On Thursday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow showed how a group of Democrats in the U.S. House on Thursday mocked Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)’s lawsuit against President Barack Obama over the Affordable Care Act by adding a series of amendments to the House resolution.
In doing so, she explained, Democrats made the GOP go on record as supporting the waste of taxpayer money, the lining of the pockets of lobbyists and law firms with a financial stake in the outcome and a refusal to disclose how much the whole enterprise is costing the country.
On Thursday, in what Maddow called “the most boringly-named committee in Congress,” the House Committee on Rules, something remarkable happened. The Rules Committee, she explained, in spite of its dull name, is one of the most powerful organizations in the Congress because it functions as “the gatekeeper for every single piece of legislation that goes to the House floor.”
The committee was set to rule whether the House resolution containing Boehner’s lawsuit against the president would proceed to a House vote.
“Of course, the Republicans voted ‘yes’ on that,” Maddow said. “Of course we should be suing the president.”
The Democrats knew, of course, being in the minority, that they would lose on this vote, so, Maddow explained, they decided they were going to lose “in the most constructive and entertaining way possible.”
“They decided to go amendment-crazy and force the Republicans to go on record again and again and again and again today in ways the Republicans did not want to do,” she said.
Democrats amended the bill to include a provision that each week, the Republican House will disclose to the public how much money it has spent on the lawsuit. The amendment was voted down, but now Democrats have forced Republicans to go on the record as opposing accountability for the taxpayer dollars they spend on the suit.
The Democrats continued to propose accountability measures regarding lobbyists, regarding the hiring of law firms by Congress that have enrolled their employees in Obamacare, and a slew of other measures designed to make Republicans look corrupt, petty and eager to duck public scrutiny.
“So, to recap,” said Maddow, “Republicans unanimously voted not to tell you how much they’re spending to sue the president, to allow themselves to hire lawyers whose firms lobby them and to allow that those lawyers might make money from the thing they are suing the president over.”
“Republicans decided themselves that they wanted to sue the president in an election year,” she said. “But the people who seem to most love that the Republicans are suing President Obama in an election year are the Democrats. It’s the Democrats who want the Republicans to be talking about this all the time in great detail about how they’re spending taxpayer money on law firms to sue President Obama.”
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