Yes to XXXXXAct ofXXXX!
August 10, 2010 1:43 PM   Subscribe

The XXXXXXAct ofXXXX bill passes the United States Senate.
posted by swift (55 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
*sigh* Just when i thought congress couldnt get more failtastic.
posted by MrLint at 1:47 PM on August 10, 2010


The effects of this bill will last a long time. Your link, however, is temporary. Here's one that isn't.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:48 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Countdown to wingnut outcry that it's the Obama "Mark of the Beast" bill in 3, 2, 1...
posted by yeloson at 1:49 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Approves.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:50 PM on August 10, 2010


Yes, an amendment ought to have a catchy name. You know, like the bill the amendment was amending, the "FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act".
posted by wierdo at 1:51 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yay!

(This is the death camps bill, right?)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:51 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


The extra X's are to let you know it's a super sexy bit of law.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:52 PM on August 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


To pronounce it correctly, I would have to pull out your tongue.
posted by griphus at 1:53 PM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Make sure you read the whole thing, same as you do for every new piece of legislation. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:54 PM on August 10, 2010


Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of a bill to protect this nation's greatest resource--her porn stars.

And I do mean rise.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:54 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Engrossed indeed.
posted by kittyprecious at 2:00 PM on August 10, 2010


That bill is edge as fuck!


It beat me up for drinking Coca-Cola. :(
posted by defenestration at 2:06 PM on August 10, 2010 [15 favorites]


I thought they already approved the .xxx domain?
posted by HumanComplex at 2:08 PM on August 10, 2010


This is what happens when they don't spend enough time coming up with a cutesy acronym for the bill.
posted by birdherder at 2:08 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like the "_____ Act of _____" version of the title better than the one with the Xs. It's like Congress Mad Libs!
posted by burnmp3s at 2:10 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE STATE OF TEXAS-

Sure, tell Texas they have additional requirements. They're all about that extra government red tape.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 2:11 PM on August 10, 2010


My understanding is that the bill does have a name: "An Act to modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide for modernization of the air traffic control system, reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes." It just doesn't have a short title as bill usually do... (or it has an odd one of _____ of _____.

Wikipedia has an interesting bit about naming snafus in Australia:
In Australia, a technical issue arose with the Royal Assent in both 1976 and 2001. In 1976, a bill originating in the House of Representatives was mistakenly submitted to the Governor-General and assented to. However, it was later discovered that it had not been passed by each House. The error arose because two bills of the same title had originated from the House. The Governor-General revoked the first assent, before assenting to the bill which had actually passed. The same procedure was followed to correct a similar error which arose in 2001.[citation needed]
posted by Jahaza at 2:12 PM on August 10, 2010


Someone just got themselves ____canned.
posted by Eideteker at 2:12 PM on August 10, 2010


Does Senator Vin Diesel make a cameo appearance?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:12 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


History of short titles.
posted by Jahaza at 2:14 PM on August 10, 2010


I like the "_____ Act of _____" version of the title better than the one with the Xs. It's like Congress Mad Libs!

"The Poop Act of Penis? Who the hell wrote this bill?"
posted by grubi at 2:16 PM on August 10, 2010 [15 favorites]


OK, I get the hurf durf naming snafu, which I'll grant you is hilarious.

Can I get a summary of what the bill actually does? None of those links seem to tell me and christ knows, I'm not going to read it.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:18 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


this sounds alright, although as im not a USAian i could be wrong:

" (5) ... (A) may be used only for compensation and benefits and other expenses, such as support services, necessary to retain existing employees, to recall or rehire former employees, and to hire new employees, in order to provide early childhood, elementary, or secondary educational and related services; and..."

great comment at that 2nd link:

"Patriots,
Are these people really ‘representing’ you? Is this kind of open theft the kind of performance that we have come to accept from our elected representatives? Spread the word about this, write letters to the editor in your local newspaper. This was NOT an “error”…these people took time and trouble to write up and present and then vote on and pass this abomination. It was purposely constructed to hide the fact that they were stealing your money!
Do something, or else YOU are part of the problem!
Ralph Roshto
Lacombe, La
Let Freedom Reign"
posted by marienbad at 2:22 PM on August 10, 2010


Er - yeah. So what the hell is going on here? Anybody?
posted by koeselitz at 2:24 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you read only one link, check the passes link, which describes what happened, and what it means. In short: it was a "shell bill" (info: PDF / Quick View) that was introduced as one thing (TARP taxes), became another thing (an aviation bill), and is now a batch of spending policies. Sloppy work due to tight deadlines.

Can I get a summary of what the bill actually does? None of those links seem to tell me and christ knows, I'm not going to read it.

