Politco reporters Erika Lovley and Patrick O’Connor wrote the story about how the recently passed health-care bill signed by President Obama would require congressional staffers to buy insurance from the state-run insurance exchanges the legislation will create.
Seem fair enough that folks who work for Congress should have to play by the rules their bosses pass, but Lovley and O’Connor write that:
[P]age 158 of the bill defines “congressional staff” narrowly, as “employees employed by the official office of a member of Congress, whether in the district office or in Washington.”
The Congressional Research Service believes a court could rule that the legislation “would exclude professional committee staff, joint committee staff, some shared staff, as well as potentially those staff employed by leadership offices.”
If that’s so, staffers who work for Nancy Pelosi in her capacity as representative from California would go into the exchange program, while staffers who work for her in her capacity as speaker would stay on the government’s plan. Other Capitol employees, like those who work for the clerk of the House or the House historian, would be similarly exempted.
Now as much as I would enjoy to sit here and rage against the stunning hypocrisy of those who help to write the rules (e.g., those staffers who work on the committee that crafted the rules exempting themselves from those very rules), I have to admit that I would do the same thing.
And I have.
About seven years ago, I lived in a townhouse that was part of a homeowner’s association (HOA). Being the good and helpful citizen that I am, I volunteered to be part of the Architectural Committee (ArCom). As it turned out, since our community was brand new, this particular ArCom was starting the process of writing the rules and regulations that would define how the buildings could be modified, what additions were acceptable, and so on.
The trio that comprised the ArCom worked for months researching other HOA’s regulations until we came up with a draft document to present to the board. Since I was the most computer-literate of the threesome, I volunteered to type up the draft. It was while typing the draft that I noticed my issue. In the section on doors, our new rules stated that a storm door added to the front door could only be either “a) white or b) the color of the trim of the front door“. My issue was that right after I moved in, I installed a gray storm door. I now saw that my own door was against our new proposed rule.
So as I sat in front of the computer screen pondering my dilemma, I simply inserted the phrase “or c) gray” to the new rules about storm doors.
Rage all you want, but when the shoe is on the other foot (or the finger on the keyboard is yours), be honest with yourself and know you would do the same thing.
After all, our representatives and their staff only represent us, are voted in by us, and thus, ultimately, reflect us.