Thursday, August 4, 2011

Can We Talk?

August 4, 2011

The fight over raising the debt ceiling reminded me of this example of congressional grown-upness from January of 2010.

A bill was submitted in the House of Representatives that would grandfather in water rights to people who had them on lands before those lands became public lands

The bill was sponsored by a Republican and a Democrat. House Democrats voted against the bill, because the Republican’s name came first. However, the bill’s sponsors were told that if they submitted the bill with the Democrat’s name first, it would have a much better chance of passing. (The paper implied, in fact, that it would be a shoo-in, but I don’t know how it ever worked out.)

Now we’ve just had Congress arguing over the debt ceiling. Republicans hated the Democrats’ proposals, and the Democrats hated the Republicans’ proposals.

I wonder, if the proposals had been submitted anonymously—with no party affiliation— would they have been scrutinized on their merits, instead of just getting a knee-jerk yes or no that comes from a proposal’s being associated with the "wrong" party?

Might be something to consider.

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