Monday, June 24, 2013

Speed is Life

The longtime CEO at my one of my former employers used to say that "speed is life." What he meant by that is that getting to the moment of decision quickly and making the decision is generally better than dithering. It's evident that Congress has adapted this thought process when it comes to certain legislation, especially the immigration bill that's been going through the Senate.

I haven't written much about the immigration bill because I don't know what's in it. And neither do you. The bill is about 1200 pages as amended and no one has read the bill in its entirety. It could be a beneficial bill that will finally solve our long-standing immigration problems, especially along the southern border. It could be an unmitigated disaster. It could be something in between those extremes. No one knows.

Which is, of course, why we must vote on it right now:
The fate of the Senate's immigration bill likely comes down to a vote today. If it fails, it will all but guarantee that immigration reform is dead. If it passes, it will all but ensure a clear path to the finish line in the Senate, which has struggled for years to find a compromise on the controversial and emotional issue.

The pivotal vote is on a border security compromise chiefly drafted by Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota.
Ah, it's a compromise! We'd better slam that home, then!

Or should we? The problem with these bills is that they are fiendishly complicated, as William Jacobson points out:
One of the things I learned from Obamacare was that each section of the law could take many hours to understand because of cross-references to other sections and other laws.  Amendments make the problem even greater.

Put that problem into a 1000+ page  bill, and it is almost impossible to uncover all the mischief — intentional and unintentional — buried in the language, something we are learning after the fact with Obamacare.

The rush to pass the Gang of 8 1000+ page bill is another example.  As if that weren’t bad enough to start, Sen. Bob Corker last night unveiled his 1190-page amendment, and Harry Reid is rushing the first test vote to Monday.  We have seen this movie before.
So what we're talking about, yet again, is another example of where we'll have to pass the bill to find out what's in it. Nah, I'd rather not.

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