Unrelated amendments: Enough with the false outrage
June 10. 2013 2:40AM
Last Wednesday House Speaker Terie Norelli orchestrated a move in which the House attached a House bill that had been defeated in the Senate to an unrelated Senate bill that senators really want passed. Some Republicans objected, which is beautiful because the very next day Senate Republicans did the same thing.
House Democrats really want Obamacare implemented. The Republican-led Senate does not. Norelli knew the House bill to ease Obamacare's implmentation would not get through the Senate, so she had it appended to a bill that makes changes to the state's renewable energy program.
On Thursday, Senate Republicans decided that the House's rejection of two labor-related bills was unacceptable. One of the bills would give the Legislative Fiscal Committee the power to approve state labor contracts. The other would allow employers to pay employees with cards rather than paper checks. Both bills had passed the Senate but been killed in the House.
Senate Republicans voted to attach the defeated bills to popular employee-protection measures, one to prevent employers from demanding access to applicant social media accounts and another to prevent employers from considering an applicant's credit history.
In the past, both parties have decried the practice of attaching unrelated amendments to bills. Legislators in both parties still attack the other when the other party does it. Yet they both do it regularly. It is a practice that should not happen, but let's not kid ourselves that it is some wicked deed rooted in the opposition's ideology.