24 November 2009

Culture of Corruption: Buying Support In Congress With Your Tax Money To Pass The Healthcare Bill

Why not? Hey, it's not their money!

These aren't all the side deal being made, just the one The Hill found out about: Side deals stack up as health bills move along

The $300 million Medicaid fix that Sen. Mary Landrieu got inserted into the Senate healthcare bill wasn’t the first “Louisiana Purchase” of the healthcare debate.

Pelosi packed a 300-page last-minute “manager’s amendment” to the cap-and-trade vote in July with carve-outs, regulatory exemptions and tax breaks to win the votes of fence-sitting lawmakers. It included language making it harder to develop wind power in western states and a section by Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) to prevent regulatory action she said could shut down the multitrillion-dollar market for over-the-counter derivatives.

And Republican leaders made all sorts of promises during the infamous three-hour vote in 2003 to pass Medicare prescription drug coverage. They stretched a 15-minute vote to three hours while they wheeled, dealed and pleaded with Republican lawmakers. Then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) offered to endorse the son of then-Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich.), who was seeking his father’s seat. Months later, DeLay was admonished by the ethics committee for his handling of Smith that night. During the investigation, it was even alleged that another lawmaker offered to get Smith’s daughter an acting job in Hollywood.

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