Every time I hear about the Health Care Bill, people keep saying that they don’t understand why the Members of Congress never read the Bill. Looking at it as an uninformed voter, it is something that is so incredible that it makes no sense at all! But I am not an uninformed voter, I am someone who actually worked on the Hill in DC and had to go through this process while trying to present legislation to Congress to help out our Disabled Vets and to try to bring home our surviving POWs that remained in Vietnam after all the years of lies that there weren’t anymore over there! It is a very complicated process to get a Bill before Congress and I will go through it, step by step, with you so that you will be able to see how something as outrageous as the Obama Health Care Bill made it through the system:
1. Do not be mislead by our Members of Congress as to the process. Although there are a few very serious Members, most do not get involved with any proposed legislation unless it has already been approved by their staff members. And, only after the Member’s Chief of Staff, or Deputy Chief of Staff has told the Member that the proposed Bill has been heavily researched and is something that he, or she should become a part of, will that Member sign on and help push the Bill through! Am I saying that the major majority of our Members of Congress do not read any Bill before signing on to it? YES! They let their aides do all of the work and research and follow their guidance in their denial, or approval of any Bill they sign! The only exceptions to this are the powerful Lobbyists, who get very special treatment, and those individuals who have some personal contact with the Member, or have brought an issue before him, or her, that has become so publicly popular that they will look good by signing on! So; how do our Members of Congress spend the majority of their time? Easy; lunches, dinners, golf, high-priced, citizen-paid trips, parties, discussions with Lobbyists, working on their next elections, going out and doing TV interviews to make themselves look good, and just basically enjoying their time in DC and across the country! They hire their Aides to do the business, they just act busy, but spend most of their time enjoying their royal pleasures!
2. When you present a Bill before the Member, you initially go to the very lowest person on his office management; Staff assistants, Congressional Aides, Caseworkers and Constituent Services Representatives. Now, in order to get their attention, you need to either have an issue that will really make the Member look good, or you will have to have some form of bribery to catch their attention, such as taking them to a great dinner to discuss your issue or have a “little gift” to grab their personal concern! Yes, you can go in and they will tell you they will assist you with your problem and write down everything you tell them but it will generally not go up the ladder until they see that you are willing to show your gratitude in advance!
3. Once you have seen the initial people, you might have your issue make it up to Deputy District Director and/or the District Representative and/or the State/District Director for their “evaluation” of the necessity of your legislation making it to the Member. Sometimes they will find themselves on your side on the issue and might actually push it up because of their personal concern, but mostly it will take another “donation” of some kind to them to make the step up.
4. Once you have made it past the State/District level, then you will go to the Legislative Assistant who will also need some kind of “donation” to make the next step up.
5. Next it goes to the Senior Legislative Assistant and/or the Assistant Legislative Assistant for their approval and another “donation” must be made.
6. Finally, it reaches the level of the Chief of Staff and/or the Deputy Chief of Staff and they will go over the Bill for facts and “benefits” to them before presenting it to the Member for his vote. And, a majority of the time, when the Chief of Staff states that he has researched the Bill, that he has found it to be beneficial to the Member, then the Member will sign it, without ever reading it!
This is where you can see the Congressional Aide information: http://www.ask.com/wiki/Congressional_staff?o=2801&qsrc=999
Now that this path has been stated, it is important that you know that the first thing that was told to me by the very first Aide I attempted to have present legislation to her Member was this: I asked; “How do I get this Legislation before Congress?” She answered; “That’s easy’ sex, drugs, money or power!” And she wasn’t kidding; if you want to take the “precious time” of both the Member and his/her staff, you have to give them something they want! Some are happy with a little “sexual gift”, some want a “gift of drugs” which is not an unusual thing in DC, many want money, and most want power! The most powerful people in DC are the unelected members of a Member’s staff! They are the walls that you have to climb over to get things before a Member and they know it! And many are hired by Members of both Parties, regardless of their past political history, because of their reputations for “getting things done”! So a Conservative Member of Congress might have a past Progressive working on any level, including his/her Chief of Staff, and those are the people they look to for approval, or disapproval on every piece of Legislation presented to them! So a Conservative Member might think he/she is signing on to a very Conservative Bill, when it is truly a Progressive-benefit Bill! And this happens all the time! I know that many will say I am full of it, but I have gone down this path personally, and this is the way it works! We only got one Bill before Congress because of the efforts of one of the Vets who worked with us; he came in one morning and told us that he had gotten the Bill up to the Member! When we asked how, he said; “Remember that Gay staff member that wouldn’t help us get it up to the Member? Well, I spent the night with him last night”! And that is no joke!
If you think I am not telling the truth, look at the average salaries of the Aides who work with our Members of Congress, then research them and see how extravagant most of their lifestyles are! They live way beyond their paid incomes, and they can’t live the way they do without another “source of income”, and that “source” is from the “benefits” given them for working on legislation! This is the way our system really works, this is the daily path of legislation through Congress! And, when Obama’s Health Care Bill was going through Congress, these Aides all made deals with each other and each added on their own “special” legislation, legislation they were “influenced” to put in by Special Interest people who gave them what they wanted to add it on! And, since the Bill was such a big deal, they knew they had to make it so large that no one would actually have the time to read all of the Bill before it was passed! I’m not saying that the Obama Administration did not use this Bill to change our nation in the way they wanted, or that our Members of Congress did not add-on their own bits of legislation to allow them to gain money and power; I’m saying that the additional garbage loaded on the Bill, along with the rest of the garbage in the Bill, went through without any problems because our Members of Congress were too damned lazy to get involved in actually studying the Bill so they let their unelected Aides tell them it was good enough, and they voted it in!
How can this change? That’s a very hard question to answer, because our Members need help in running their offices and maintaining contact with their voters. I guess the best answer would be for the people to wake up and realize that they need to stop voting people in office simply because they look good and sound good! Honest Reps means honest Aides! And making our Representatives’ time in DC be only long enough for voting for legislation necessary to maintain the legitimacy of our government. Unless there is some form of emergency, that time should be limited to one month, twice a year. The rest of the time they should spend their time in their Home States and their home Districts to maintain personal contact with their voters! And any Bill should be limited to the one issue it is covering, with no “add-ons” that are not directly connected to the Bill! But, in the end, it all comes down to one thing; the citizens of this great nation need to do exactly what was expected of them when our Forefathers gave us our Freedom! They need to monitor and evaluate the actions of their Representatives and treat them as the employees of the people that they are, and stop treating them like royalty! It is our responsibility to maintain our Rights and Freedoms and it is our responsibility to ensure that our nation is run by legitimate Representatives that want to work to maintain the United State’s Constitution as the Rule of Law in America! We can whine and cry about how there is nothing we can do, or we can each stand up and do whatever we can! I don’t know about you, but I am not giving up and I am not going to stop working to bring America back to Americans! And neither should you!