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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - Oct 21, 2009 - Obama's Enemy List & Congressional Buffoonery

Update 4:21 pm from Sam Adams MMIV: Sen Harry Reid went down in flames when the Senate voted 47-53 and failed to end debate on the Medicare “Doc Fix." Thirteen democrats joined all the republicans to stop advancing this $247 billion, unfunded doc fix forward. By anyone’s standard, today was the first vote on health care reform. Harry Reid, the current pilot of Obama’s reform bill, badly miscalculated the mood of his conference when he cut a backroom deal to jam $250 billion down taxpayer’s throats. In the end, 13 Democrats sided with every Republican to turn back the first attempt to saddle American taxpayers with unsustainable debt through a massive effort to rewrite 1/6th of the U.S. economy behind closed doors.

Just hours earlier Reid was boasting to reporters, “Well, of course I don’t bring anything to the floor if I don’t think I have the votes.” Yet there were several stories, as far back as last week, featuring a number of Senate Democrats explaining they couldn’t vote for this Medicare payments bill without it being paid for. The Obama administration has been expecting Reid to shepherd through a bill that is certain to raise taxes, raise premiums, and cut Medicare, all of which polls show Americans oppose.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said: “In the Senate’s first vote on health care spending this year, a bipartisan majority rejected the Democrat Leadership's attempt to add another quarter trillion dollars to the national credit card without any plan to pay for it. With a record deficit and a ballooning national debt, the American people are saying enough is enough. Today's vote shows that this message is finally starting to get through to Congress. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come in the health care debate ahead.”
The Senate will begin consideration of the nomination of Roberto Lange to be District Judge for the District of South Dakota. A vote on the nomination is scheduled for 2 PM. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he intends to hold a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S. 1776, a $247 billion deficit-financed bill to prevent cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors.

Yesterday, Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (TN) took to the floor asking the White House not to create an "Enemies List." Roll Call reports the Alexander said: “Based upon that experience and my 40 years since then in and out of public life, I want to make . . . a friendly suggestion to President Obama and his White House: Don’t create an enemies list." Alexander read off a list of examples he says support his contention, including: a reported effort by the White House to marginalize the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a supposed effort by the Health and Human Services Department to put a “gag order” on the insurer Humana, the White House move to take on Fox News, Obama’s repeated criticisms of banks and investment houses, his alleged “taking names” of “bondholders who resisted the GM and Chrysler bailouts,” and the president’s move to make insurers the bogeyman of the health care debate. Alexander claimed that the incipient White House “enemies” campaign extends even to Congress. [and he provided examples]. “This behavior is typical of street brawls and political campaign consultants,” Alexander said. “If the president and his top aides treat people with different views as enemies instead of listening to what they have to say, they’re likely to end up with a narrow view and a feeling that the whole world is out to get them. And as those of us who served in the Nixon White House know, that can get you into a lot of trouble.”

Yesterday, the Senate voted 79-19 to approve the conference report on the fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security appropriations bill, H.R. 2892. The bill provides $44.1 billion in funding to the department and now goes to the president for his signature. Also yesterday, Reid filed cloture on the conference report for the fiscal year 2010 Defense authorization bill (H.R. 2647) and on the nomination of William Session to be chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Later this afternoon, the Senate is set to vote on what amounts to the first round in the debate over health care reform. Reid has scheduled a cloture vote on a $247 billion bill to eliminate cuts in Medicare payments to doctors over the next decade. However, the bill is not paid for and will be added directly to our record deficit. Senate Republicans along with a number of Democrats have expressed opposition to moving ahead in this manner and hiding the true cost of the Democrat's health care bill.

Reid is apparently undeterred and os pressing forward with a vote, despite what appears to be a lack of support for a bill which adds a quarter trillion dollars to the deficit. The Hill reports today, “A group of Senate Democrats is threatening to derail a deal Majority Leader Harry Reid offered to doctors in exchange for their support of President Barack Obama’s healthcare initiative. Sens. Kent Conrad (N.D.), Evan Bayh (Ind.), Russ Feingold (Wis.), Tom Carper (Del.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) on Tuesday voiced opposition to separate legislation that would freeze scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to doctors for the next 10 years.” Not only that, The Hill notes, “House Democratic leaders also held firm in objecting to the legislation Tuesday, insisting that the Senate agree to offset the cost of the doctor payments with tax increases or spending cuts, or agree to implement pay-as-you-go budget rules for most legislation, which senators have firmly resisted in recent years.”

In his 50th speech on the Senate floor about health care reform today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained why so many senators have problems with Reid’s approach to this bill: “The national debt is nearly 12 trillion dollars. It’s expected to grow by another nine trillion dollars over the next ten years. Medicare and Medicaid cost the federal government nearly $700 billion a year, a cost that’s expected to double in ten years. . . . And now Democrats in Congress are proposing that we put another quarter of a trillion dollars on the government charge card in order to prevent a cut in the reimbursement rate to doctors who treat Medicare patients. All of us want to keep this cut from happening. But the American people don’t want us to borrow another cent to pay for it. And they don’t want Democrats in Congress to pretend that this quarter of a trillion dollars isn’t part of the cost of health care reform — because it is.”

The Wall Street Journal editors are fed up with the Democrats’ shell games on paying for health care reform and write today: “President Obama has made serial promises that he will not sign a health-care bill that ‘adds one dime to our deficits, either now or in the future, period.’ This was never plausible, but now we can begin to understand what he meant: Democrats plan to make ObamaCare ‘deficit-neutral’ by moving nearly a quarter-trillion dollars off the books, in the fiscal deception of the century.”

As Sen. McConnell said today, “the American people have a message for Democrats in Congress: the time to get our fiscal house in order is not tomorrow. It’s not next year. It’s now. . . . Americans are concerned about the direction we’re headed in. Record debts, record deficits, endless borrowing, and yet every day we hear of more plans to borrow and spend, borrow and spend.”

If Harry Reid hasn’t counted his votes right and the cloture vote fails today, maybe - just maybe, he and other Democrat leaders will reconsider their eagerness to push the country even deeper into a sea of red ink. However, their has been no indicator of this. Reid seems to be a man on a mission to bankrupt our country. Why aren't Democrat Senators and House members looking within their own caucus for people who would better represent them and the American people? Aren't the tired of the buffoons representing them? Do these buffoons actually have too much dirt on their fellow constituents for them to do anything? Congressional buffoonery is getting old to the American people.

Tags: government healthcare, Harry Reid, Lemar Alexander, Obama administration, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:00 AM - Post Link


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