There are certain dates that are seared into the memories of all Americans. Dates that altered the course of our union; sometimes in moments of glory, often in moments of tragedy. Today, Friday the 13th, is one of those days. Today, both the House and Senate passed what will historically be looked at as one of the biggest mistakes in the history of the U.S. Congress; a bill that will ultimately be the judge and jury of President Obama’s first term in office. There is no doubt that President Obama will sign the legislation that he lobbied for on Monday. He will certainly invoke the names of our greatest Presidents as he does so. But, in doing so, he will be discrediting the very promises he made to the American public only months before.
Against the recommendations of the Congressional Budget Office, he will sign this bill. Despite returning the nation to a sea of dependency by completely reversing President Clinton’s welfare reform in 1996, he will sign this bill. Despite the threat to religious freedom cleverly disguised in the small print, he will sign this bill. Standing steps from the federal agencies he plans on doubling in size through cherry-picked liberal programs, he will sign this bill. Using an economic emergency to shield the liberal goal of federalizing your health care, he will sign this bill. And despite the overwhelming majority of Americans in poll after poll saying ‘no’ to this bill, he will say ‘yes’.
Congress was able to deliver this accomplishment to the President, by ensuring that no Member of Congress had the ability to even read it. They guaranteed there would be no debate. They intentionally delivered new versions with handwritten exceptions at midnight so you would awake not aware of what was happening. This was not transparency, but reckless abandon.
The final House vote was 246-183. The Senate voted 60-38, passing the bill by the thinnest possible margin. And so the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passes Congress, on its way to the President, giving us the scariest Friday the 13th in this nation’s history.