"Schoolhouse Rock has taught generations of Americans how a bill becomes a law," says Rep. " said Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee in a press release just issued by 11 U.S. Congressmen.
"As most school children can attest," Stark says, "a bill is just a bill on Capitol Hill until it passes both the House and Senate in identical form and is signed by the President ? or Congress overrides his veto. I'm sorry we've had to resort to this lawsuit, but I am committed to protecting our democracy."
11 ranking Members of the United States House of Representatives will be filing a law suit in U.S. District court on Friday, The BRAD BLOG has learned, seeking a permanent injunction of "Deficit Reduction Act" which George W. Bush signed into law on February 8th of this year, despite its not having passed both houses of Congress.
The BRAD BLOG has obtained an exclusive copy of the suit to be filed tomorrow by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) and 10 other Democratic law makers, as well as a timeline of the events in the matter as compiled by the House members.
"On February, 8 at 3:43 p.m.," the complaint alleges, Bush signed a bill that "never was passed by the United States House of Representatives."
The difference in the language of the House and Senate bills, is a clause requiring Medicare to cover rent for "certain durable medical equipment." The version of the bill pased by the House requires payments for 36 months. The Senate version requires payments for only 13 months.
The difference in the cost of the federal outlays for the two different versions is said to be approximately $2 billion.
The two houses of Congress were never able to pass a joint version of the bill, and yet, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and President Pro Tem of the United States Senate, Ted Stevens (R-AK), "signed a statement attesting that the bill signed by the President had been passed by both the United States House and the United States Senate."
"Once again the Administration is playing fast and loose with the Constitution," Conyers says in a Press Release (posted in full at the end of this article).
"Anyone who has passed the sixth grade knows that before a bill can become a law, both Houses of Congress must approve it. That the Bush Administration is now saying otherwise underscores the Constitutional crisis we are facing in this country."
Several other members were equally clear in the press release which excoriates the Bush Administration for yet another Constitutional transgression.
Says Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee in the release: "Time and time again the President has sought to discard the Constitution as if it were an old shoe."
Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee is quoted as saying, "the Constitution is clear --- legislation signed by the President must be passed by both the House and the Senate. In allowing the President to sign a bill that was not passed by the House, Congressional Republicans made a mockery of the legislative process."
The "FACTS" section of the complaint explains the matter quite clearly...