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Examining Governmental "Duplicity"

April 10, 2011 - Joselyn King
Am I the only one that noticed an example of ironic duplicity in the U.S. Senate this week?

First, lets look at that word "duplicity," defined as being: 1) deceitfulness in speech or conduct, speaking or acting in two different ways concerning the same matter with intent to deceive; or 2) a twofold or double state or quality.

Congress has been seeking to eliminate what it sees as "duplicative and overlapping government programs" undertaken by multiple government agencies.

And this week, the Senate considered legislation to address duplicative, overlapping and repetitive programs.

In fact, they actually had votes on TWO pieces of legislation regarding the issue, that were, yes -- duplicative and repetitive.

The first, proposed by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, was "to provide for the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to submit recommended rescissions in accordance with the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 for Government programs and agencies with duplicative and overlapping missions."

Yes, it is kind of wordy.

Democrats voted in favor; Republicans, against, and the measure failed to get the necessary 60 votes for passaged. It failed by a vote of 57-43.

Next came another amendment proposed by Sen. Thomas Coburn, R-Okla., that was "to save at least $5 billion by consolidating some duplicative and overlapping government programs."

The title is less wordy, and this measure contains a dollar figure goal. Still, it's basically the same legislation.

Republicans voted in favor of this amendment, and nearly all Democrats voted against.

But seven Democrats -- among them Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia -- did see fit to vote for this legislation as they had the Democratic bill. It passed 64-36.

To reiterate, repeat and duplicate what has already been mentioned -- there were two bills proposed to eliminate duplicating programs in government. And it took some senators crossing party lines to get something accomplished.

Still, that bill now has to get through the U.S. House. And that brings us to yet another case of ironic "duplicity."

Legislation to prohibit members of Congress and the president from receiving pay during government shutdowns - SB 388 - unanimously passed the Democratic-led Senate on March 1. The Republican-led U.S. House, meanwhile, last week passed nearly identical legislation - House Resolution 1255.

The point of note here -- neither chamber moved to consider the other's bill, and thus pass it into law.

Makes you think they really didn't want to give up those salaries after all, huh?


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