Tag Archives: House of Representatives

When Will Republicans Start Acting Like Grownups?

Somebody ought to tell the Republicans in Congress they no longer are in the majority.

It’s as if everything they do (or don’t do) should capture the rapt attention of the American people. John Boehner, the House minority leader, says his GOP colleagues will come up with a healthcare reform proposal soon.

How soon? Soon.

What’ll be in it? Don’t ask.

One thing’s for sure. Boehner says the 46 million people who don’t currently have health insurance shouldn’t hold their breath waiting to be covered under this new GOP plan.

And then, the Party of No goes even further. While the country’s focus has been on healthcare, the GOP has been trying to undermine any climate change legislation that might turn up in the House or Senate. Some of them think the whole concept of global warming is a hoax. So they do what comes naturally. They threaten. Ranking Republicans on six Senate committees crafting a climate change bill want additional studies done before they vote on any bill.

If they don’t get their way, according to Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, they’ll boycott any proceedings. Inhofe is one of those who doesn’t believe in global warming. That should tell you in a nutshell what Senate Republicans’ real agenda is. They want to study climate change to death.

Never mind the Environmental Protection Agency did an exhaustive study of the problem. That isn’t good enough for the Party of No. I guess President Obama must have gotten rid of some of those EPA folks from the Bush years. You know, the ones who allegedly altered reports that called global warming an important issue. To her credit, the chair of the environment committee, Sen. Barbara Boxer, vows to press on with or without her infantile colleagues from across the aisle.

Barbara Boxer
Barbara Boxer

This should be an abject lesson to those Democrats in Congress who find common cause so often with the GOP. These people aren’t interested in any form of bipartisanship. They’ve shown it time and time again. Those who step out of line are branded traitors, or worse. If only the party in power could see its way clear to vote as a disciplined block, we might start to see the change we’ve been looking for.

Until then, do we really have to put up with Republican Senators like Pat Roberts, who asked for a 72 hour delay in considering the healthcare reform bill so lobbyists could have their say? Or James Inhofe, who hides behind the mask of wanting to study climate change when all he wants to do is kill any effort to cut greenhouse gases?

What in the world did we do to deserve this?

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Are You Sick of the Debate Over the Public Option?

I was hoping not to have to write about this anymore, but, quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of the vacillating, equivocal maneuvering on the public option. And that’s from lawmakers we believe to be our friends, including the current occupant of the White House.

There are published reports that President Obama is more interested in the politics of the public option than actually getting a strong one done.

If it’s true, this is hardly change we can believe in. Senator Harry Reid is to be commended for at least trying to get a bill with the public option to the Senate floor.

Senator Harry Reid
Senator Harry Reid

Joe Lieberman, if he’s ready to support a filibuster on any bill containing a public option ought to be summarily stripped of his committee chair, and sent packing to the GOP caucus (that idea comes from my good friend Brent Budowsky). Even the House has caved, somewhat, with Nancy Pelosi now saying she’ll bring a bill to the floor with a public option that’s not pegged to Medicare rates.

Joe Lieberman
Joe Lieberman

That means not so robust as the one people were talking about just days ago. Then in the Senate there’s talk of opt outs and triggers (reportedly the one the President favors).

And what does all this mean when taken together? OUR LAWMAKERS ARE PUNKS!!!

There’s no other way to put it. And this cowardice is from the TOP DOWN! The public wants the public option (and that may not count people like my and my friend Sanda Aronson who want single payer). Four out of five congressional committees passed bills containing the public option.

So why is Joe Lieberman and his fellow travelers such a large roadblock?

I hate to say this, but it’s the President. Barack Obama thinks he needs bipartisan healthcare reform. He hasn’t sent those people in his administration whose job it is to twist arms to go out and do what they’re paid for. Somebody ought to be saying that the Joe Liebermans of the current Congress aren’t acting in  the best interest of their constituents. They’re pimping Americans with pre-existing conditions for the dollars that come from big insurance and big pharma.

I shouldn’t have to say this. Neither should Brent Budowsky, Ed Schultze, Randi Rhodes, Rachel Maddow or the others who have kept the fight going through all the nonsense the public has been exposed to.

Would these same jackals who bleat about government run health care prefer to leave national security to the bindlestiffs at Blackwater? Oh, sorry, they already did.

Sorry to vent, but I’m sick and tired. How about you?

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Can CBO News Boost the Public Option?

We’ve been hearing for quite awhile now that adding a public option to healthcare reform would break the bank. “More than a trillion dollars!!!” lawmakers screamed. And many of them were Democrats. Now comes word that a preliminary estimate from the Congressional Budget Office puts the cost of a House Democratic bill with a public option at $871 billion.

For those who like to count numbers, that’s less than the $900 billion dollar cap set by President Obama in his address to a joint session of Congress last month. But wait, there’s more good news. The Democrats’ version would also reduce the deficit in the first 10 years. The CBO report is due to drop Wednesday, and its ramifications could be far reaching. It gives House Speaker Nancy Pelosi much more ammunition in trying to get a bill with a strong public option through the House.

For reasons best known to themselves, so-called “blue dog” Democrats in the House have been arguing for the lame, government run insurance plan promoted by Republicans in both the House and Senate. Published reports say that plan won’t save as much as the one with the public option. So what will be their excuse now? Speaking of which, when will President Obama get behind the public option, for real?

We’ve said this before. Barack Obama says he favors reform with a public option. Yet he hasn’t put the full weight of his office behind it, and he lets some of his aides equivocate when asked about it. As the late Jim Morrison once opined, “The time for hesitation’s through. No time to wallow in the mire”. Let’s put this bluntly. If President Barack Obama wants to leave a lasting presidential legacy, this is it. Time to get off the dime, Mr. President. The numbers favor you, and those members of the House who have fought hard to provide adequate, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Let the Rush Limbaughs, the Glenn Becks, the Sean Hannitys do their best. They can’t impugn the integrity of the CBO. They use numbers from the agency when it suits their purpose. Do they really want to cry socialist forever? There’s light at the end of the tunnel for the public option, but it’s not law yet. Those who favor it, and many have been doing yeoman work in their advocacy, need to raise their voices even louder.

And I’m not just talking about well known people. I’m talking about the folks who send healthcare messages in every Facebook post they make, the people who keep it alive on Twitter, the underground majority who get that this is a matter of national pride, and can’t be left to the loud, the selfish, the lawmakers whose votes are bought and paid for.

I, for one, am optimistic the public option will become law. How about you?

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