Transparency be damned. It seems as if many of the elites in Washington, D.C. were for transparency before they were against it.
President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid all promised and pledged transparency as part of a covenant with the American people to allow them to take power. Those promises have been broken. One Senior Congressional Staffer tells Big Government that “for elected officials that promised the most transparent Congress ever, I never believed them, but it is stunning how fast they are going back on their promises as if they think the voters are too dumb to remember things they said 3 years ago.”
According to Politico, Nancy Pelosi ripped on President Obama for breaking his promise to have all ObamaCare negotiations on C-SPAN.
Pelosi emerged from a meeting with her leadership team and committee chairs in the Capitol to face an aggressive throng of reporters who immediately hit her with C-SPAN’s request that she permit closed-door final talks on the bill to be televised. A reporter reminded the San Francisco Democrat that in 2008, then-candidate Obama opined that all such negotiations be open to C-SPAN cameras. “There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail,” quipped Pelosi, who has no intention of making the deliberations public.
Evidently, there are eight clips of Senator Obama promising to have ObamaCare negotiations on C-SPAN. On January 8, 2007, Senator Barack Obama was quoted as saying of the Democrats ethics reform package.
To do this, we must not only strengthen but enforce the rules governing our interactions with lobbyists, and finally make the legislative process fully transparent to the public. The American people put their faith in us so we could restore their faith in government, and this is our chance to make that happen.
To date, there have not been any of the real negotiations on C-SPAN nor any transparent legislative process. This is a broken promise by the President.
Nancy Pelosi herself pledged an open and transparent process that included Republicans and the American people in deliberations. Pelosi opened the 110th Congress on January 4, 2007 with the following remarks:
In order to achieve our new America for the 21st century, we must return this House to the American people. So our first order of business is passing the toughest congressional ethics reform in history. This new Congress doesn’t have 2 years or 200 days. Let us join together in the first 100 hours to make this Congress the most honest and open Congress in history. 100 hours. This openness requires respect for every voice in the Congress. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” My colleagues elected me to be Speaker of the House, the entire House. Respectful of the vision of our Founders, the expectation of our people, and the great challenges that we face, we have an obligation to reach beyond partisanship to work for all Americans.
That promise seems to have been kicked to the curb by Speaker Pelosi. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also pledged an open and transparent process on the Senate floor in speech on January 4, 2007:
In this body, the U.S. Senate, nothing can be accomplished unless we reach across the aisle–not one way but both ways. It is because when our Founding Fathers created the Senate 219 years ago, they carved out a special place for the minority. See, the Framers of this Constitution knew that majorities can always take care of themselves. Majorities didn’t need help as defined in the Constitution. But this Constitution takes care of minorities because they can’t always take care of themselves. The Founding Fathers created an institution that protects this minority, and we will respect our Constitution and those protections.
Reid on February 9th, 2006 was debating Asbestos Litigation Reform and blasted Republicans for not using a traditional conference process to legislate (hat tip to The Hill for referencing this speech) when he declared “This is not the way to legislate. It demeans the Senate, demeans the legislative process.” Reid was upset about the use of manager’s amendments to expedite the process of passing the bill by Republicans. Reid went on to say that “it deprives Senators and the public of an opportunity to consider the bill on its merits. The Senate should operate in the spirit of transparency and candor, not secrecy.” Reid complains about actions by Republicans that he is taking today to railroad ObamaCare through Congress.
This process for passing ObamaCare has been the least transparent process in recent memory. These politicians are treating the American people as if they are irrelevant to the legislative process. With all the promises broken on the issue of transparency by the President, Speaker and Senate Majority Leader, we shall see if there are consequences to these broken promises.