On the Barack Obama web site, in a section titled “Ethics” (stop snickering!), Obama made the following pledge during his campaign:
Sunlight Before Signing: Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.
In unrelated news:
President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed a law expanding a health program to include 3.5 million uninsured children, advancing an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system despite the embarrassing withdrawal of his nominee to lead the initiative.
Obama signed the legislation at a White House ceremony just hours after the U.S. House of Representatives voted 290-135 for the $32.8 billion expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, which was approved by the Senate last week.
Credit for this find goes to Politico, which also notes:
Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act only two days after it received final passage last week, and it wasn’t posted on the White House website until after it became law.
Exit question, as they say: what the defense? “These are emergency bills”? “We forgot”?
Other possible excuses welcome in the comments.
Ed Morrissey asks: Should Geithner go, too?.
If you believe that their departures were a matter of principle, then yes, Geithner should go. If the lesson of Daschle and Killefer is that Obama won’t permit tax cheats in high office, then it would seem odd to have a tax cheat overseeing the IRS.
But it’s not about principle. It’s about politics. I suspect that there were other shoes to drop on Daschle, and that Killefer was collateral damage in the effort to put the entire issue behind them.
This isn’t about principles. It’s about politics. We know this, because Geithner will stay.
Discussing the Daschle withdrawal, the L.A. Times tells us:
John J. Castellani, who heads the influential Business Roundtable, said over the last month his group has actually been working more closely with members of Congress than with the new administration
That effort builds on the emerging consensus that the federal government must act decisively to help cover the roughly 46 million people in America who lack health insurance.
Lawmakers and interest groups also agree that Washington must take aggressive steps to bring down costs and reward quality care.
Hmmm. There is an “emerging consensus” that the government must act decisively to cover the uninsured? I’m quite sure there is at the water cooler in the L.A. Times newsroom. I’m sure that, for the well-heeled liberals sipping their lattes in the paper’s cafeteria (is that sucker still open?), the consensus emerged long ago.
I’ll grant you that nobody thinks it’s a good thing to have over 45 million uninsured people. But there’s something short of a “consensus” — whether “emerging” or otherwise — about precisely what we should do about it.
As one data point, note that the S-CHIP legislation was recently passed in the Senate — but it happened on a party-line vote. Republicans are very suspicious of anything that looks like a movement toward a single-payer system, and tend to seek solutions via some combination of the free market and tax policy. Does that count as the federal government acting decisively to help cover the uninsured? Would the L.A. Times agree?
If I’m wrong about this “emerging consensus,” please tell me in the comments. But I don’t think I am.
When Obama’s health care proposals actually come up for debate, I’ll be reminding you about the “emerging consensus” the L.A. Times is telling us about today. I think we’ll all have a good laugh.