Blocking conferees slows down House-Senate legislative conference
U.S. Sen. David Vitter announced his intention to join his colleagues in objecting to the appointment of the health care bill's conferees -- participants in the House-Senate legislative conference.
"Over the holidays, many Americans shared with friends and family their disappointment in the coal that the U.S. Senate gave them right before Christmas in the form of this Senate health care bill. The more the nation has a dialogue about government-health care, the less popular it gets. More importantly, if this bill goes to legislative conference, the people will be completely removed from the process. Much like with the stimulus, a legislative conference will rewrite this bill behind closed doors amongst only a handful of members of Congress. That's not open, nor transparent, and it is definitely against the popular opinion of the American people," said Vitter.
When different versions of any bill pass each body of Congress, the two bills are merged together and the differences are ironed out in a House-Senate legislative conference. To represent each side in the conference, a handful of members from both the House and the Senate are elected to be conferees for that conference. Vitter is joining other members in objecting to the appointment of those conferees on the health care bill's legislative conference.
"I've been pretty upfront about how bad a deal I believe this legislation will be for Louisianians -- seniors, small businesses, taxpayers and our state budget. We can better address critical needs like pre-existing conditions, buying insurance across state lines, prescription drug reimportation and generic drug reform, tort reform and allowing small business to pool across state lines to buy insurance in five separate, focused pieces of legislation," added Vitter.