libs,
and on tape to boot!!:)

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Will he read the fix?

29Victor on August 2, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Obama Accidentally Signs Pledge to Wear Silly Hat Buried in 2,000-Page Bill Nobody Read

Mervis Winter on August 2, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Mervis Winter: Haha,love it!!:)

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Any other place the average joe would do what Leahy did here, they would be fired on the spot without the right to an appeal!

So why the hell is Leahy allowed to keep his job?!!!!

pilamaye on August 2, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Skandia Recluse on August 2, 2010 at 2:27PM
So who does write these 2,000 page messes?

I think this is the problem.

It is not so much elected officials who are the barrier to rational policy decisions in America: it is the “permanent unelected government” of bureaucrats, mediacrats, educrats, assorted policy wonks and intellectuals in alliance with ethnic and economic special interest groups.

midlander on August 2, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Since Mr Leahy loves holding hearings so much, why doesn’t he hold a hearing to figure out:

- Who inserted the exemption.
- Why the exemption was inserted.
- Who lobbied them to insert the exemption (and why).
- What the purpose of the exemption was or what “problem” was it supposed to “fix.”

Joe Caps on August 2, 2010 at 2:52 PM

What a mess of things voters made. It’s going to take years to get the fools out.

rollthedice on August 2, 2010 at 2:57 PM

The Senate rules require legislation to be read on the floor unless the members unanimously agree not to. Some brave Senator should object and make them publicly read everything. People would call it a stunt, but I think it would actually serve a useful function.

zmdavid on August 2, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Why didn’t you read the bill and discover this yourself?

The real q

Franklyn on August 2, 2010 at 3:10 PM

sometimes day dreaming i wish i could slide into one of the massive, no read bills.A part where it says that evryone who voted for it and even the vp and pres, would as soon as it was signed into law, agree to resign immediately,forgo all pension and benefits, also agreeing never again to run for public office. Also it would carry a 5 million dollar fine if they would try get it struck down in court.

BruceB on August 2, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Why didn’t you read the bill and discover this yourself?

The question is that a democrate, would it have made any difference if he objected to what his comrades put in it? What are the chances he would have voted NO? Is their ice in hell?

Franklyn on August 2, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Rep. Paul has a bill for that!

Soon FinReg will finally be exposed for the fraud it has been since its inception – the much touted Obama financial regulatory reform is nothing but a scam designed to allow Wall Street to steel what middle class wealth remains faster, bolder and in ever greater amounts, as the point where the system breaks is now months away, and the Wall Street-DC joint venture is all too aware. As a result all must be done to allow theft to be bigger than ever, all the while the “regulator” is no longer held responsible for looking the other way.
[...]
What is unclear is whether the Ron Paul law prohibits SEC staffers to spend 40 hours per week to browse porn on the taxpayer’s dime, while sending out their resumes to assorted HFT outfits, where they will participate in the same bid stuffing crime first hand, instead of just looking away from it when the latest bribery check clears.

Rae on August 2, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Wasn’t this addressed in the amendment process?

Why not?

Greek Fire on August 2, 2010 at 3:14 PM

steel

heh

Joe Caps on August 2, 2010 at 3:18 PM

letget on August 2, 2010 at 2:14 PM

indeed

cmsinaz on August 2, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Cheney Says F Yourself on Senate Floor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYY1oDDYS18

canopfor on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 PM

good times, good times :)

cmsinaz on August 2, 2010 at 3:26 PM

I wish he was up for reelection this year. Not saying he could be beat in the Socialists state of Vermont, but worth a try.

Jim-Rose on August 2, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Here is an idea: Congress shall write no bill that is longer than the Constitution.

onlineanalyst on August 2, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Obama Accidentally Signs Pledge to Wear Silly Hat Buried in 2,000-Page Bill Nobody Read

Mervis Winter on August 2, 2010 at 2:40 PM

HA!

“Look,” said one administration official, “there’s a lot of stuff in legislation Congress passes and the President signs that we have no clue about. We just didn’t expect that a hidden provision would be inserted by a practical jokester.”

Financial markets are already bracing for the loss of confidence in the economy that will follow the President’s appearance with the really silly hat.

“The White House Counsel’s office is looking for ways around this,” said one administration lawyer. Alternatives being considered include having the President wear a giant wig over the hat, “thus diminishing the silliness of his appearance while still technically following the hat-wearing requirement.”

RadClown on August 2, 2010 at 3:44 PM

As Cartman states:

” To answer the question “What is wrong with Congress?” in the title of [Greta's] column, I will adapt an excerpt from the movie “50 First Dates”:

“(They) can’t…… read!”

Unfortunately, so long as there are those who nurse on the teat of entitlement who will vote for these inbred morons, there will be no way to treat this country to rid itself of the parasite… otherwise known as Congress.

For, Congress, just like the Terminator, “… will not stop! Ever! Until (we) are dead!”

How about starting true reform in Washington, DC beginning with a few of the following.

(1) No organization or company of any type may lobby an elected representative or senator for any reason.

(2) No elected representative or senator may have a staff exceeding the following: one secretary, one assistant, and one intern.

(3) No bill for consideration of becoming a law:
(a) shall be written by anyone other than the elected representative or senator proposing the bill.
(b) shall exceed more than 25 pages.
(c) shall be written in anything other than fifth-grade level English.

