I also urge you to read this Washington Post story on a “food bill” being rushed through the House. It was tripped up on the floor yesterday, but the hard left Democrats running the House will regroup and make a second rush at passage very quickly.
Like the CPSIA that has proven so disastrous for American manufacturing –read my interview with Rick Woldenberg from earlier this week for a survey of the havoc spread by this law– this proposed food bill creates enormous new burdens on an already weakened sector of the economy –agriculture. Most members of the House will not have read it, and the consequences to farming (and the price you eventually pay for food) will be enormous. The reporting on the bill is like the Post’s –horse race sort of stuff without any examination of the bill’s substance or the objections being raised by opponents.
I have spent a lot of this week researching Section 103 of CPSIA –the label tracking provisions of last years law that kick in mid-August. These requirements are draconian and also extremely ambiguous. Manufacturers are enjoined –under threat of penalty– to fix tracking labels on all products intended for kids “to the extent practicable.” As I discussed on air with Dean John Eastman of Chapman Law School yesterday, such a vague statute raises constitutional issues of basic fairness. Even a few more words in the law could have greatly improved the implementation phase, but Congressional ability to write serious laws with specific commands has diminished generation to generation. As a result, unaccountable bureaucracies and courts fill in the gaps, and the costs of doing business lurch every higher and for little in return. (Manufacturers should consider bringing a declaratory relief action before Section 103 kicks in. It is that or just guess.)
I’d like to hear from opponents of the food bill what they consider to be the law’s worst and most burdensome features and the impacts on the food supply and the price of food.
I continue to ask manufacturers struggling with tracking label compliance under CPSIA to send me a note about their decision-making.
Both groups can reach me via email@example.com.
Yesterday’s news that the “Blue Dogs” among the House Democrats folded up and skittered away after a few barks for the media was not surprising. They will end up adding a bill voting for the destruction of American medicine to their cap-and-tax-and-tax-and-tax bill (also known as the China-India-Empowerment Act), and Henry Waxman will have what he needs a ticket to the conference committee which he intends to dominate.
Three GOP senators –Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Charles Grassley of Iowa, and Olympia Snowe of Maine– hold the key to stopping the Obama/Pelosi/Waxman plan by refusing to send a bill to the Senate floor and then on to conference. Mike Enzi threw cold water on the attempt to rush the three GOPers in this CNN story, and GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell said on my program yesterday that he was confident about the three GOP negotiators:
HH: Now let me ask you a little inside baseball, Senator McConnell. I’ve been warning people that even if the Senate Finance Committee came out with a bill that was much improved over the House bill, and that wouldn’t be hard to do, but let’s say you got rid of the government option, and you did not have the rationing that the House plan has, but something came out, and the Senate agreed to send that to conference. Whatever comes back from conference, is that subject to cloture as well, because that is…
MM: It’s subject to cloture, but it’s not amendable, and we only have 40 members of my party. And even if we were entirely unified, we would not have enough votes to prevent it. So it will get worse. I mean, the best bill you might ever see would be some kind of bill in the Finance Committee that would get worse in the course of the legislative process.
HH: And so don’t Senators Grassley and Snowe and Enzi, who are the three lead Republicans, are they negotiating with that certainty in mind, that Henry Waxman will just, I mean, he’ll gut anything they put together.
MM: Well they’re, you know, in their defense, they’re not free agents. They’re reporting to us. We just had a meeting this afternoon where two of the three of them were there talking to us about what’s been going on. I don’t think they’re going to sign onto a deal that a vast majority of my conference can’t agree to. And we don’t, so far, like much of anything we see in this big government, high tax, mandate approach that the Democratic majority and the President would like to pass.
In the weeks ahead, voters are going to have to focus their effort to stop Obamacare on these three Republicans and on about a dozen Democratic senators, while also keeping up the pressure on the lame Blue Dogs. If enough of the later get enough of a message during their time back in the district, it could indeed give them more bite than bark as the end game opens in the fall.
Byron York notes that the tumbling numbers on the president’s approval rating and for his plan are changing the political ground rapidly, and as more and more Americans realize that their health insurance is endangered by the Obama/Pelosi/Waxman radical rewrite of American medicine, they will get active in the fight against it. Obamacare already has the distinct look of a political suicide note to it, but as the ink dries, there will be even more clarity about that, and greater pressure to kill it or water it down to a subsidy for the poor seeking insurance.
Be sure to sign the petition a column over –Free Our Health Care. With more than 883,000 signatures, we are on our way to the million goal we set and should make it even before the Senate leaves town. A million online activists opposed to Obamacare that didn’t exist in any organized fashion three weeks ago is quite a message to fence-sitters in the Congress.
Finally, study the chart that the GOP staff of the The Joint Economic Committee produced and which Congressman John Campbell sent me. No one should want to inflict this new bureaucracy on America, but that is what Obamacare is bringing.