Yes the circus is back in town now that the Democrats are in control of Congress. So we grab our box of popcorn and beverage sit back and tune into C-SPAN to watch the show. Do we listen to the speeches about a new day dawning for bipartisanship partnership and get something done instead of do-nothing? Well it is entertaining to compare the words versus the actions. The actions so far have been anything but bipartisan. These actions include new House rules that are intended to jam through legislation. Pelosi decreed that none of the early legislation would go through the normal committee process, hoping to keep her party in lockstep to enact key agenda items and boost her own and the party's national image. This means no debate and vote in committees, no amendments allowed, no closed session for discussion of classified information, and limited time for debate on the floor. Apparently some of the new committee chairmen like Charlie Rangel are not happy with Nancy's decree. It is going to be entertaining to watch the Charlie & Nancy show. Another fact to watch as this process unfolds is the vote tally for these bills that are getting jammed through. If there are less than 291 aye votes in the House then there are an insufficient number to override a veto. Of the 4 bills that so far have passed 2 of them have more than 291 ayes and 2 of them do not. I think President Bush has also been watching this tally since indications are that the 2 with insufficient votes to override a veto will be vetoed by President Bush if they reach his desk.
There is also a more sobering less entertaining aspect to this Democratic House. Instead of acts of commission I am referring to acts of omission. Watch to see issues where no action by the House is taken. For example the House can refuse to send a Bill through to fund the war. A President can not use a veto pen unless there is a Bill to veto. The same thing can later be applied to taking no action to extend tax cuts. One fact that will be difficult for the Democrats to spin is that they take ownership now for anything that is done or left undone in the Congress. Just blaming President Bush and the GOP will not fly when you are the ones in the cockpit of the Democratic Congress.