Thursday, October 8, 2009

Senators Express Their Views on "Conceptual" Health Care Bill Through Interpretive Dance

Washington, D.C.--Under little-known Senate rules, Senators can "vote" in committee on "conceptual legislation" that consists of vague concepts that have not yet been reduced to actual legislative text.

Consequently, a Senate committee can report out a "bill" that contains none of the statutory language that may ultimately be voted on by the full Senate.

To comport with the aesthetics of a "conceptual markup," Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, led members in an "interpretive dance" that embodied each Senator's position on the provisions in the conceptual health care bill.

One political dance critic particularly admired "the contortions each Senator went through to convey the tenuous nature of their grasp on the significance of legislation that hasn't been written yet."

Associated articles: (noting that the Congressional Budget Office's "analysis [of the legislation] is preliminary in large part because the Chairman's mark, as amended, has not yet been embodied in legislative language");

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