Saturday, October 26, 2013

Congress and Milker Bills - Nothing Gets Done

Peter Schweizer's book Extortion: How Politicians Extract Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets, discusses why Congress gets nothing done. They are too preoccupied with legislative tactics used to raise funds for their campaign coffers and to pay for their committee seats. As Mr. Schweizer explains, only about 5% of the bills proposed in Congress become law.
What if many of those bills are written not to be passed but to pressure people into forking over cash? This is exactly what is happening...

Take the maneuver known inside the Beltway as the “tollbooth.” Here the speaker of the House or a powerful committee chairperson will create a procedural obstruction or postponement on the eve of an important vote. Campaign contributions are then implicitly solicited. If the tribute offered by those in favor of the bill’s passage is too small (or if the money from opponents is sufficiently high), the bill is delayed and does not proceed down the legislative highway. [...]

Another tactic ... insiders call “milker bills.” These are bills designed to “milk” donations from threatened individuals or businesses. The real trick is to pit two industries against each other and pump both for donations, thereby creating a “double milker” bill.
Even if the "milker bills" do pass, they are usually crafted to expire so they can be proposed again and again for additional milking of businesses and constituents.

Mr. Schweizer says that at least 27 states have put restrictions on legislators accepting campaign contributions during active sessions. He suggests that Washington would benefit from similar laws. Only then, some real work might actually be accomplished by our government.

Because current U.S. Senators and Representatives are a "Permanent Political Class" and will never vote to ban campaign contributions while in session, I suggest they all need to go!

Posted by Note Taker

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