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Trivial Pursuit, Briar Patches and Healthcare Reform

The Congressional franking privilege (free postage for members of Congress) has a history that goes back to the English House of Commons while the first U.S. Congress enacted a franking law in 1789, according to the website of the the Committee on House Administration. Further:

“As a result of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for FY 1991, Members are required to submit all mass mailings (unsolicited mailings of 500 or more pieces of the same matter) for an advisory opinion prior to mailing.”

Fast forward to July 2009. Roll Call reports on the kerfuffle that has erupted over the right of House Republicans to use the franking privilege to send a mailer critical of Democratic health care plans. According to Roll Call:

“The dispute centers on a chart created by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Republican staff of the Joint Economic Committee to illustrate the organization of the Democratic health care plan. (the chart, from the website of Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) appears below)

“At first glance, Brady’s chart resembles a board game: a colorful collection of shapes and images with a web of lines connecting them.”


Roll Call also reports, “The dispute over Brady’s chart is being reviewed by the franking commission, which must approve any mail before it can be sent. No decision had been made on the matter by press time.” Stay tuned! But that flow chart sure looks like reason enough to start over with healthcare reform.

HT: Hot Air. Worth a read since "DafyDD Ab Hugh" thinks that "Brer Republican managed to trick Brer Democrat into flinging the Brady flowchart into the briar patch."


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