Washington DC (GlossyNews) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed the America’s Affordable Health Care Choices Act–without ever voting on it. With votes for passage of the bill in short supply, the House Democratic majority simply “deemed” the contentious bill as already having been passed, without any members having to go on record as actually having voted for it.
“Thanks to Democratic legislative ingenuity, affordable health care for all will soon be the law of the land,” exulted Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “The days of votist obstructionism are over: ‘Yea or Nay’ is a thing of the past. Cap and Trade, here we come!”
Majority Whip James Clyburn responded to Republican and moderate Democratic objections that the tactic undermines the democratic process. “Heck, we just ‘deemed’ those objections to be irrelevant.” He smiled and then added. “You know, this deeming thing is coming in pretty handy. Why didn’t we think of this before?”
The new method of deeming bills as passed without actually voting on them has suddenly and drastically altered the way the House conducts its business.
Unprecedented change gained momentum as House members acted quickly following passage of the health care bill. Dozens of bills, ranging from a 67% pay raise for House members to a $29.6 million appropriation for the notorious ‘guppy love’ study, had been deemed passed. A common refrain among House members was, “Hey: I only introduced it, I didn’t actually vote for it.”
Rep. Dennis Kucinich said, “Things are moving so fast now that it’s hard to keep up. We don’t even need to have an actual bill in hand anymore: we just deem it passed and figure we’ll do the paperwork later. We call ourselves ‘the Deem Machine’.”
A mob of representatives, many of them carrying bouquets and boxes of chocolates, crowded the hall outside Speaker Pelosi’s office to get their favored initiatives on the burgeoning legislative agenda. One House member who asked to remain anonymous said, “The House agenda is loaded up and we’re all trying to get to the head of the line. This place is like one big frat boy party, and Nancy is the homecoming queen everyone wants to lay.”
The rapid pace of change has caused confusion in some quarters, particularly among those celebrating the new legislative paradigm. Rep. Barney Frank was interrupted mid-toast when an impromptu champagne-and-martini bar set up in the cloak room was just as quickly removed after it was realized that it violated the Intoxicating Substances Deterrence Act, deemed passed just twenty minutes before.
Recently, a new topic had set the House floor abuzz: a proposed 28th Constitutional amendment to the Bill of Rights. It reads: “The right of House Democrats to deem bills as passed shall not be infringed.”
Rep. Maxine Waters, who introduced the amendment, said, “Passage of a Constitutional amendment requires a 2/3 vote of both houses and ratification by ¾ of the states. However, in our morning session tomorrow, we intend to declare both Senate approval and State ratification as resolved ab inito–i.e., ‘from the beginning’. In other words, we will deem the amendment ratified. By noon the 28th Amendment will be law.”
Asked about the 28th Amendment, Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, replied, “The 28th is already old news. You should be asking me about the 29th Amendment: it just cleared the Committee three minutes ago.
“Here’s the scoop. We have a bicameral legislature–the two houses–so why not a bicameral judiciary? As soon as we deem passed the 28th Amendment, Cap and Trade, the Comprehensive Gun Ban Act, and the Fulsome Breast Baby Milk Initiative, I will introduce the 29th Amendment to the Constitution.
“Tell your readers to synchronize their watches: by tomorrow afternoon the United States will have a bicameral judiciary conisisting of both the Supreme Court and the ACLU.”
Neither Republicans nor moderate Democrats could be found for comment. The House security force removed them from the Capitol grounds earlier this afternoon, immediately following the deemed passage of the Obstructionist Legislators Reduction Act.
Copyright 2010 Robert Babcock