Stupid Amendments

Steve Benen, writing on the Republican strategy to slow health care reform legislation through amendments, notes:

Ordinarily, amendments are proposed to improve the bill. It’s what makes the Republican amendments pointless — even if their measures pass, they’ll still oppose reform. But the GOP caucus is nevertheless lining up hundreds of possible proposals. They’re also strategizing about having amendments read word for word to slow the process down even further.

Of course this is largely the strategy that was used by conservative Democrats in the House as well. To wit, the Stupak amendment made the House health care bill markedly worse and twenty-three Democrats who voted for it still opposed the whole bill.

The Republican Senate amendment strategy sucks, just like the House Blue Dog amendment strategy sucked. The challenge for Democrats will be to make sure that the press and the public understands that the Republicans, like these 23 House Democrats, are not legislating in good faith when it comes to health care reform and, as such, there amendments should be given no attention.

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