Roll Call reports on a fracas between Democrats and Republicans in the House over the right of Representatives to communicate with their constituents. Republicans want to send this chart, created by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) to represent the flowchart of health services under ObamaCare, in order to show how much more complicated such care will become. Democrats filed a complaint with the franking committee and blocked it (via Drudge Report):
Democrats are preventing Republican House Members from sending their constituents a mailing that is critical of the majority’s health care reform plan, blocking the mailing by alleging that it is inaccurate.
House Republicans are crying foul and claiming that the Democrats are using their majority to prevent GOP Members from communicating with their constituents. …
“Hiding the truth about wildly unpopular policies is a Democrat specialty,” said one GOP aide. “I’d like to see the flow chart on how Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi plans on implementing the open and transparent government she keeps promising everyone.”
“We have initiated discussions with the minority to try and resolve current differences and are operating in good faith to achieve that goal,” said Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for House Administration Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.). The committee has oversight of the commission.
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), ranking member of the committee and a member of the franking commission, said through a spokeswoman that he is also aware of the situation and is working with the members of the franking commission to resolve the differences, but he added that he believed Democrats on the commission were overreaching.
You can see the chart for yourself here, and click the image to get the full-size PDF:
Even if the Democrats have solid ground for complaining about the graphic, the best remedy for bad speech is more speech, not censorship. Let the Democrats argue the rebuttal in their own mailings. Frankly (pun intended), their criticisms are picayune, amounting in essence to a complaint that Brady didn’t draw enough lines — which just makes Brady’s point even more clear.
An open and transparent Congress and leadership which understood those concepts would not have been frightened of a flow chart.