And Bush doesn’t care in the slightest. I’m going to preface this post with the following: when Congress decides it wants to be a co-equal branch of government, as put forth in our Constitution, I’ll start to believe DeGette and others actually care about the things they issue statements on. Put another way: statements to the press don’t do anything. DeGette is a legislator – it’s past time to act like one. Here is the opening paragraph in a DeGette press release that was issued earlier today:
House Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) today slammed the Bush Administration on their last minute attempt to put ideology before science with the HHS “Refusal Clause” regulation. This rule would permit all healthcare workers to refuse to participate in any procedure they find morally objectionable.
Did you read that? Bush is opening the door to health-”care” workers to refuse care based on their personal beliefs. And DeGette issues a release to the press claiming she “slammed” the Bush administration. Really? How exactly did you slam it? What effect will your press release ever have on Americans receiving the care they seek? Has any of the hundreds of sternly-worded press releases issued in the past 8 years had the slightest effect on regulations and policies Bush has implemented? No. Not a one. So DeGette decides to issue another one!
The story gets even more pathetic: DeGette is Chief Deputy Whip and sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee. As a Whip, it’s her responsibility to drum up support for legislation. What does that have to do with the regulation? Read the last paragraph of the press release:
U.S. Reps. Slaughter and DeGette, co-chairs of the Pro-Choice Caucus, have held a hard line against this regulation beginning with a letter signed by 124 other Members of Congress to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in late September opposing the Refusal Clause. In addition, Slaughter and DeGette proposed legislation at the end of the 110th Congress that would prohibit HHS from implementing the rule which did not come to the floor before the end of this Congress.
She wrote legislation to block this regulation at the end of Congress’ session. It didn’t come to the floor for a vote. DeGette is responsible for getting House members to support legislation so it can come to the floor for a vote. She couldn’t convince her colleagues before they went home to campaign for reelection to block Bush administration plans for healthcare workers to quit providing care (doing their jobs). So she issues a press release describing how fed up she is … three months later. Color me unimpressed. This is why Congress’ approval ratings hit historical lows this year: Congress isn’t getting the people’s work done. They’re too busy attending cocktail parties and chumming it up with their colleagues and lobbyist friends. They’re not parked out in front of TV cameras throwing a fit that Bush was planning to implement a regulation that would prevent Americans from receiving health care. Does anybody think that might have turned more heads before the election?
The saddest part of all is Bush is issuing hundreds of these kinds of regulations across all policy arenas prior to his departure. It will take months to years for all them to be revoked under an Obama administration. Because Congressional Democrats decided they couldnt’ stand up to a president with the worst approval rating in U.S. history, real Americans are going to suffer through Bush’s b.s. ideologically-based policies for months and years after he’s out of office. By all means, keep issuing those press releases, Dems!
[Update]: kos has a similar response to a different issue that includes a reference to sternly worded letters. They’re a complete waste. Dems actually doing their jobs would be “slamming the administration”. The letters/releases are a joke.