Leadership, Legislation, and Secrecy

Photo credit: House.appropriations.gov

Photo credit: House.appropriations.gov

At Vox, Lee Drutman writes:

"Over the past day or so, House Democrats, journalists, and a handful of very conservative Republicans been fulminating over the secretive ways House Republican leaders have been drafting their Obamacare repeal bill: behind closed doors, where nobody can see it, with plans to rush it quickly to a floor vote that will put pressure on Republicans to vote for a bill that will be aggressively marketed as “repeal.”

"While the optics might look bad — especially since just a few days earlier, House Speaker Paul Ryan explicitly said on NBC’s Today show that “we’re not hatching some bill in a backroom and plopping it on the American people’s front door” — this is actually nothing particularly new or shocking. It’s more or less how House leaders have been doing business for years. And they’ve been doing it for a reason: It’s by far the most effective way to get a bill passed.

"And it’s really Ryan’s only option. The longer he waits, the more likely it is that fellow Republicans get cold feet on a repeal, as they hear from more and more constituents and various interests that didn’t get the influence they wanted in the early drafting stages. And the more likely somebody in the Trump administration might actually come up with their own plan, ceding agenda control away from Ryan.

"But Ryan might not just be on borrowed time in trying to get his repeal through. He might be on borrowed time in being able to exert centralized, top-down leadership at all...."

Read more at http://www.vox.com/polyarchy/2017/3/3/14805112/house-bills-secretive-history