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Blogger/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)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Today in Washington, D.C. - Jan 6, 2011 - Constitution Read in Congress & Budgets Reduced

Yesterday, the 112th Congress was sworn into office.  The House gavel was handed by Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) to Rep. John Boehner of Ohio ending her regime and beginning a new era in conservative leadership! It’s time we control less, spend less and accomplish more. The impact was felt across the nation. Percentage wise one state experienced a major change. - Arkansas was provided with the largest number of Republican representation in Washington since before Reconstruction! Three new Republican Congressmen and a returning Democrat all voted against Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

Senate is in recess until January 24th. Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) put the Senate in recess for two and a half weeks in order to hold open the first legislative day while Democrats attempt to negotiate among themselves support for partisan changes some want to make to filibuster rules. Democrats claim that rules can be changed with a simple majority vote on the first legislative day, even though Senate rules require a 2/3rds vote to change them.

The US House today read the US Constitution from the floor. The House then voted 410-13 to approve the Republican initiated H. Res. 22 to immediately reduce all House budgets including committees by five percent. Freshman Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) said, “I am proud to cast the first of many votes to reduce the size and cost of government. We were given the mission of getting our fiscal house in order by the American people in November. Today’s vote to cut our own budget is a small but important step toward fulfilling that mission, and a recognition that cuts must start with us.

As the new House Republican majority moves to respond to the message of the American people to repeal and replace President Obama’s massive, unpopular health care law, Americans are once again being reminded of the many broken promises from Democrats about that law. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Another big California health insurer has stunned individual policyholders with huge rate increases — this time it's Blue Shield of California seeking cumulative hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers March 1. . . . San Francisco-based Blue Shield said the increases were the result of fast-rising healthcare costs and other expenses resulting from new healthcare laws.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) today joined Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and several House committee chairmen in releasing a report entitled ObamaCare: A Budget-Busting, Job-Killing Health Care Law. The report provides a compelling case for taking immediate action to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with reforms that will lower costs and protect jobs. Boehner released the following statement:
“The evidence is clear: by raising taxes, imposing new mandates, and increasing uncertainty for employers and entrepreneurs, ObamaCare is already destroying jobs in this country. And it will continue to destroy jobs unless we do something about it. The report released today shows how the health care law is making it harder to end the job-killing spending binge that threatens our children’s future. When you look at it dollar by dollar, the numbers just don’t add up. This report presents a very sobering picture, and every lawmaker and taxpayer – no matter where you stand on this critical issue – should take a look at it.

“With nearly 10 percent unemployment and massive debt, the American people want us to focus on cutting spending and growing our economy. That’s why tomorrow the House will take the first steps towards repealing this job-killing health care law and replacing it with reforms that will bring down costs and protect jobs.”
NOTE: Joining Boehner and Cantor on the report are Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Ways & Means; Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Chairman of the Committee on Education & the Workforce; Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the Committee on the Budget; and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Energy & Commerce.

Alone, this report shows yet another of the unfortunate consequences of Democrats’ fatally flawed bill. But it’s worth recalling what Democrats said about their health care bill as they were advocating for its passage. In March of last year, President Obama said that if the Democrats’ bill passed, “No longer would [insurance companies] be able to arbitrarily and massively raise premiums like Anthem Blue Cross recently tried to do in California -- up to 39 percent increases in one year in the individual market. Those practices would end.” Speaking on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said, “With this new law, American families and businesses can have hope that their premiums will not rise as fast as they have been in the past.  The days of 39 percent premium increases, as we have seen in California, will be over once this law is fully implemented.” And Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius went even further last February, claiming, “What will happen with health reform, premiums will go down between 14 percent and 20 percent just by passing the bills.”

Yet just the opposite has happened. Last September, The Wall Street Journal reported, “Health insurers … have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the [Democrat health care] law.” In state after state, insurance companies and state insurance regulators have warned of premium increases coming thanks in part to the Democrats’ health care bill.

Politico reports today that House Republicans are beginning the process to repeal and replace this flawed bill. “Republicans reopened their battle against President Barack Obama’s health care law, using the first committee meeting of the new Congress Thursday to eviscerate the overhaul as a ‘job killer’ and a ‘malignant tumor.’ . . . The Rules Committee meeting marked the starting round in the GOP’s bid to repeal the law, a central pillar of the party’s governing manifesto.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told Politico, “The American people were unambiguous in their call for lower health care costs and smaller government. . . . Yet instead of taking commonsense steps to lower costs, Democrats in Washington jammed through a massive government expansion that their own experts acknowledge will increase health costs. We need to repeal this massive bill and replace it with commonsense, step-by-step reforms that actually lower costs and encourage job growth. The House will take the first step in that process next week, and I hope the Senate will soon follow suit with a vote of its own.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, US Constitution, budget cuts, repeal of health care, Obamacare 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 3:06 PM - Post Link

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