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Ban unrelated amendments?

Should adding non-related amendments to bills in Congress be banned?

  • yes

    Votes: 15 88.2%
  • no

    Votes: 1 5.9%
  • maybe

    Votes: 1 5.9%

  • Total voters
    17

Whovian

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Would you support an amendment banning all unrelated amendments from bills in Congress? Why or why not?
 

Whovian

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

If a MOD could please correct my spelling error in the thread description...

It should read Ban unrelated amendments, not unrealted. Thanks.
 

roughdraft274

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

I think more or less the problem with this is who gets to decide what's unrelated. Recently I believe the Dem's put a amendment in a defense appropriations bill that would allow illegal immigrants gain legal status with military service and a few other caveats. It is kinda sorta related but I'm thinking whether someone really thinks they're related will have to do with whether they are for or against the amendment, lol.

All in all I'd love to see something in place where unrelated amendments were banned, but I doubt anyone in congress would vote for a ban like that.
 

Jucon

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

Yes, however a lot less would get done. But I'm all for keeping politicians honest. I got pretty annoyed at how Democrats went on the media touting how some people voted against reforming DADT, when in reality there was a lot more in the bill.
 

Kernel Sanders

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

Sure, enforcement would be tricky due to the issues rough raised, though. A similar move that I think would improve the legislature and the legislation that comes out of it is breaking up the monster bills that are all too common on important issues. When you have mammoth bills like the patriot act or the healthcare bill that end up being all-or-nothing you get a ton more crap pushed through. As is you get huge swaths of law that nobody even debated because it wasn't important enough to either support or oppose the bill over. We'd get something closer to what the people actually want instead of a 1000-page monstrosity that represents whatever could be cobbled together to get enough votes on a one-off push
 

jamesrage

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

Yes I would support such an amendment. I could care less if less gets done.
 

Kandahar

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Would you support an amendment banning all unrelated amendments from bills in Congress? Why or why not?

No, as it is unenforceable. There is no obvious definition of what is "unrelated" and what isn't...and if there was such a definition, there would be a way to avoid it anyway.
 

Kandahar

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

Sure, enforcement would be tricky due to the issues rough raised, though. A similar move that I think would improve the legislature and the legislation that comes out of it is breaking up the monster bills that are all too common on important issues. When you have mammoth bills like the patriot act or the healthcare bill that end up being all-or-nothing you get a ton more crap pushed through. As is you get huge swaths of law that nobody even debated because it wasn't important enough to either support or oppose the bill over. We'd get something closer to what the people actually want instead of a 1000-page monstrosity that represents whatever could be cobbled together to get enough votes on a one-off push

I disagree. Some bills (health care being a perfect example) NEED to be mammoth bills. Lots of smaller bills sound nice, but the problem is that they only work in tandem with one another. For example, most people think that it should be illegal for insurers to discriminate based on preexisting conditions. But in order for a ban on that to work, we would need a health insurance mandate to prevent people from waiting until they're sick to buy insurance. But if we did that, then we would need to subsidize health insurance for the poor. And if we did that, then we would need to raise taxes or cut spending somewhere else in order to pay for it.

Regardless of whether one is for or against the health care reform bill, I think it's pretty clear that it only made sense as a single bill, because the pieces wouldn't work individually.
 

hallam

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Would you support an amendment banning all unrelated amendments from bills in Congress? Why or why not?

If you are of the opinion that nothing gets done now even with these amendments, then congress would just stagnate even further. Unrelated amendments are essentially how the government works now. I am willing to accept unrelated amendments if it means some type of progress occurs.
 

Whovian

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

I disagree. Some bills (health care being a perfect example) NEED to be mammoth bills. Lots of smaller bills sound nice, but the problem is that they only work in tandem with one another. For example, most people think that it should be illegal for insurers to discriminate based on preexisting conditions. But in order for a ban on that to work, we would need a health insurance mandate to prevent people from waiting until they're sick to buy insurance. But if we did that, then we would need to subsidize health insurance for the poor. And if we did that, then we would need to raise taxes or cut spending somewhere else in order to pay for it.

Regardless of whether one is for or against the health care reform bill, I think it's pretty clear that it only made sense as a single bill, because the pieces wouldn't work individually.

Considering that the vast majority of the voters do not support Obamacare as passed, you appear to be in the minority here... but lets save that for the healthcare thread, shall we?
 

Kandahar

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

Considering that the vast majority of the voters do not support Obamacare as passed, you appear to be in the minority here... but lets save that for the healthcare thread, shall we?

Yes, let's. Which is why I specifically said "regardless of whether you are for or against health care" and only cited it as an example of a bill that only makes sense as a giant single bill, rather than lots of smaller bills.
 

