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Rules ranking member David Dreier explained that Republicans were critical of the handling of the fixes, because, he said, the Rules Committee had just met and the measure was rushed to the floor under what's called a "martial law rule." While Democrats did call the Rules meeting at the last minute, the changes to the reconciliation bill amounted to 20 words.
Mr. Speaker, well, here we are doing another martial law rule and we wait and wait for the conference committee to finish its work, the conference committee that, I might add, did not include a single Democrat, which is unusual. Let me say that again. This conference committee we are waiting for did not include a single Democrat.
Whenever we do a rule to waive two-thirds consideration, it means we will be rushing the underlying bill to the floor, giving the Members virtually no time at all to actually read the bill or determine what it is we are voting on.
Originally posted by METACOMET
They do this all the time. Republicans and democrats.
It's not martial law, it's a procedural event to force through legislation. Canada and the United Kingdom, similar rules exist and are called "cloture" or "guillotine".
[edit on 27-3-2010 by METACOMET]
The broadest and most prevalent error requires the most disinterested virtue to sustain it. Our government is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. A government in which the majority rule cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen. I heartily accept the motto- "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
Under the martial law procedure, longstanding House rules that require at least one day between the unveiling of significant legislation and the House floor vote on that legislation � so that Members can learn what they are being asked to vote on � are swept away. Instead, under �martial law,� the Leadership can file legislation with tens or hundreds of pages of fine print and move immediately to debate and votes on it, before Members of Congress, the media, or the public have an opportunity to understand fully what provisions have been altered or inserted into the legislation behind closed doors. This is the procedure that the Leadership intends to use to muscle through important bills in the next two days.