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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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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 07, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - Oct 7, 2009 - WH Misrepresents Health Care; Resoultion Calls for Removal of Rangle as Chairman

Update: The House refused to vote on the resolution that would have removed Congressman Charlie Rangel as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Instead, the House voted 246 to 153 to refer the resolution to the Ethics Committee thereby opposing the resolution. Again, the Democrats have buried the issue and protected Rangle. Rangel is already been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. According CBS' Marcia Kramer, Rangel may have gone as far to "influence" members of the Ethics Committee to look the other way: "CBS 2 HD has discovered that since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him." Americans for Limited Government has a petition website, at, to encourage Attorney General Eric Holder to immediately investigate Rangel's "repeated violation of public disclosure laws… [and] exactly how Mr. Rangel came into at least $650,000 in undisclosed income, and to audit the extent of his income."
The Senate will resume consideration of the fiscal year 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill, H.R. 2847. Yesterday the Senate voted 72-22 to confirm Thomas Perez to be Assistant Attorney General. Last night the Senate passed the $636 billion fiscal 2010 Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326) by a vote of 93-7. Prior to final passage the Senate rejected several amendments from Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John McCain (R-AZ) to eliminate or shift funding from certain earmarks in the bill. Also rejected were an amendments from Sen. McCain to eliminate funding for more C-17s and from Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) to bar funding for the CIA’s Center on Climate Change and National Security.

Today at noon, Congressman John Carter (R-TX) takes the Rangel Resolution to the House Floor. It’s obnoxious that Rep. Charlie Rangle (D-NY) hasn’t stepped down and it is a disgrace that he is the Chairman of Ways and Means failing to report numerous financial assets. Also, in an article on Red State, Rep. Carter explains,
One month, 12 months and 15 months. That’s how long it has been since we learned of Congressman Charlie Rangel’s (D-NY) most recent failure to disclose financial assets, since the New York Times first called for him to step down as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and since the House Ethics Committee began investigating Rangel’s previous violations, respectively.

Yet through all that - despite all the revelations of not disclosing income and not paying taxes - Mr. Rangel still runs the committee that oversees the IRS and enforces the tax laws for all Americans, except for himself. To allow Mr. Rangel to continue to serve as Chairman is the same as allowing a confessed bank robber to serve as Chairman of the Banking Committee during the trial. The reputation and integrity of this body has suffered serious damage by the actions of Mr. Rangel, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not lived up to her promise to make this the most honest and ethical House in history. . . .

Mr. Rangel’s list of violations continues to grow. You or I would have paid tens of thousands of dollars in interest and penalties had we committed similar tax evasions. Rangel apparently is immune from penalties, which is unethical, but especially unscrupulous when you consider his powerful Chairman position. This is not the first time I have moved to have Mr. Rangel removed from his chairmanship. I offered a similar Privileged Resolution in February, but Democrats under Speaker Pelosi blocked consideration of the bill.

When the Ethics Committee first began investigating Mr. Rangel on July 31, 2008, Speaker Pelosi publicly stated that the investigation would be complete before the end of 2008. But with the probe now well into its second year, the investigation has already been expanded twice to include new charges of tax and ethics violations by Mr. Rangel.
The Washington Post reported yesterday, “Seeking to provide fresh evidence of bipartisan support for health-care reform, the White House is orchestrating a series of endorsements from GOP heavyweights around the country. With a key Senate panel poised to vote on a broad bill, President Obama and his top aides have reached out to current and retired Republican leaders in the hopes of countering the charge that Democrats are using their congressional majorities to push through partisan legislation.” And according to Politico, “California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued statements in support of health care reform legislation this week after direct urging from the White House that they speak up on behalf of the president's agenda. The White House wasted no time Tuesday touting the statements as proof of bipartisan support for health care – and using the comments to paint congressional Republicans as obstructionists.”

Of course, the press dutifully reported the White House spin with a series of headlines describing “Republican support” for “bipartisan reform” touting statements from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media ignored significant reservations these and other Republicans had about the health care reform plans being pushed by President Obama and Democrats in Congress.

Back in July, Gov. Schwarzenegger said in a letter to members of Congress, “I cannot and will not support federal health care reform proposals that impose billions of dollars in new costs on California each year.” And just last week he said, “I will be clear on this particular proposal: if Congress thinks the Medicaid expansion is too expensive for the federal government, it is absolutely unaffordable for states.” The Washington Post noted he “estimated that the Medicaid expansion could cost his state $8 billion a year.” Underscoring this, the San Francisco Chronicle’s blog featured a post titled, “Dems exaggerate Arnold's love for health care plan.” The blog post noted, “He didn't endorse anything. Not the Obama plan, not the House-passed plans, nothing. He doesn't favor the public option -- in fact, he loathes it.”

Sen. Frist told CNBC yesterday that he “wouldn’t vote for any” of the health bills currently working their way through the House or Senate. And in an interview with Politico today, he pointed out serious problems with the Democrats’ bills. Frist said, “the bill does not ‘bend the cost curve’; spending growth will continue to outstrip the growth of our economy, and thus the promises made today cannot be sustained over time.” He also predicted that any bill passed would “raise health care premiums and spending for all Americans under the age of 65” and not be bipartisan.

Meanwhile, Democrat governors have raised fresh alarms about the burdens imposed on their financially strapped states in the health care proposals. Democrat Ohio Governor Ted Strickland said, “[T]he states, with our financial challenges right now, are not in a position to accept additional Medicaid responsibilities.” According to the Los Angeles Times, Democrat Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire refused to sign a letter supporting health care reform because it failed to “address concerns regarding potential cost shifting to the states.” Democrat Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen added in a letter to Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), “My guess is that most other states would face a similarly painful situation if these costs are passed down.” The Democrat Governor of Wyoming, Dave Freudenthal, told theWyoming Tribune Eagle, “[Y]ou only have so much money, and this is the basic math: If you have 47 million people who don't have coverage in the country, and your goal is to get coverage for those people, you can't come to us and say that it's not going to cost society anything.” And Democrat North Carolina Governor Betty Perdue said, “[T]he absolute deal breaker for me as governor is a federal plan that shifts costs to the states.”

The White House is desperate to show momentum for their trillion dollar health care experiment, but their arguments are undermined when they misrepresent the positions of Republicans and ignore significant objections from key Democrats.

Tags: Charlie Rangel, government healthcare, 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 10:25 AM - Post Link


Blogger Ron Russell said...

Politics trumps ethics in the House of Nancy. Swamp-draining only applies to those in opposition. This is nothing new and the way things go in the Hall of Congrss.


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