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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, June 27, 2013

Senate Passes Amnesty Immigration Bill | Majority Of Americans Disapprove Of Obamacare | Pelosi Say 'It's Fabulous'

What the Senate
Failed to Recognize!
Today In Washington, D.C. - June 27, 2013:
Senate reconvened today and resumed consideration of S. 744, the immigration reform bill. They completed a series of three votes. Senators voted 100-0 to confirm Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to be Secretary of Transportation. The Senate then voted 68-32 to adopt the Judiciary Committee-reported substitute amendment to S. 744, as modified by previous amendments. The Senate then voted 68-32 to to pass the 1200 page immigration legislation.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 68-30 to waive all Budget Act points of order against S. 744 and its amendments, 69-29 to adopt the Leahy amendment as modified with the Corker-Hoeven language, and 67-31 to invoke cloture (cut off debate) on the Judiciary Committee-reported substitute amendment to S. 744, as modified by previous amendments.

While Speaker Boehner says the bill is dead on arrival at the House, He has said the House will propose its own immigration bill. If the Houses does develop and pass an immigration reform bill, it also will NOT become law. Instead, by acting the House bill will result in a "closed door" reconciliation process where the bill that come out of the process will not reflect the view of the majority of American citizens.

Besides all the Democrats, the following 14 Republican Senators voted for the bill: John McCain (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), Marco Rubio ,(FL), Jeff Flake (AZ), Bob Corker (TN), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Jeffery Chiesa (NJ), Susan Collins (ME), Orrin Hatch (UT), Dean Heller (NV), Mark Kirk (IL), John Hoeven (ND), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Lamar Alexander (TN). Thirty-two Republicans voted against the measure including the Senate Republican Leadership. Noted was the split vote from the Arkansas delegation. Senator John Boozman (R) remained consistent and voted no, while Senator Mark Pryor (D) ignored the majority of his constituents and voted yes. Pryor is vulnerable and is up for re-election in 2014 as are Senators Mary Landrieu (LA) and Kay Hagan (NC). This is not the first time Pryor has voted against the majority of his constituents; he previously provided a deciding vote in the passing of Obamacare.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said today on the floor of the Senate: "It is not a bill that reflects a commitment to a lawful system of immigration in the future. We will admit dramatically more people than we ever have in our country’s history at a time when unemployment is high and the Congressional Budget Office have told us that wages, average wages will go down for 12 years, that gross domestic product per capita will decline for 25-plus years."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reiterated that immigration reform must “be grounded in real border security,” and have the support of the Republican majority to pass in the House.  Boehner said: "Weeks ago, I – along with the Leader, and the Whip, and Chairman Goodlatte – issued a statement that I thought was pretty clear. But apparently, some haven’t gotten the message. The House is not going to take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes. We’re going to do our own bill, through regular order, and it’ll be legislation that reflects the will of our majority and the will of the American people.  For any legislation – including a conference report – to pass the House, it’s going to have to be a bill that has the support of a majority of our members.

"Listen, immigration reform has to be grounded in real border security.  That’s what the American people believe, and it’s a principle that our majority believes in as well.  Chairman McCaul’s done a good job passing a border security bill.  Chairman Goodlatte is doing good work over in the Judiciary Committee. And if immigration reform is going to work, it’s essential that the American people have the confidence that it’s being done correctly. That’s how the House will approach this issue."

The House reconvened and is considering the following bills:
H.R. 1613 — "To amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to provide for the proper Federal management and oversight of transboundary hydrocarbon reservoirs, and for other purposes." – PASSED 256 – 171
H.R. 1864 (— "To amend title 10, United States Code, to require an Inspector General investigation of allegations of retaliatory personnel actions taken in response to making protected communications regarding sexual assault."
H.R. 2231 — "To amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to increase energy exploration and production on the Outer Continental Shelf, provide for equitable revenue sharing for all coastal States, implement the reorganization of the functions of the former Minerals Management Service into distinct and separate agencies, and for other purposes."

Over the course of a week since last writing about Obamacare implementation, it’s kind of amazing how many stories are generated all across the country of the problems this law is causing. And yet, it’s really not that amazing, especially for all those conservatives and grassroots activists who joined with Republicans in Congress to warn about precisely these negative consequences as Democrats jammed Obamacare through.

But Democrats seem determined to pretend that all is well. According to Politico, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited House Democrats yesterday and “[s]he told lawmakers not to worry when they read media accounts about people losing their health coverage, said Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA).” And, Politico reported, “Joining Sebelius after the meeting, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised HHS’s work so far. ‘The implementation of this is fabulous,’ Pelosi said.”

This level of denial is stunning given the evidence from every corner of the country that Obamacare implementation is hurting jobs, raising premiums, increasing uncertainty among employers and consumers, and putting financial pressures on states and individuals.

According to a Toledo news station, “Even though the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare as it’s also known, is scheduled to take effect January 1, it’s starting to be felt right now, right here in northwest Ohio. ‘My first step was - I’ve got to cut my budget,’ said Jeff Vernon, who already lives in a small apartment in west Toledo. Now, he’s looking to cut back even more. Vernon works at the Scrambler Marie’s restaurant on Secor Road. He said he’s about to have his hours trimmed because of ObamaCare.  He told us the people he works for tried to find a different solution. . . . We talked to the owner of the restaurant Shane Beukre.  He said any business with 50 or more employees will have to offer insurance to workers with 30 or more hours a week.  If he does not do that, he gets fined $2,000 per employee. Beukre told us he’s cutting some people down to under 30 hours to help with costs to his business and the workers.”

