I was wondering why it felt so much like 1994 watching C-SPAN during the tail end of the Cap-and-Tax debate when Congressman Randy Forbes yielded 2 minutes to Minority Leader John Boehner.
Boehner was holding the 309 pages that the Democrats had added just hours before and was wondering who had read this last-minute addition to the bill.
So, Boehner took his customary Leader time to go through the amendment page by page, and remark on the monstrosities that the Democrats added to the bill in the dead of the night.
By the time he got to about page 40, Rep. Henry Waxman was waxing wroth, asking how long Boehner was allowed to speak. It was about 20 minutes so far.
The Chair ruled, to the GOP’s roaring delight, that it is customary to listen to the Leaders’ comments.
Boehner loudly exclaimed that if they were going to vote on 309 pages dropped on the Congress the day of the vote, the American people expect them to know what’s in the bill before they vote on it.
I smiled. I cheered. This is the Republican Party I grew up with.
Boehner is one of the few who remain from those 1994 Republicans. It was great to have him home again.
Boehner continued for over an hour, pointing out things like how the federal government will decide if your electrical outlets in your garage are correct, the federal government will block you from selling your home unless you’ve made it energy efficient, and how the federal government will require cities to hire people to enforce all this stuff if they’ve ever accepted any community block grant money.
Oh, and the unemployment benefits and training that people will get when they lose their jobs because of this bill, even though the Democrats say no one will.
Boehner quipped that Democrats who lose re-election because of voting for this might qualify for job retraining.
Democrats muscled enough votes to pass it in the House, but not without adding a lot of poison pills that will be a campaign field day for several challengers.
But for a day, Democrats were their same old Washington DC telling the country how to run every aspect of their lives, and Republicans were pointing out how insipid, corrupt and tawdry the whole mess has become.
Maybe it can be the start of something.