When Did Unions Become Part Of Congress?

The Democrats from the House and Senate have been meeting with Barack Obama in a faux reconciliation process designed to usurp the Constitution and get some kind of compromise on the health care debacle. No Republicans are in on these meetings and they have been locked out of the process all along. The promise of bipartisan legislation was only valid so long as Republicans went along with what Democrats wanted. Republican amendments were voted down and those that made it through are being removed in this so called reconciliation.

One group that was part of the reconciliation were the leaders of the unions. They were upset about the tax on “Cadillac” health plans because their members would be impacted. Those who have such plans who are not in a union will still have to pay.

When did union leaders become part of Congress? Why is it that they are part of the process that involves headlines claiming a deal has been reached? This is from the AP:

The White House reached a tentative agreement with union leaders early Thursday to tax high-cost insurance plans, officials said, removing one of the major stumbling blocks in the way of a final compromise on comprehensive health care legislation sought by President Barack Obama.

I have read through my copy of the Constitution and I could not find a section where union leaders were part of Congress. So I would really like someone to explain to me why they are involved in this process. I am particularly interested because Republicans, WHO ARE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, have been excluded.

What does this whole process say about the Democrats? How telling is it that the White House and Democrats from Congress will involve union leaders in the reconciliation process and leave elected members of Congress out of the process?

Officials said the agreement was thrashed out over more than 15 hours of negotiating at the White House, ending after midnight. Participants included AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; Andy Stern, head of Service Employees International Union; Anna Burger, head of Change to Win, and the leaders of unions representing teachers, government workers, food and commercial workers and electricians. Obama’s deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina, was the lead White House bargainer, although Vice President Joe Biden also was involved periodically.

Did you see any Republican members of Congress on this list? Do you see anyone on this list that you elected to be in Congress? Don’t point to Biden, he was elected to be the VP.

Listen up Massachusetts, Scott Brown needs to win to stop this insanity. What do you folks have to lose? You have had Democrats for decades and this election is to complete Kennedy’s term. Send Brown to the Senate and see how he does. If you don’t like the work he does you will have no problem putting up a Democrat who can beat him. Brown can add sanity back to the process and force Democrats to negotiate in good faith.

No matter what your political beliefs, no matter what party you belong to, no matter how you feel about the health care bill, this process has to be disturbing to you. If it does not bother you that duly elected members of Congress are bypassing the process of reconciliation by excluding other duly elected members of Congress to keep from engaging in difficult negotiations then there is not much hope for you.

If it does not bother you that the union leaders were included while members of Congress were excluded then there is no hope for the country.

Big Dog


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14 Responses to “When Did Unions Become Part Of Congress?”

  1. Darrel says:

    Bigd: “No Republicans are in on these meetings and they have been locked out of the process all along.”>>


    “197 amendments were passed in the end—36 from Democrats and 161 from Republicans. And of those 161 GOP amendments, Senate Republicans classify 29 as substantive and 132 as technical.”


    • Big Dog says:

      I do like how you ignore the union leaders being there while Republicans are shut out and point to meaningless information. The Republicans have been locked out. Democrats allowed these little things and all the technicals to claim it was bipartisan. How many of these things that were substantive were things Dems wanted so they allowed them to be attributed to Republicans.

      You guys cried foul when Republicans were in charge and you assumed you were locked out and now you allow this one sided thing without worry. No problem. We will exact our revenge.

  2. Big Dog says:


    From your link:
    Republican senators said that characterization was absurd. After all, they said, most of the 160 amendments were technical, rather than substantive, changes. Lisa Murkowsi of Alaska told the New York Times that, while it was “pretty impressive” that 20 of her amendments were accepted, “they were all technical.”

    They were nearly all technical, so that is BS. Those repair loopholes or make technical changes to something else.

    The balance are being stripped.

    They have been shut out.

    • Darrel says:

      “They have been shut out.”

      They weren’t, but they should have been. Reaching out to them (Gang of Six) was pretty much a complete waste of time. Which was of course their intention. To waste time and kill reform. This is because their intention is to keep Obama, and America from being successful, on this matter or nearly any other. What a pathetic and childish bunch.

      “If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him,” Demint said.” Link

  3. Adam says:

    Can we just stop pretending the Republicans EVER wanted to honestly be part of his thing? Is anyone actually still dumb enough to think that is true?

    • Blake says:

      Can we (or you) just stop pretending that Republicans have been “allowed” to even be a part of this process?
      All, Every One of the amendmants proposed by Republicans,- portability of insurance, buying across state lines, tort reform (THAT ONE would have been a biggie)- ALL have been defeated, so shut up about the lies your side has propagated about this Democrat- progressive FUBAR of a bill.

