There has been some banter back and forth on this blog regarding the accusation that Clinton is to be blamed for today’s failing financial situation…  Shirley first published it here at the Curmudgeon, which I sort of laughed at because it goes completely against history as I know it…

I then decided to mock their hard-stretched fuzzy accusations, by publishing really illuminating ones in sharp contrast, ones that point the the finger of culpability directly on Phil Gramm, who as most well-read Delawareans already know, was formerly McCain’s chief economic adviser and may eventually become our Secretary of the Treasury, if and when John McCain gets elected.

Maria Evans, came to their defense, by bringing up another act, one that was well passed the year before, and showing all that it’s vote total was rather bipartisan..   (Had I been there, I would have voted for the 1999 bill as well.)   It was a good bill, and (were it not for the bad bill of which I speak, the one implemented into law a year later,)  we would continued good growth and prosperity, had the Supreme Court decided the other way in December 2000.

The bill that brought down the United States in the year 2008, was called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.

Since Maria Evans is unclear of its history, I must assume that most of you are as well, as was I (until Maria pushed me further down the link road of HR 5660 than I ever wanted to go….)

The Bill was written in part by Enron and given to Phil Gramm to introduce on the floor…  The bill was introduced on December 14, 2000.

Here is the cheat sheet…. (smart move would be to right click, and open in another tab) Notice that it it’s last major action was: 12/14/2000 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Finance & Hazardous Materials for a period to be subsequently determined by the Chairman…

Dead on arrival: December 14, 2000, it was buried six feet under by referral to committee. But wait a second, what is that underneath? Click again!

Note: H.R. 5660 was incorporated by reference in the conference report to H.R. 4577. H.R. 4577, the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2001, became Public Law 106-554 on 12/21/2000.

For those of you who are neophytes to how legislation works, this understatement tells us that this bill was inserted into the legislation while it was in conference… It was never voted on by the House.
Even worse, it was never debated in the House…

Let’s let the gravity of that sink in for a second… The single piece of legislation, the silver bullet that brought down the once powerful United States of America, was never debated in the House of Representatives… Isolated, it was never even voted upon by its members….. The only group that ever had any inkling of what was in it, the Committee of Agriculture..(What? The Committee of Agriculture?) killed it by a slow death in committee.. For the Congressional Record’s account of bringing the bill onto the floor, go here... The closing line is priceless….(especially if you bought short, way short….lol)

It is my hope that this legislation will enable America to continue being the world leader in financial markets for decades to come.

HR 4577, the bill which incorporated HR 5660 (Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000), was the so-called the Omnibus Bill for most of our Educational and Health and Human Services transactions receive funding… “Omnibus” means that one bill binds up a whole bunch of bills which then get voted on all at once by the deliberative body… Bottom line, of course it is easy to sneak stuff through……..

If you clicked the link HR 4577 above, there were two points that should have jumped out at you….. Here is the first: pay attention to the date.

Making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes.

(That means the last bill ran out of funding on September 30, 2000.) and here is the second:

Sponsor: Rep Porter, John Edward [IL-10] (introduced 6/1/2000)…..

This funding bill, necessary for the day to day functioning of our government, was debated right up to the date the previous years funds ran out, and then some…..one month, two months, and three quarters into the third month…. (Essential services were being sustained over those three months by pulling from other appropriations already approved by the Congress, for instance from the Department of Defense.)

Therefore we see what can only be called a “must pass” piece of legislation, that was cantankerous to begin with, for it was already six months in debate, and after both the House and Senate had passed versions of it, and it goes into Conference Committee, where a dead bill shuffled off by the Agriculture Committee, never debated on it’s merits, is “zap”…..inserted into the funding bill everyone is clamoring for, passed yea or nay on a voice vote at two in the morning, and then Congress shuts down for Christmas vacation…..The date is 12/21/2000….(Isn’t that the end of the world? Oh no, that is supposed to happen on 12/21/12…. Interesting correlation of the dates however…..)

Some out there are trying to use those Democrats who voted yea for the Omnibus Bill containing these deregulation provisions buried deep within, as proof that today’s debacle was certainly the democrats fault as well..

Under our nation’s Constitutional Right of freedom of speech, they are certainly entitled to make that argument,……just as well as we are entitled to laugh them off the face of the world for daring to utter it….

You have to pass a bill that funds the government….

“But they should have blah, blah, blah..” they continue to rant… Some even go as far as trying to blame Clinton, who was lame duck president at that time, for signing it…”See, it’s the Democrats fault too, look who signed it…. Perhaps those rants are based on an ignorance of how hard it is to ascertain such details in a small bill, much more so in a large bill.. If anyone is so inclined, I challenge them to find those exact pieces of legalese that brought down America in here………

OK… You have until 12:00 pm..(the signing ceremony) to bring up why this bill should not be signed enabling a large number of Government workers to receive their monies before the holiday’s begin…. If you do find something you have to make the moral choice, with Congress being out of session until after the first of the year, of having to wait until then to pay those employees. And even if you do, as the decider, decide to stand firm, and hold the funding bill hostage, in fifteen days there will be a Republican Congress that will override your veto anyway, and a Republican president who will rubber stamp whatever they choose to do, anyway…

Can Clinton be blamed? Again you have the Constitutional Right to point fingers of blame towards that Democrat, just as we by that same document, have the logical and constitutional right to laugh you off the face of the planet for doing so….

HR 5660 is scary in places… It states that securities will be self policed, self monitored, and self disciplined…. It emphasizes that states will not have jurisdictional oversight. No one will……

That the person, (who happens by the way to be a Republican, who surreptitiously slipped that rider HR 5660 into the gigantic funding vehicle known as HR 4577……and ran it through Congress very early one morning after a very long night……just as Congress was about to close for Christmas break….)
will become our Secretary of Treasury if John McCain is somehow elected over the objections of most Americans…..

As our grandma’s always used to say… “You can judge a person by the friends he keeps……” We should judge John McCain by his friend….Phil Gramm. He’s a Republican, you know……..