And the Terre Haute, Indiana, Tribune-Star reports, “Similar to other businesses across the country, Wolfe’s Auto Auction in Terre Haute says it is cutting work hours of several of its employees because of the insurance mandates of the federal Affordable Care Act. Ten full-time employees will be reduced to part-time status, while part-timers will work no more than 25 to 28 hours per week, said Dan Wolfe, one of the owners of the family-owned business. The reason cited? The Affordable Care Act defines a full-time worker as anyone who works 30 hours or more each week, and businesses will be required to provide health insurance to all of their full-time employees. . . . Wolfe said that at the Terre Haute location, the business will go from about 25 down to 15 full-time employees. The Terre Haute location also has more than 70 part-time workers, he said. . . . The new health care law affects the business in other ways as well. ‘I have to provide my full-time employees an insurance package that does not exceed 9.5 percent of their gross pay,’ he said. That will be an additional cost to the business, and those employees ‘won’t see raises like they would have’ otherwise, he said.”

Even in Hollywood, businesses are seriously troubled by the regulations and requirements in Obamacare. The Hollywood Reporter writes, “Three letters have been giving the payroll-services industry fits for several months now: ACA. That’s the semi-acronym for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, and it’s up to the payroll industry -- which cuts checks to production workers and offers related financial services to TV and film studios -- to help educate its clients on the rules before a good portion of the law kicks in Jan. 1. ‘It’s a morass of regulations and requirements, and everyone’s trying to figure out what their exposure is,’ says Eric Belcher, president and CEO of Cast & Crew Entertainment Services. Adds Mark Goldstein, CEO of Entertainment Partners, which has held 16 seminars to help studios understand ACA: ‘It’s going to be a very big deal.’ . . . One of the unintended consequences, say some industry insiders, is that it could lead to productions running to foreign countries, given that ACA doesn’t apply to U.S. citizens working abroad. Some also say the number of production days in the U.S. are likely to be cut due to ACA because there’s a 90-day waiting period before productions must either pay a penalty or offer health insurance to full-time workers. . . . ‘Do I expect the cost of doing business to go up? Yes, I do,’ says Mike Rose, CEO of Ease Entertainment Services. Rose, though, doesn’t expect studios to follow the route taken by Regal Entertainment Group, which operates the nation’s largest chain of movie theaters. In order to rein in the costs of supplying health benefits associated with ACA, Regal said in April it would cut the hours of some employees so that they aren’t classified ‘full-time.’ Productions on tight schedules and in need of highly skilled workers and artists, though, don’t usually have the luxury of micromanaging an employee’s hours, says Rose.”

Americans never liked this law to begin with, but as they see more and more of its consequences as the Obama administration implements it, polls consistently show pessimism about Obamacare. A new Gallup poll finds, “Americans are more negative than positive about the healthcare law’s future impact on their family and on the U.S. in general. Forty-two percent say that in the long run, the law will make their family’s healthcare situation worse; 22% say it will make it better. And almost half believe the law will make the healthcare situation in the U.S. worse; 34% say it will make it better.” Further, Gallup notes, “Fifty-two percent of Americans say they disapprove of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, while 44% approve. Last fall, 48% said they approved of the law and 45% disapproved.”

No wonder Democrats behind the scenes are actually desperate to sell this law all over again. They’re apparently so desperate that the administration is reaching out to professional sports leagues and athletes to try to help them resell Obamacare. The Washington Post reports, “The Obama administration is asking professional sports leagues, including the National Football League, for help in promoting new health-care coverage that millions of uninsured Americans can sign up for beginning Oct. 1. . . . Administration officials declined to name other sports organizations they are approaching, but a spokesman for Major League Baseball said that organization also was contacted but hasn’t decided whether to participate. . . . Although the law requires that almost everyone have health insurance beginning Jan. 1, many advocates worry that people who don’t have pressing health needs won’t sign up, opting instead to pay the $95 tax penalty.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said last week, “We’re talking about a 2,700-page piece of legislation. . . . We’re talking about a law that has already generated more than 20,000 pages of regulations — a Red Tape Tower. And we’re talking about an edict that proposes to alter one of the most personal, most private aspects of our lives in a fundamental way. So it doesn’t take an expert to understand what that leads to. Reams of paperwork. A massive new bureaucracy. The coordination of numerous hulking government agencies, including the IRS. And it can’t be done without the people the government is attempting to regulate – doctors, hospitals, states, small businesses, hundreds of millions of Americans – actually having a clue of how to comply. And many of them don’t, because the law is just so maddeningly complex. So, of course Obamacare is going to be a mess. We said it would be. It already is. . . . I mean, the Kentucky Retail Federation recently cited Obamacare as the thing having the most impact on their businesses’ ability to grow.  As the leader of that group put it, the companies in his federation ‘are hesitant to take on new staff or to invest in their own business growth until they know how much health care reform is going to cost.’ So, if this is a law that’s ‘working the way it’s supposed to,’ then it’s a bad law. And it’s Congress’ duty to repeal bad laws. I hope it will.”

Tags: Senate, Amnesty, Immigration bill, Obamacare problems 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 1:45 PM - Post Link


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