Democratic staffers released the final version of the stimulus bill at about 11 pm last night after delaying the release for hours to put it into a format which people cannot “search” on their home computers.
Instead of publishing the bill as a regular internet document — which people can search by “key words” and otherwise, the Dems took hours to convert the final bill from the regular searchable format into “pdf” files, which can be read but not searched.
Three of the four .pdf files had no text embedded, just images of the text, which did not permit text searches of the bill. That move to conceal the bill’s provisions had not been remedied this morning at the time of publication of this article. (You can find the entire bill on the House Appropriations [http://appropriations.house.gov] website.)
So, what are they hiding? A lot.
We searched the bill randomly — the only way possible — to see what’s being hidden from the public and the members of Congress who will be voting on the bill today. We found one provision that may be a good example of why the Democrats are desperate to stop any exposure of what is in this bill. Like this gem:
SEC. 1607. (a) CERTIFICATION BY GOVERNOR — Not later than 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act, for funds provided to any State or agency thereof, the Governor of the State shall certify that: 1) the State request and use funds provided by this Act , and; 2) funds be used to create jobs and promote economic growth.
(b) ACCEPTANCE BY STATE LEGISLATURE — If funds provided to any State in any division of this Act are not accepted for use by the Governor, then acceptance by the State legislature, by means of the adoption of a concurrent resolution, shall be sufficient to provide funding to such State.
This provision –– apparently aimed at conservative governors such as South Carolina’s Mark Sanford who does not want the federal money — would overturn state laws and constitutions, intervening directly in the state’s government to give the legislature the power to overturn a government’s decision.
This provision probably violates the US Constitution, a matter which will be of no concern to Congressional Democrats.
This act — to strong-arm state governments and a governor’s ability to control the state budget — is Chicago-style bipartisanship.
This bill is so bad that even the Associated Press analyst report today concludes that the bill will not jump-start the economy.
Scramble in the Senate
Roll Call is reporting that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) will likely not be able to travel to Washington for the vote. This causes a conundrum for Reid, as it would bring the vote total down to 60 — the number needed — but no Republican wants to go on record as the 60th vote. Reid may try to get around Senate rules to enable Specter, Snowe and Collins to avoid being Vote #60 for the stimulus bill.