CNet has more on the snafu but is thin on the content, and links to this WSJ article that says: The Senate voted Thursday to approve a package of $26 billion in aid for state and local governments, funded partly by an $11 billion tax increase on U.S. multinational corporations.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:26 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


xCONGRESSx
posted by joe lisboa at 2:31 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


sXe for life as long as term limits permit!
posted by joe lisboa at 2:31 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can I get a summary of what the bill actually does?
Well, according to the roll-call vote page, it's a "Senate Amendment to House Amendment to Senate Amendment." Hope that clears things up.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:38 PM on August 10, 2010


Does Senator Vin Diesel make a cameo appearance?

If I remember correctly, the Hon. Ice Cube beat him during the last cycle and then had to give a state of the union address.
posted by Michael Pemulis at 2:47 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's meant to be a call for charades. Blank of blank? Said-a-give! Said-a-dirty-word!
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:52 PM on August 10, 2010


[REDACTED]
posted by quin at 3:00 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


This comes out of a bit of parliamentary jujitsu. The problem -- bills involving raising revenue must come from the House. So, what the Senate did was take a bill from the House -- HR1586 -- and started play games.

The first version, passed by the house on March 18th, 2009 (!) was short titled "To impose an additional tax on bonuses received from certain TARP recipients." This died in the Senate, but wasn't explicitly killed. So, the Senate used that bill to start something else.
"Resolved, That the bill from the House of Representatives (H.R. 1586) entitled `An Act to impose an additional tax on bonuses received from certain TARP recipients.', do pass with the following

AMENDMENTS:

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert:
So, the entire text of the bill was struck and replaced, and HR 1586, now the "FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act", passed the Senate 61-39.

So, now we have two bills -- HR1586 EAS (Engrossed Amended Senate) and HR 1586 EH (Engrossed House). Problem. HR1586 EAS was amended (and how!) by the Senate, so to become law, the House would have to vote to accept those amendments. They didn't. Well, they did, but they mucked about a bit, and we had HR 1586 EAH (Engrossed Amended House), namely...
Resolved, That the House agree to the amendment of the Senate to the title of the bill (H.R. 1586) entitled `An Act to impose an additional tax on bonuses received from certain TARP recipients.' and be it further

Resolved, That the House agree to the amendment of the Senate to the text of the aforesaid bill, with the following

HOUSE AMENDMENT TO SENATE AMENDMENT:

In lieu of the matter proposed to be inserted by the amendment of the Senate to the text of the bill, insert the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `Aviation Safety and Investment Act of 2010'...
So, now we have HR 1586 EAS and HR 1586 EAH, and they're not the same.

The Senate does nothing about this, so the bill hangs in limbo. Until we needed something else, the Senate, realizing that this bill started with tax implications, grabbed it, and on August 5th, 2010 created HR 1586 EAS2, thusly.
Resolved, That the bill from the House of Representatives (H.R. 1586) entitled `An Act to modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide for modernization of the air traffic control system, reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes.', do pass with the following

SENATE AMENDMENT TO HOUSE AMENDMENT TO SENATE AMENDMENT:

In lieu of the matter proposed to be inserted, insert the following:

SHORT TITLE

Section 1. This Act may be cited as the `_____Act of______'.
Oops! Whomever typed it up didn't fill out the whole template. (The XXXXXAct ofXXXX is a display artifact.) The Senate couldn't change the long name, because that would, in effect, make it a new bill. You'll note that the House *did* change the full name, but the Senate ignored that, choosing to amend a bill they'd already amended.

What the bill does now -- gives about $25 billion to the various states to help keep teachers teaching, etc., stop the splitting of foreign and US tax credits, etc.

In short, it's the bill Obama is going to sign tonight. The Senate passes this 61-39, and then goes on recess. Pelosi calls the House back in to vote on it. Since the Senate is in recess, *any* amendment, even to fix the title, would result in the bill needing to go back to the Senate. so, we now vote on HR.1586 EAS2...
On motion that the House agree to the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 247 - 161
Now both the House and Senate have passed HR 1586 EAS2, which, because the House couldn't change it, has the short title of the '________Act of ________' and is referred to by the House as the "the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill ( H.R. 1586) to modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide for modernization of the air traffic control system, reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes.", but which, in fact, is there to keep teachers teaching and not let the hyperrich hide taxes.

Isn't sausage making marvelous?
posted by eriko at 3:02 PM on August 10, 2010 [53 favorites]


This was NOT an “error”…these people took time and trouble to write up and present and then vote on and pass this abomination. It was purposely constructed to hide the fact that they were stealing your money!

It was so clearly an error. When they intend to defraud the people or take their liberties, they use uplifting names or ironic names. For instance, the PATRIOT Act stripped civil liberties. This is more of an, "oops, someone pushed the 'send to House' button before we fixed the name" situation. The passage of the bill was obviously more important than fixing the name, so they swallowed their pride and let the error stand.

