U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to write legislation. The Senate, traditionally, has done this with aplomb, earning the moniker “the world’s greatest deliberative body.” This is what the Founders hoped for — a group of imperfect people coming together to carefully hash out difficult questions. The Senate, for generations, has done this. It hasn’t always gotten legislation right, but it has tried.
The Obamacare legislative process in the Senate was by no means perfect. But in its first six months, it included 20 House hearings, 16 Senate hearings, five bipartisan meetings in the Senate and 200 expert witness testimonies. The substance of Obamacare clearly can’t be the last word on American health reform, but the legislative process was reasonably good.
At least, good compared with the Senate’s current Trumpcare process. During the first six months of the Trumpcare process, there were four House hearings, one Senate hearing, zero bipartisan meetings in the Senate and 18 expert witness testimonies.
Is this what the Founders were thinking of when they designed the world’s greatest deliberative body?
Would the Founders be particularly proud that the U.S. Senate is trying to reorganize one-sixth of the American economy after having just one hearing and speaking to only 18 experts?
This is to say nothing of the actual substance of the bill, which cuts Medicaid and gives the extra money to the wealthiest Americans. I understand this doesn’t bother Sens. Mike Lee or Orrin Hatch. Personally, I see it…