Rush Limbaugh claimed that there were “no hearings” or “meaningful conversation” on health care reform and “not much” on financial regulatory reform. In fact, Congress held dozens of hearings on both topics.
Limbaugh: Health Care Reform Passed Without “Hearings” Or “Meaningful Conversation,” And “Not Much” On Financial Reform
Limbaugh: “There Were No Hearings [On Health Care Reform]. There Was No Meaningful Conversation. That Was Simply A Jam-It-Through Kind Of Job.” From the March 3 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: [Investor Sam Zell] appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box today. His umbrella company is Equity Investments, and he's the chairman. And they had on this program -- the guest panelist is New York Times bidness correspondent Aaron Ross Sorkin, and he's there appearing with the two hosts and hostette on this program. And Aaron Ross Sorkin, guest panelist of The New York Times, asks Zell: “If you could do one or two things right now to create some of that stability in the marketplace you're talking about, what you would do first?”
ZELL: Repeal Obamacare first. I'd repeal Dodd-Frank second. I'd tell the American people that we're in tough times and we've got to hunker down and we've got to go forward. And we go forward slowly, predictably, with lots and lots of conversation. Think about how much conversation and how much in hearings occurred as a result of these two bills that are just monstrosities.
LIMBAUGH: His point is there was no conversation, there were no hearings. The normal route and path taken in order to pass legislation in this country did not ha-- they might have had some hearings on the financial regulatory reform bill, but not much.
But there was none on health care. I mean, they literally -- that was -- there were no hearings. There was no meaningful conversation. That was simply a jam-it-through kind of job. And that's the thing he's talk-- so those two bills are monstrosities. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/3/11]
Congress And Executive Agencies Held Dozens Of Public Hearings On Both Topics
House Democratic Leadership: As Of March 2010, Congress Held Total Of 179 Hearings On Health Care Reform. From a document prepared by the House Offices of Democratic Leadership:
- The House has held 79 bipartisan hearings and markups on health insurance reform over the past 2 years.
- The Senate Finance Committee held more than 53 hearings on health insurance reform. They spent 8 days marking up the legislation -- the longest markup in 22 years -- during which they considered 135 amendments.
- The Senate HELP Committee held more than 47 bipartisan hearings, roundtables, and walkthroughs on health insurance reform. They considered 300 amendments during a 13 day markup. [Offices of Democratic Leadership document, 3/19/10 (emphasis in original)]
Pew: 161 Hearings On Financial Reform Since Subprime Crisis Began. Pew's Financial Reform Project, “formed in response to the ongoing financial crisis,” lists 161 hearings held by Congress and executive agencies between March 15, 2007, and today. The bodies that held hearings include:
- Senate Finance Committee
- Senate Banking Committee
- House Financial Services Committee
- Treasury Department
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission
- Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
- Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
- Congressional Oversight Panel on TARP
- Joint Economic Committee
- Senate Agriculture Committee
- House Committee on the Judiciary
- House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and GSE's
- House Agriculture Committee
- House Financial Services Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee
- House Energy Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection
- House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
- House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit
- Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. [PewFR.org, accessed 3/3/11]