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Schoolhouse Rock for the GOP

Someone needs some edumacatin'
 
 
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Earlier this week, I wrote about a clerical error in the GOP's latest budget-slashing bill that prompted House Dems to call for another vote. At issue is the fact that the House and the Senate voted on slightly different drafts. The measure passed in the House -- after much arm-twisting -- by 216 to 214 the last time around, and now that constituents have gotten a taste of it, the Republicans don't think they'll get those 216 votes again.

So yesterday, GOP leaders said that they didn't care what the damn Constitution says about both chambers needing to vote on the same bill. Because, you know, we're a nation of (Republican) men, not laws:

House GOP leaders insist there's no problem. "I believe that it's law," said House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Alabama attorney Jim Zeigler has filed a lawsuit charging the $39 billion deficit-cutting legislation Bush signed is unconstitutional because the House and Senate failed to pass identical versions, House GOP leaders insist there's no problem.

The AP describes Zeigler as "a Republican activist."

"An eighth-grader in civics class knows that a bill cannot become law unless the identical bill passes the House and Senate and is signed by the president," Zeigler said.

When I was in eighth grade, I didn't have civics classes; I had Schoolhouse Rock. So, in the interest of educating Roy Blunt and the rest of the GOP leadership, I give you the relevant text from the bestest Schoolhouse Rock evah, "I'm Just A Bill":

I'm just a bill.
Yes, I'm only a bill.
And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it's a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It's a long, long wait
While I'm sitting in committee,
But I know I'll be a law some day
At least I hope and pray that I will
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.

Bill: Well, I got this far. When I started I wasn't even a bill, I was just an idea. Some folks back home decided they wanted a law passed, so they called their local Congressman, and said, "You're right, there oughta be a law."

Then he sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Congress. And I became a bill, and I'll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.

Boy: Listen to those Congressmen arguing! Is all that discussion and debate about you?

Bill: Yeah, I'm one of the lucky ones. Most bills never even get this far. I hope they decide to report on me favorably, otherwise I may die.

Boy: Die?

Bill: Yeah, die in committee. Ooh, but it looks like I'm gonna live! Now I go to the House of Representatives, and they vote on me.

Boy: If they vote yes, what happens?

Bill: Then I go to the Senate and the whole thing starts all over again.

Boy: Oh no!

Bill: Oh yes!

Joshua Holland is a staff writer at Alternet and a regular contributor to The Gadflyer .