Audiobook - For All Americans - Political, Audiobook, Dry, Dramatic



Clip from a 14hr audiobook fully read and produced by me.
- Political
- Long Form
- Storytelling
- Aged
- Concerned
- Sincere
- Emotional
- Dry
- Legalese

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Voice Age

Middle Aged (35-54)


North American (General) North American (US General American - GenAM)


Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
Chapter 35 September come October 2009. After our September 23rd 2009 Energy and Commerce Committee markup on HR 3200 the remaining amendments were sent to the Rules Committee. The longest and strangest markup I was ever involved with started in late July and was finalised on September 23rd. Now it was anyone's guess as to when the speaker would call up the health care bill for a vote on the House floor. However, before she could bring the legislation to the floor, she had to have the votes to pass the rule. A September gave way to October. The speaker did not have the votes for the rule and even fewer votes for health care. The speaker was having trouble securing votes for health care from the new Democratic network, the Blue Dogs, the RTL, Democrats and the Southern Democrats. Speaker Pelosi was focused on securing enough votes for passage and did not seem too worried about securing votes for the rule. I believed she assigned Chairman Waxman in Congressman Doyle to rein me in and convinced me to drop my opposition to the rule and the underlying legislation, Waxman, Doyle and Speaker Pelosi. I knew that I wanted to pass health care, but they were not sure how long and hard I would push for the Stupak amendment. Despite the shot across the bow in July, Speaker Pelosi never dreamed or seem to believe that I could actually take down the rule if the speaker had remembered her history. She would have recalled that I was part of the freshman class that took down six rules and upended floor action numerous times in 103rd Congress, 1993 to 1994. Speaker Pelosi probably did not realise that I was one of a handful of members who have attended a parliamentary class conducted by then Majority Whip Congressman David Bonior, Democrat, Michigan, and Congressman Barney Frank, Democrat, Massachusetts. In 1995 The informal parliamentary classes were David Bonfires effort to teach some of US freshmen members how to handle ourselves on the floor as we fought the White House on NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement. Congresswoman Pelosi had been part of the anti NAFTA group opposing President Clinton's trade pact with Mexico and Canada. Then, when the Democrats lost control of the House in 1995 after their 40 year control as the majority party, it became imperative to allow it became imperative to always have a Democratic member observing the floor proceedings as it became imperative to always have a Democratic member observing the floor proceedings and special orders. The Democratic members who volunteered to monitor the floor were required to understand the parliamentary rules contained in the 1488 page Jefferson manual. I had learned that a member may have the best intended piece of legislation, but it may never come to the House floor for consideration if the rules of the House are not explicitly followed. I had witnessed more than one well meaning amendment derailed by the parliamentary proceedings in the US House of Representatives. One might think that the men and women elected to Congress would observe unfailingly rational and ethical standards of decorum while on the floor. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. For example, I once had to use my parliamentary knowledge to challenge and rein in Congressman Dan Burton, Republican Indiana, during his special order, arguing that Clinton White House counsel Vince Foster had been murdered by someone with close ties to the Clinton administration Congressman Burton discussed how he conducted his own experiments in his back yard by shooting into a watermelon, which was supposed to represent Vince Foster's head, to demonstrate that Foster could not have committed suicide. Burton's theory and arguments on the floor crossed the line of ethical behaviour, and I called him on it. Congressman Burton Weekly apologised, But his conspiracy theory exists yet today, as the speaker suggested, I scheduled a meeting with rules chairwoman Louise Slaughter for October 1st, I walked over to the Rules Committee room in the Capitol and waited in the reception area at least 15 minutes before the meeting began. It was not really a meeting so much as a one sided lecture. After I requested that Congresswoman Slaughter consider making the Stupak amendment in order to the health care legislation, she denounced it as leading back to the days of back alley abortions. Congresswoman Slaughter claimed that she personally knew a young woman who had died from a back alley abortion, and we're not going back to that. Louise Slaughter did not have to say anything more. There was no way she would even entertain the idea of making the Stupak amendment in order. I knew the meeting would be useless. But since the speaker instructed me to meet with slaughter, I did. I did not want the Democratic leadership saying I was not going through regular order, even though they themselves were not after the slaughter lecture. I did not get angry. I just became more determined to push my amendment and increased my outreach to the members on my scorecard. I knew any response I would give to slaughter would be meaningless. I realised that the help I had given her via my legislative and negotiation skills, which had allowed her Gina legislation to become law after a 12 year stalemate was history. Realising that my counter argument to slaughter speech would have on ly inflame the situation, I decided to think the chairwoman for her time. I did tell Slaughter that I knew that she would not give me my amendment, but I was meeting her at the request of the speaker so no one could say that I did not follow regular order. I am sure that Congresswoman Slaughter viewed me as a RTL zealot, but then again, I viewed her as a very ungrateful pro choice sell it, who was unable to even consider the pro life position. It was no wonder her legislation was tied up for 12 years, given that she would not even try to see the other side of the argument. At least Speaker Pelosi heard me out on the issue. Slaughter did not give me the time of day or even a moment to explain what the Stupak amendment meant to the passage of health care. I never asked Congresswoman Slaughter to agree with me, but she could have behaved with more professional courtesy. In the meantime, Waxman and Doyle set another meeting in Waxman's office on October 7th. Nothing new came from that short meeting. Other than that, we agreed to keep the lines of communication open. Plus, after the slaughter lecture, I was in no mood to continue worthless meetings. I pulled my scorecard from my brown accordion file and reached out to 12 more Democratic members on my list. 10 of the 12 members said they would stand with me and vote for the Stupak amendment. I was starting to secure enough commitments that I could comfortably win the vote on my amendment. If every Republican would stand with me at every Democrat followed through on his her promise to do so. The Democrats who committed their vote for the Stupak amendment were solid members, and their word was good to me. I was confident of victory. I just needed an opportunity to offer it for a vote. My outreach to members occurred when we were walking over for votes on the House floor. Outside of committees, in the House gym or at Democratic caucuses, the caucuses were occurring almost daily. As Speaker, Pelosi brought in guest speakers to explain the health care legislation and convince caucus members to support HR 3200. I discussed my RTL strategy with my targeted Democrats whenever and wherever I could find a quiet moment alone with no staff person.