The "Discovery" of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Lessons in the Practice of Political Medicine

By Abraham B. Bergman | Go to book overview

13

THE RITES OF FINAL PASSAGE

In the Senate, once a bill is passed by a committee it can immediately be taken to the floor for action. Not so in the House, the more "deliberative" body. There, after action by both subcommittee and full committee, a bill must be reviewed by yet another body, the Committee on Rules, which ostensibly establishes rules for how a bill is to be debated on the floor. Actually, the Rules Committee serves as a formidable filter at the end of a funnel.

Because the Rules Committee is so deliberative--some would say obstructive--there are alternate ways for relatively noncontroversial bills to reach the House floor. For real "motherhood and apple pie bills," there is the consent calendar. Here the House leadership distributes a menu of bills that require unanimous consent before they can be considered. One nay-sayer can screw up the works. Virtually no legislation that requires the expenditure of money ever makes it onto the consent calendar. Certainly this was so up until 1974, when Congressman H. R. Gross of Iowa retired. This crusty curmudgeon made an entire career out of objecting to all federal spending.

Another way around the Rules Committee is called the suspension calendar. Here a two-thirds majority is required to "suspend the rules" and consider a bill on the floor. Once a week the House leadership gathers the bills that are perceived to have little opposition and serves them up. Though not subject to the veto of one person, any perceptible show of opposition will get a bill knocked off the suspension calendar and onto the queue of bills waiting to go through the Rules

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The "Discovery" of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Lessons in the Practice of Political Medicine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Appendixes x
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 1
  • 2 - What is Sids? 8
  • 3 - Disturbing the Peace 18
  • 4 - The Battle Plan 29
  • 5 - The Power of Warren Magnuson 41
  • 6 - Sensitizing Professionals 50
  • 7 - The Mondale Hearings 57
  • 8 - Campaigning on the Local Level 68
  • 9 - Our Nader Report"" 81
  • 10 - The Satisficers 93
  • 11 - House Hearings 101
  • 12 - Senate Hearings: Second Round 107
  • 13 117
  • 14 - Implementation: Pushing on a Rope 124
  • 15 - Keeping the Foundation Afloat 136
  • 16 - Collaborating with Nimh 146
  • 17 - A Dual System for Helping Families 152
  • 18 - The Mobilization Contract 163
  • 19 - Calling the Cops 172
  • Epilogue 184
  • Glossary of Names 197
  • Appendix I 203
  • Appendix II 206
  • Appendix III 209
  • Appendix VI 211
  • Appendix V 214
  • Appendix VI 216
  • Appendix VII 218
  • Appendix VIII 221
  • Index 233
  • About the Author 239
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