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Overturning Bush's 'Midnight Rules'

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Jason Paz     Permalink
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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H2 12/28/08

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The self-styled Progressives who make laundry lists of George Bush's sins failed to prosecute him for eight years. Only Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich opposed Bush's every measure. Democrats have been down so long we've lost any fighting ability. We fold at the beginning of a filibuster looking for ways to lose. Evan Bayh wants to caucus yellow dog Democrats on Tuesday, so the Republicans can tell them how to vote on Wednesday. This is disgraceful.

The House Democrats control the purse strings: Don't fund the war, bank bail outs, CIA torture hang-outs or earmarks. It should be forbidden for Bush to break down environmental protections or to attack endangered species in his final minutes. We can initiate legal actions against major Administration figures who have confessed to torture and murder. The Repugs are all bluff. Their only contribution to the culture was the song "Barack the Magic Negro" featured by the RNC. Bring them to heel.

Taking a look at the actuarial tables, we find whistle blowers at the bottom in terms of life expectancy. We hire 100's of thousands of G-men to torment any citizen who stands up for his rights. Being government employees, they are incompetent, cruel and messy. They control the public by intimidation. One President ordered the CIA to drown two investigative reporters in bathtubs. That has silenced journalists for a generation. The casual observer may note that the corrupt legislative and judicial systems ignore murderers. Mass murderers achieve high political office. In a last ditch effort to ruin the USA, Bush has pushed over 100 'Midnight Rules' that bypass the Congress to become law. Taken together, these measures will bring Obama's proposed Recovery Program to a grinding halt.

But, Congress has a remedy. The Congressional Review Act set up a process in which Congress has 60 session days to review and possibly reject agency rules. First, agencies must submit all new rules to the parliamentarians and leadership in both the House and Senate, in addition to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). GAO then must provide a report to the agency's authorizing committee on each major rule within 15 days of the rule's publication in the Federal Register or its receipt by Congress, whichever is later.

If a Congress member finds a rule objectionable, he/she can introduce a "resolution of disapproval." The resolution is then referred to committees of jurisdiction. In the Senate, if the committee has not reported within 20 calendar days, the resolution can be discharged upon a petition supported by 30 members, and it "shall be placed on the calendar." In the House, there is no such petition provision, and the resolution would be treated like any bill.

The Act prescribes special expedited procedures, which limit debate in the House and ban a Senate filibuster, for consideration of the resolution. Barring congressional action, a major rule(2) goes into effect 60 days after it has been submitted to Congress; a non-major rule goes into effect immediately, though like a major rule, Congress still has 60 session days to repeal it. If the motion to disapprove passes in both the House and Senate, and is then signed by the president(3), the rule essentially disappears. Even if it has already taken effect, the agency that issued it can no longer enforce the regulation or defend it in court. Furthermore, the agency is banned from pushing a similar version of the rule at a later date. It's all over except for the shouting. As you may realize, counteracting Midnight Laws is tedious and difficult. Bushco could eliminate only 3% of Clinton's last minute laws. The chances the do-nothing Congress will tackle Bush's 100 laws are practically nil.

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With the 100 laws in place, corporate America, the lobbyists and the Republicans can stall, sabotage and obstruct the recovery for many years.

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Born a month before Pearl Harbor, I attended world events from an early age. My first words included Mussolini, Patton, Sahara and Patton. At age three I was a regular listener to Lowell Thomas. My mom was an industrial nurse a member of the (more...)

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