This'll go down as interesting trivia, but the notion that such a goofball error was a well-calculated maneuver to not draw attention is just stupid.
posted by explosion at 3:06 PM on August 10, 2010


Make sure you read the whole thing, same as you do for every new piece of legislation. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

I have read much of this bill (in particular, the international-tax revenue raisers). I get a cookie, right?
posted by grobstein at 3:15 PM on August 10, 2010


The only other alternative is for the House to change the name and have the Senate come back for another vote.

That might not be true. It might be possible for the House to give it a short title and for Senate leaders to agree that the lack of a short title was (something like) a scrivener's error and that the intent of the Senate was to give it the short title as indicated by the House.

Minor discrepancies between the House and Senate versions of ostensibly-identical bills passed by both happen from time to time, especially if the process behind it was convoluted, and they've been dealt with by the leadership like that.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:20 PM on August 10, 2010



(This is the death camps bill, right?)


They all are these days. They all are.
posted by drezdn at 3:42 PM on August 10, 2010


Minor discrepancies between the House and Senate versions of ostensibly-identical bills passed by both happen from time to time, especially if the process behind it was convoluted, and they've been dealt with by the leadership like that.

In former times, yes. In the current session, where the GOP will object to anything like that, no -- one of them will object to the change and force a vote.
posted by eriko at 3:47 PM on August 10, 2010


We need a fourth branch of government with a simple "No, that's fucking stupid, do it over, and use the spell checker," veto power.
posted by chairface at 3:57 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh come on, this is far better than all the stupid backronym bill names (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act etc...)
posted by pompomtom at 4:46 PM on August 10, 2010


From the byline in Filthy Light Theif's CNET link:

Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET.

CNET has a political correspondent? Isn't that the website I used in 2001 when I wanted progressive scan DVD player reviews?
posted by m@f at 5:02 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Donny, you're out of your element.
posted by rhizome at 5:03 PM on August 10, 2010


Still easier to parse than Heidegger, but not as piquant as Kafka. But there's enough spin potential to fuel lots of engines of discord. I think I approve. In spirit, though despirited I am, perhaps.
posted by yesster at 5:15 PM on August 10, 2010


___ __ ____ __ ____ ____ ____.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:48 PM on August 10, 2010


I am so XXXXX excited that this is how taxpayer money is being spent.

Seriously, what the XXXX?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:27 PM on August 10, 2010


"You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

- Oliver Cromwell

It'd be a real shame if the Senate was disposed of by a military strongman, but at this point they'd really only have themselves to blame.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:03 PM on August 10, 2010


We need a fourth branch of government with a simple "No, that's fucking stupid, do it over, and use the spell checker," veto power.

I nominate Mrs. Lynch, my tenth grade History teacher, who may or may not have written something very similar on my paper about Rhode Island.
posted by griphus at 7:07 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I came in here to politely point out that 2010 in Roman numerals is MMX and that it would have been impossible to write 'XXXXXX' for any Roman numeral, that 50 was, in fact, LX. Instead, I ended up with an interesting bit of trivia. Sigh.
posted by the cydonian at 7:35 PM on August 10, 2010


It's not so much that it's full of XXX... it's that the bastards left them unbalanced. That hurts my eyes.
posted by qvantamon at 7:36 PM on August 10, 2010


that 50 was, in fact, LX

Erm, no?
posted by pompomtom at 9:21 PM on August 10, 2010


sXe for life as long as term limits permit!

Term limits expire at age 21?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:03 PM on August 10, 2010


Term limits expire at age 21?

Well, I made it to 19 or so, but yeah.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:18 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


From eriko's comment:
"AMENDMENTS: Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert:
[...]
The Senate couldn't change the long name, because that would, in effect, make it a new bill."

So they can change all of the content and it's the same bill, but changing the name makes it a new bill?
posted by logopetria at 10:59 PM on August 10, 2010


So they can change all of the content and it's the same bill, but changing the name makes it a new bill?

Yes. If you amend just the name, it's the same bill, if you amend everything but the name, it's the same bill, but if you amend *every* bit of text at once, it's a new bill.

The usual fix is above -- one house amends the text, sends it over, the other house amends the name, and sends it back. In nicer days, they'd go to conference and fix that, but today, going to conference gives the GOP a few dozen more ways to impede the bill.

In this case, if the Senate had amended the name and text, it wouldn't be a valid bill, because of the Constitution, which says that bills of revenue must start in the House, and as a new bill, this would have started in the Senate.
posted by eriko at 4:33 AM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


that 50 was, in fact, LX

Erm, no?


60. Baaaaaahh!
posted by the cydonian at 8:32 AM on August 11, 2010


I prefer to see this as some bizarre, eldritch piece of legislation. Its name cannot be spoken aloud, because to do so would be to bring about madness. Kind of like The King in Yellow for non-monarchists.
posted by Eideteker at 12:52 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


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