All Animals Are Equal, but Congressional Animals Are More Equal than Others
We all recall former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s infamous instruction that Congress should pass ObamaCare so that we can all find out what’s in it. Well, it turns out that Congress itself didn’t like what it found, and desperately worked to secure a free pass from the ObamaCare mandates to which other Americans are bound. Like in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” some are apparently more equal than others despite the law’s statutory language that Congress and its staffers would be subject to the law that they passed. As our old compatriot Quin Hillyer notes, that not only violates the law and all concepts of fairness, it also contravenes an important portion of the Contract with America:
For decades, Congress had exempted itself in myriad ways from laws or rules applying to the rest of the country. The Contract vowed to change that – and on the very first day of the new Congress in 1995, it did. Here was the language: “First, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress.” How simple. How straightforward. And how important! And for the next 18½ years, until this past week – and despite frequent rumors to the contrary – that’s exactly what Congress did. For all its faults, Congress actually abided by the Contract’s rule. But now that’s gone. Now, via a ruling worked out between certain congressional leaders and the White House, federal subsidies for health insurance – of a sort available to no private-sector workers – will continue to be provided for congressmen and their staffs. This sort of special exemption for government workers is not a merely symbolic annoyance; instead, it feeds a perception that soon becomes an attitude that soon makes itself manifest in various actions. The perception is that government workers are above the law; the attitude that can grow among the federal workforce is that those workers are our masters rather than our servants; and the actions that flow from that attitude can include many abuses, small and large, of privacy or liberty.”
An important point, and one that Americans should raise as Congressional leaders head home for August recess and citizen townhall meetings.