Suit to Block Deficit-Reduction Bill Is Ended
WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (AP) — A federal judge Friday threw out a private group’s effort to block a $39 billion deficit-reduction bill that was passed in different versions by the House and Senate.
The lawsuit, filed by Public Citizen, argued that because the two chambers passed slightly different bills, the version signed by President Bush on Feb. 8 was unconstitutional.
The judge, John D. Bates of Federal District Court, disagreed, citing an 1892 Supreme Court ruling that says the signatures of Senate and House leaders are enough to affirm a bill’s legitimacy.
The lawsuit was one of four that challenged the law over a clerical error that listed different rental periods for medical equipment that would be covered by Medicare. The Senate voted to authorize 13 months, but a clerk wrote 36 months into the bill before sending it to the House, where it was passed with the longer interval. Adina Rosenbaum, a lawyer for Public Citizen, said the group planned to appeal. Three other cases, including one filed by Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, are pending.
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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free