Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Revise & Extend...Huh?

I’m so naive. I have always thought what was entered into the Congressional Record was the exact recording of what our Members of Congress said when they stand up & poke holes in the air with their fingers.

I am now disillusioned. My chops have been busted. My faith in my fellow man has gone caput. My dobber is in the dirt (whatever that means).

I have found out that Exact Ain’t Exact because of the existence of a phrase I have heard many times uttered in Congress but, until now, have paid little attention to. The phrase is, “I Reserve the Right to Revise and Extend my Remarks”.

The Congressional Record actually contains speeches, tributes and other extraneous words that were not actually uttered during open proceedings of Congress. 

This means that, by custom and rules of each chamber, members can make dramatic changes to what was actually said on the floor before the debates are finalized into the Congressional Record.

It appears that a Member of Congress can stand up and lose his train of thought, mispronounce words, state facts as fact that are not factual & then ”fix it later” (or have one of his many assistants fix it for him while he goes to Happy Hour).

The end result is that final entry into the Congressional Records could end up being what the member said, some of what the member said, none of what the member said or what the administrative assistant whishes the member had said.

Don’t shoot the messenger (I’m the messenger). As Howard Cosell said, I’m Just Telling It Like It Is.

On the other hand, if ole Howard had been a Member of Congress he could spent his Sports Journalistic Career, Telling It Like It Might Have Been If It Were Different Than What It Actually Was.

Would I kid u?