Watching the United States Congress these days reminds one of the phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do.” We have developed exponential rules upon rules for lobbyists and their contacts with legislators, rules for campaign finance and execution, rules for everything. The one place we have developed few rules is the United States Congress. At least our expectations point to that fact.
Deep down inside, I think we always knew that a lot of horse trading occurred within the legislative process. Certainly, in the spirit of compromise, these type things were done in a way that allowed for Member “A” to vote for Member “B”s bill if Member “B” voted for Member “A”s bill.
However, seeing the brazen disregard for principle is disgusting and the American people are reacting very negatively to it. The see the Nebraska Senator, Ben Nelson, give his vote to the Health Insurance Bill in the Senate for a single-state waiver of Medicare cuts is despicable. To see the Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu agree to vote for the same bill to get something special for her state is equally reprehensible. To see Florida Senator Bill Nelson agree to the bill in order to get special treatment for Medicare Advantage for some of his citizens is beyond the pale.
We haven’t even talked about the new hospital Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd got for his state! I wonder if he is having it built next to his house he got the special mortgage deal with Countrywide to finance? This bribery is taking place in the open. That which the average American would be imprisoned for doing if he/she offered a Federal Elected Official something in return for a favorable vote is being carried on right on the front page of the newspaper. And to top it all off, these people have no shame!
What do you say? Let me make you a deal you can’t refuse. Elect me to the United States Congress in 2010 in Tennessee’s District 5, and, in return, I will refuse to go along with this hypocritical behavior and work to streamline the legislative process so that we root out this corrupt behavior. If you support my candidacy, I will promise to term limit myself in order to avoid the bribery. I promise to help create a new set of rules, the “Integrity House Rules.”