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In a rush to finalize a health care bill for President Obama to sign, Democrats are trying to forego a formal conference committee and complete the bill in secret. From Politics Daily:
Today, Brian Lamb, the president of C-SPAN, sent a letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, asking them to live up to the promise of opening health care negotiations to C-SPAN cameras. Although the non-profit cable channel has broadcast hundreds of hours of committee mark-ups and floor debate on health care reform, Democratic leaders are attempting to bypass a formal conference committee and negotiate the final deal behind closed doors.
Despite President Obama’s promise to sit everyone down around a big round table and hold the health care negotiations live on C-SPAN, and Speaker Pelosi’s promise that hers was going to be the most open, ethical congress; the final dealmaking for revamping 1/6 of the U.S. economy won’t be open for all to see. It looks as if it will be cobbled together, behind big wooden doors, by a few elected officials, with the promise that the American people will love it when we find out what’s in it.
Personally, my definition of transparency is not “trust us” while we hid in a room and make all the decisions. But, I guess it depends on what their definition of “transparency” is.