The parliamentarian. A democracy work-around.

I have been following the story about the Senate parliamentarian and the exclusion of a federal $15 minimum wage from the pandemic relief bill with interest.

You could say it is triggering.

As a yearly delegate to the national conventions -called Representative Assemblies – of the National Education Association and the Illinois Education Association I have seen how the leadership can use parliamentary rules and procedures to undermine real democracy.

One year I joined with other delegates calling on the leadership to create on the IEA website a place where politically active members could search for like-minded members. For privacy purposes, members would opt to sign up rather than having it be automatic.

Pretty simple and easy. But it took political action out of the direct control of leadership and the lobbying department.

At the NEA and IEA Representative Assemblies they have a person who puts a price tag on proposals. If the leadership wants to kill a proposal they have the “pricer” put some outrageous cost to the idea. That would kill it every time. And there was no appeal.

Our simple idea was given a $25,000 price tag.

That was the tell. Delegates understood that leadership was sending a message they wanted our idea to die.

The idea that the parliamentarian of the Senate can kill the federal $15 minimum wage when most Americans support the idea?

That is a tell.

A message that the Democratic Party leadership wanted it to die.

One thought on “The parliamentarian. A democracy work-around.

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