Policy

Nancy Pelosi: "A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes."

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When I say "bipartisan", what I mean is "partisan".

From The Hill:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Republicans have left their mark on the healthcare bill and should accept that the bill will go forward.

"They've had plenty of opportunity to make their voices heard," she said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning. "Bipartisanship is a two-way street. A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes. Republicans have left their imprint." [emphasis added]

Also, up is down, cats are dogs, Republicans are Democrats, and Lost is satisfying and coherent. In fairness, I get what she's saying here: Republican opposition has helped shape the health care bill; the bill is the way it is in some part because of Republican behavior. But if that's the standard, then every single piece of legislation that passes through Congress (or fails to) is bipartisan. After all, both parties, whether through action/inaction or support/opposition, influence every bill in some way. Either they change it directly or they choose not to; either they vote for it or they don't. No matter what, the choices both parties make affect every bill and its outcome. But of course this is not what anyone is actually talking about when they talk about bipartisanship; what's meant is cross-party support, and with the exception of lone votes by Joseph Cao in the House and Olympia Snowe in Senate committee, this bill hasn't ever had any.