Kernel Sanders

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

I disagree. Some bills (health care being a perfect example) NEED to be mammoth bills. Lots of smaller bills sound nice, but the problem is that they only work in tandem with one another. For example, most people think that it should be illegal for insurers to discriminate based on preexisting conditions. But in order for a ban on that to work, we would need a health insurance mandate to prevent people from waiting until they're sick to buy insurance. But if we did that, then we would need to subsidize health insurance for the poor. And if we did that, then we would need to raise taxes or cut spending somewhere else in order to pay for it.

Regardless of whether one is for or against the health care reform bill, I think it's pretty clear that it only made sense as a single bill, because the pieces wouldn't work individually.

I disagree. Any of the things you listed could be passed or rejected individually. Also, the bill does a great deal more than that. On the white house What's in the Health Care Bill page they list a dozen or so actions that were in the health care bill, any of which could have stood independant of any of the others. Why is it imperative that Congress go all-or-nothing on increased funding for community centers and private plans being required to provide free preventative care?

Let's start with how health insurance reform will expand and strengthen coverage:

* This year, children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance coverage. Once the new health insurance exchanges begin in the coming years, pre-existing condition discrimination will become a thing of the past for everyone.
* This year, health care plans will allow young people to remain on their parents' insurance policy up until their 26th birthday.
* This year, insurance companies will be banned from dropping people from coverage when they get sick, and they will be banned from implementing lifetime caps on coverage. This year, restrictive annual limits on coverage will be banned for certain plans. Under health insurance reform, Americans will be ensured access to the care they need.
* This year, adults who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will have access to affordable insurance through a temporary subsidized high-risk pool.
* In the next fiscal year, the bill increases funding for community health centers, so they can treat nearly double the number of patients over the next five years.
* This year, we'll also establish an independent commission to advise on how best to build the health care workforce and increase the number of nurses, doctors and other professionals to meet our country's needs. Going forward, we will provide $1.5 billion in funding to support the next generation of doctors, nurses and other primary care practitioners -- on top of a $500 million investment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Health insurance reform will also curb some of the worst insurance industry practices and strengthen consumer protections:

* This year, this bill creates a new, independent appeals process that ensures consumers in new private plans have access to an effective process to appeal decisions made by their insurer.
* This year, discrimination based on salary will be outlawed. New group health plans will be prohibited from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that discriminate in favor of higher-wage employees.
* Beginning this fiscal year, this bill provides funding to states to help establish offices of health insurance consumer assistance in order to help individuals in the process of filing complaints or appeals against insurance companies.
* Starting January 1, 2011, insurers in the individual and small group market will be required to spend 80 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Insurers in the large group market will be required to spend 85 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Any insurers who don't meet those thresholds will be required to provide rebates to their policyholders.
* Starting in 2011, this bill helps states require insurance companies to submit justification for requested premium increases. Any company with excessive or unjustified premium increases may not be able to participate in the new health insurance exchanges.

Reform immediately begins to lower health care costs for American families and small businesses:

* This year, small businesses that choose to offer coverage will begin to receive tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums to help make employee coverage more affordable.
* This year, new private plans will be required to provide free preventive care: no co-payments and no deductibles for preventive services. And beginning January 1, 2011, Medicare will do the same.
* This year, this bill will provide help for early retirees by creating a temporary re-insurance program to help offset the costs of expensive premiums for employers and retirees age 55-64.
* This year, this bill starts to close the Medicare Part D 'donut hole' by providing a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the gap in prescription drug coverage. And beginning in 2011, the bill institutes a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the 'donut hole.'

Of course there are many items in the bill that it makes sense to tie together, but saying that the entire thing needs to be one gigantic bill and that it wouldn't work divided into more manageable pieces is ludicrous.

The end result is that half of these items never entered into the debate at all. Not a bit. Maybe one or two of the items listed on the linked page were ever evaluated for merit. The rest had their fate tied entirely to the success or failure of the overarching plan for healthcare reform, no matter how unrelated they were to that overarching plan.
 

digsbe

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

I think unrelated amendments should be banned from bills. It's dishonest and not what democracy is about.
 

Orion

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

Yes I would ban them. I would also make it required that each congressperson read fully the bill they are about to vote on.
 

Crosscheck

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A ban like that would happen after they eliminate paybacks to politians in the form of lobysts jobs after they retire from congress.

In another words it ain't gonna happen. The Reps and Dems have spent decades in developing this scam.
 

molten_dragon

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Re: Ban unrealted amendments?

Yes. If a bill can't be passed on its own merits, then it probably shouldn't be passed in the first place.
 
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