Quote of the Week: Bill Becomes a Law Edition

schoolhouse rock bill2Jim Geraghty:

We’ve all had to get our PhDs in congressional procedure lately, haven’t we? In Schoolhouse Rock, it all seemed so simple: I’m just a bill, yes, I’m only a bill, and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill . . . You get the votes in committee, you get the votes in the full House, you get the votes in the Senate committee, you get the votes in the full Senate, conference if they differ, and off to the Oval Office. Now we would have to add lyrics about the filibuster, reconciliation, sidecars, shell pieces, Gatorade, the flea flicker, the Palestinian Somersault, the inverted triple loop double lutz*, and this bizarre “Slaughter rule” where the House pretends that a majority has already voted for it, without making a majority actually vote for it.

In reality, of course, it was always more complicated than Schoolhouse Rock made it.  The filibuster was long established by then.  But there’s not much question that the proverbial sausage-making has gotten even messier.  And, thanks to 24/7/365 news coverage and commentary, we’re not missing any of it.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.