Cap and Trade Underpants Gnomes


The pace for the cap and trade bill continues apace. Today, the House Rules Committee posted to their web site the bill number, H.R. 2998, for the draft of unknown origin that has become a point of much debate over the past few days. This bill, H.R. 2998, is set to replace H.R. 2454, the bill previously reported out of committee. As I wrote two days ago, we have little idea as to the negotiations that transformed the approximately 1,000 page H.R. 2454 into the 1,200 page H.R. 2998. If nothing else it reminded me of South Park’s underpants gnomes (for an image that might help explain the image below, see here). And thus I present this image that represents, to the best of our knowledge, how this bill grew overnight:


Phase 1: Report H.R. 2454 out of committee

Phase 2: ?

Phase 3: Replace H.R. 2454 with H.R. 2998

The House Rules Committee is currently deciding which of the 224 amendments proposed will be allowed a vote on the floor of the House. That could take a while. In the mean time we’ll all twiddle our thumbs and try to figure out what process led to this compromise bill.

Or you can go to and tell Congress that they shouldn’t let this happen again. Tell them to support H. Res. 554 and require bills to be posted online for at least 72 hours prior to consideration.

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  • this clears some up. not a panty gnome after all.

  • perk

    As hard as it probably is sometimes, keeping a non-partisan atmosphere greatly amplifies the effectiveness of your effort in getting people involved in government. This is so rare.

  • perk

    Great stuff — have passed it on. Many thanks for your efforts on this.

    The importance of what you are doing has not escaped the notice of many.

    Arguably, one of the most pivotal tasks needed is bringing to “light” the legislative process so that citizens can take action and escape the the helpless feeling that encompasses the electorate. It is a high-leverage activity you have chosen. Well done.