      • Adam says:

        Sorry, but I won’t just shut up and be party to your fantasy where the GOP was trying hard for reform. They were against Obama and the Democrats in Congress from day one. Instead of offering serious plans what did they do? They went on the media circuit to lie their butts off about the various stages of the health care bill. It’s hard to argue the Democrats didn’t allow the GOP to be part of it when the GOP clearly wanted no part and only ever wanted to lie and spread rumor and fear over reform.

        • Big Dog says:

          I like how you say they told lies about the bills. Did you ever consider that the libs were lying about what was (or was going) to be in it? Of course not but I am willing to bet if a bill hits Obama’s desk with provisions to pay for abortions or illegals he will sign it when he said that the bill would not do that. If you want lies then look at you leader. He said on 8 occasions he would have this in the open and on C-SPAN. He did not do that or as Joe Wilson said, YOU LIE.

        • Darrel says:

          Bigd: “if you want lies then look at you leader. He said on 8 occasions he would have this in the open and on C-SPAN.”>>

          Lot’s of it WAS in the open and on C-SPAN (see quote below). Please quote (and I’ve heard them all) where he said all of it, everything, would be on C-SPAN. Nope, he didn’t say that did he?

          A time comes when it’s time to get it done. Time to shut down the stalling tactics of the obstructionists. Time to govern and negotiate with the relevant parties involved. That doesn’t include you guys because the republicans chose to make themselves irrelevant early on.

          Health scare tactics
          A GOP blizzard of untrue statements

          By Ruth Marcus
          Wednesday, November 11, 2009

          “I’m hoping, for your sake, that you didn’t spend your Saturday night as I did: watching the House debate health-care reform on C-SPAN.”

          Wash. Post

  4. Big Dog says:

    Well one day the people will just go there and throw them all out into the street and take the place over.

    Republicans wanted to be involved. Can we all stop pretending that Democrats wanted them involved?

    We would like to have worked with the guy who ran for office but since he showed his true radical liberal self after taking office we had to oppose all he wanted to do.

    After November he will get nothing. Pay back is a b*tch. Maybe sooner, come on Massachusetts.

  5. Big Dog says:

    The debate was not held on C-SPAN and only 1 hour of all the debate has been on. Sure, we saw the votes in the Senate but there was no debate, no who wrote what and how it was being done. It is disingenuous for you or anyone to say that showing the vote on C-SPAN is the same as debating it and having it in the open:

    Candidate Barack Obama: “When I’m elected president you’re going to see this health care legislation written in the open. It’s going to be on C-SPAN, and you’ll be able to see all the different people arguing to see whether they’re on your side or they’re on the side of the drug companies and the insurance companies and so on. But you’ll be able to see that process on C-SPAN.”


    We have seen NONE of it written in the open. This has been debated since early last year. The article discusses watching C-SPAN in November. None of it was open and had been done behind closed doors by then. There might come a time where you have to dig in and get it done but you can’t claim that time has come when it was all secret to begin with.

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “The debate was not held on C-SPAN and only 1 hour of all the debate has been on.”>>

      “C-SPAN offers gavel to gavel coverage of the US House of Representatives.”


      See also.

      Huge Numbers Watched Health Care Debate Online, C-Span Says


      “According to an internal C-Span email obtained by TPMDC, the network’s website served up 201,741 live streams of the House debate of the health care reform bill Saturday, the highest online viewership C-Span has seen since President Obama was inaugurated in January. (A C-Span employee told us the network doesn’t track how many people watch its THREE cable channels on TV.)

      In D.C., watching the day-long debate unfold became something of a social event for nerds.”

      [CAPS mine]

      Now at the end, the republicans completely desperate because everything they have thrown at this to try and stop it’s success has failed, they try the hail Mary of smearing it all up in public with their lies and distortions, obfuscation and BS.

      That mustn’t be allowed to happen and it’s unlikely to be allowed to happen.

      “The typical format for these sorts are negotiations are closed-door meetings, which both congressional Democrats and Republicans have used in the past to solve politically sticky problems with many legislative impasses. No word has yet been heard from either Reid, Pelosi or the White House, but it’s hard to imagine that this request will actually be agreed to [unlimited C-Span coverage] — there is simply too much at stake in the eyes of the Democratic body.”

      • Big Dog says:

        It does not matter what the typical format is. When your leader tells everyone it will all be on C-SPAN he is obligated to put it on C-SPAN. The specific debate has not been aired and none of the things he said would be out in the open are.

        I don’t care how you spin it he is not doing what he said. Perhaps he was unaware of how they normally do things because he had no experience.

        Either way he made a promise he did not keep.