So Mark Kirk, Republican Senate candidate in Illinois and current House member who helped provide the margin of victory for the Waxman-Markey capntade bill, has just defended his vote as follows:
In Warrenville, Kirk repeated previous explanations that meeting with business owners all over Illinois helped him better understand the legislation’s harm. ‘We make a lot of errors in Congress, not out of malice or corruption. It’s out of ignorance and lack of understanding of how a $14 trillion economy operates,’ Kirk said. ‘As I traveled Illinois, I quickly saw the kind of damage that legislation would cause industries that were not heavily present in my congressional district: heavy manufacturing, agriculture, mining. I had to make a choice between higher employment in my state or sticking with the old vote.’
Ah. After the vote he went out and learned about its impact on the economy (he has previously said he voted in the interests of his North Shore district, only, which includes a lot of traders dependent on ‘rents’ from the scheme…).
Sounds familiar with the way things have been working in Washington “we don’ need to read no stinkin’ bill!” DC. After the June 2009 vote, the Congressional Budget Office released a May 2010 analysis, including that:
“In particular, job losses in the industries that shrink would lower employment more than job gains in other industries would increase employment, thereby raising the overall unemployment rate.”
It also notes that real incomes would drop. And, of course, those who had read it (no one who voted on it) would have known that the biill has 2 years of assistance for workers who lose their jobs from industry sectors expressly identified as sure to take a wallop as a result of this ‘jobs bill’.
Remember Henry Waxman’s fury on June 26, 2009 when John Boehner began to read aloud on the floor some of the 300 pages inserted into the bill at 1 a.m. that morning to line up the votes needed to pass capntrade? Waxman’s complaint was that some of his Members would miss their flights if Boehner read the bill which no one had yet read, before Members were told to vote on it. Sadly, Boehner merely put on some good theater instead of making them miss their flights (but he did seem to find his sea legs at about that moment and has been a much improved leader since).
So read the dang bill might be a good slogan going into the next Congress (along with “no taxpayer bailout for California”…if that state’s voters decline to suspend their own capntradde suicide note, AB 32, by passing Prop 23 today, and/or otherwise compound the self-imposed misery with more damaging gesture politics, then there is simply no reason the rest of this should pick up the tab for their folly. Enough moral hazard from our political class.)
A failure to read the bills got us House passage of capntrade and, it seems likely, a new majority in the House. Maybe you should start drafting fewer “Christmas tree” bills and more bills that fix the problem, and that you read before you vote on them? Just a thought. Or, in a couple of years, maybe the next crowd will think of such things.