Thursday, December 2, 2010

Not Even Good Enough For Government Work

It seems that every day our government makes it harder to trust that they can do anything right.  On Tuesday, the Senate proudly and with great fanfare passed a bill overhauling  food safety laws.  The bill was said to put "new responsibilities on farmers and food companies to prevent contamination, and set safety standards for imported foods."  Not so fast.  It turns out the Senate neglected a constitutional provision requiring a bill that includes tax provisions, as this one does, to originate in the House of Representatives.  As Roll Call reports, the bill is likely to now be blocked in the House. It has also been learned that the Democrats forgot to include a "severability clause" in the health care bill.  Such a clause is usually included in controversial legislation so that any part of the bill that is invalidated can be severed and the rest of the bill will remain in effect. The failure to include such language in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act creates the possibility that key provisions may be ensnared in lawsuits challenging the law.  It is bad enough when Republican obstruction makes it impossible to govern effectively.  It doesn't help when Democrats muck things up on their own.


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