(4) Any bill for consideration of becoming a law:
(a) shall be read and studied by all members in both chambers of Congress. (This process is to be repeated after any step when any amendment(s) and/or change(s) has been made.)
(b) shall be made publicly available [on the internet] for all US citizens to read and study themselves for a full 30 day period after its proposal. This period resets to “Day 1″ after any step when any amendment(s) and/or change(s) has been made.
(c) shall be read on LIVE TV, by the President, for the first time he/she has read the finished bill, prior to his/her signing the bill into law.

(5) Any elected representative or senator, who has not read a bill prior to voting for it to become a law, may be subject to a civil lawsuit:
(a) filed by any US citizen the representative or senator is supposed to represent.
(b) for which he/she may not be able to use any other resource other than his/her personal assets to fund his/her own defense, until the court’s decision of guilty or not guilty is established.
(c) which may be thrown out of court ONLY IF the elected representative or senator reads the bill in its entirety on LIVE TV, explains in his/her own words his/her understanding of what it means, and declares how they will vote (not subject to change – if not yet passed), or how they did vote (if already passed).
(d) the final decision with respect to guilt will be decided by the “Deep Blue” supercomputer.
(e) which, if found guilty of not reading the bill:
(i) immediately invalidates the law if it had been passed.
(ii) immediately resets the review period for all US citizens to review to “Day 1″ [on the internet] if not yet passed.
(iii) immediately results in his/her resignation of his/her office as elected representative or senator.
(iv) using no resource other than his/her personal assets, makes the formerly elected representative or senator liable to pay:
1. all legal costs for the PLAINTIFF’s case, plus
a. interest accrued, plus
2. all salary lost by the PLAINTIFF for the duration of the case -provided in cash to the plaintiff within 5 working days of the courts decision on LIVE TV. Failure to meet this requirement (5.e.iv.) will result in:
[a] immediate seizure of all assets belonging to the formerly elected representative or senator, as well as all assets belonging to his wife/partner and any children that he/she may have, which shall be distributed to the PLAINTIFF, and
[b] a non-negotiable term of 20 years incarceration (or until death, whichever comes first) in a Federal Prison.

Okay… got a bit carried away with that last provision. But, it appears we have to treat these people as immature children, with the threat of serious punishment if they continue to perform as they are, passing laws that impact hundreds of millions of people – without any accountability other than, “Oops. If I had known that that was in there, I wouldn’t have signed it.” If anyone else had signed a contract they had not read – he/she would be legally responsible. But for these jerks, no accountability.

Alternatively we could follow “WKRP in Cinncinnati”‘s lead by adding said congressmen and women to the the “turkey drop” out the door of a flying helicopter on Thanksgiving…. “

Danny on August 2, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Leahy! Another old fool past his expiration date wandering the Senate floor.

jeanie on August 2, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Leahy! Another old fool past his expiration date wandering the Senate floor.

jeanie on August 2, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Now that all the old, real legislators are gone all we’re left with is incontinent, incompetent, sodomy-supporting baby killers who don’t have a clue about governance. They just want their monkey touched.

When Byrd died, any respect earned by Congress went with him. It is now void of value.

BobMbx on August 2, 2010 at 4:10 PM

70 year old Senator Patrick Leahy is up for re-election in November.

This is our chance to VOTE SENATOR LEAHY OUT OF OFFICE!

Len Britton is the Republican who is running against Senator Leahy.

Learn more about Len Britton at his campaign web site:

http://www.lenbritton.com/

Please vote for Len Britton, Vermont!

wren on August 2, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Why should he read the bills? It’s not his money that they are spending.

slickwillie2001 on August 2, 2010 at 5:14 PM

The 1099 thing could be fun to play with.

How about everybody with a business file a 1099 for every possible transaction, whether it comes to $600 or not. You could say you were doing it just in case you missed something. And make sure absolutely none of them are filed in any way electronically.

If the Dems want us to snow under the IRS, we should be happy to oblige. Give them a blizzard they’ll never for get.

HakerA on August 2, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Another mess the Democrats caused by not reading the bills before they vote on them. Leahy is a lawyer and knows better than to sign/vote before reading the fine print. I’m sick of the Do-Nothing-Democrats who refuse to read the bills, refuse to pass a budget, and refuse to listen to the American people. DO YOUR JOB, American: VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!!!

NOvember: WE CAN DO BETTER!

TN Mom on August 2, 2010 at 5:17 PM

NOvember: WE CAN DO BETTER!

TN Mom on August 2, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Come on Repubs do it too-or should I say don’t do it too./Sarc

I am being sarcastic because I have tired of the but you did it too game. Seriously will there ever be and administration that that game cannot be played against? I guess only if a third party won.

CWforFreedom on August 2, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Is Patrick Leahy only 70? He could easily pass for 80!

jeanie on August 2, 2010 at 7:01 PM

i love that photo of Leahy. why so serious…

moonbatkiller on August 2, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Don’t forget that this genious is from Vermont. In that state everyone can trace their family tree to two common people. I do hope they don’t allow him to eat with sharp untensils. The democrats do not read the bills but it’s the republicans they blame for trying to stop the bills. Great, just great.

Wills on August 3, 2010 at 8:25 AM