Friday, December 15, 2006


Sen. Harry Reid, the soon-to-be majority leader, says he will end a scummy practice known as "dead-of-night legislating." That's where lawmakers slip perks into bills in the pipeline, usually when the watchdogs are sleeping.

So what did Reid do in the last hours of this Congress? Betcha. As Bloomberg News reports:

Reid slipped two home state projects into the last major bill Congress passed last week: a transfer of federal land in Nevada to state and private control that's almost two-thirds the size of Rhode Island; and a $4 million grant for a hospice. Neither had been approved by any congressional committee. ...

"Doing anything last minute shoved into an irrelevant measure -- that's exactly what Harry Reid said he was going to stop," said Steve Ellis, vice president of programs at Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington-based nonprofit that monitors government spending. "It goes against the grain of transparency and openness."

Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Reid's actions didn't constitute "dead-of-night" legislating because his request was the subject of extensive negotiations earlier in the week among congressional leaders over what to include in the measure.

Reid called House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas on Dec. 7 to remind him of an earlier agreement to include the land legislation when a draft released that day didn't include it, Manley said. The House Rules Committee added Reid's measure at about 10:30 p.m. at Thomas's request. Thomas, who is retiring, is a California Republican.
Just because it happened in the dead of night doesn't make it "dead-of-night" legislating. There may be lamer excuses, but none immediately come to mind.


Anonymous said...

Oh, come on. What's the matter, cat got your tounge?

Anonymous said...

Only one comment on this?

Ron posts something up about a celeb and there are immediately 20 responses.

Then he puts something up like this that actually matters, and nothing.

No wonder the news media puts all that shit on the air.
It's the only thing people respond too!

Reid should be called on this.
The problem he proposed fixing is a serious one.
And politicians above all know the importance of perception, so he should have known how this would be perceived in relation to his call for reform.

But perhaps he knew none of us would give a crap as long as Brittany Spears wasn't wearing any underwear and Miss USA was doing blow and kissing chicks.