I most certainly hope Carole is correct in her article below. In any event, hers is a good article describing the key hurdles Democrats intent to force their ObamaCare boondoggle through will have to overcome.
Obama’s House Is Leaking Votes
By Carole on Feb 28, 2010
There’s been much speculation lately on the fate of Obamacare in the US Senate. The ins and outs of reconciliation, once a little known technicality in the rules of that legislative body, are now common knowledge to political junkies of all ideologies. But the actual death bed of the president’s unpopular and obscenely expensive plan will most likely be the US House of Representatives.
Even if Democrats have the 51 votes they need in the Senate and the Republicans decide against proposing a flood of amendments that could indefinitely stall the reconciliation bill, Mr. Obama and his accomplices would still have to get the votes needed to pass Obamacare in the House.
In November, the House passed its version of health care reform with just two votes to spare; prevailing 220-215 with the help of Representative Anh “Joseph” Cao (R-Louisiana) who has said he will not back it again. (source) And Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) won’t be able to count on all of her fellow Democrats this time around either.
Two major changes that will affect this round of voting:
The first is the radical change in the political climate since November of 2009. While some Democrats who claim to be fiscally conservative and who represent traditionally Republican districts were somehow able to ignore the messages sent by voters in New Jersey and Virginia, they cannot ignore the one sent from Massachusetts just last month. The election of Senator Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) clearly demonstrated what is likely to happen to the careers of elected officials who support Obamacare despite the wishes of their constituents.
The second major difference between November’s vote on health care reform and the next one in the House is that the bill passed last year included the Stupak Amendment. Of the 219 Democrats who voted ‘yes’ last time, 40 did so only because the bill contained that amendment preventing taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions. Those 40 representatives will almost certainly switch their ‘yes’ votes to ‘no’ since the new version of the bill being pushed by President Obama would strip out the abortion restrictions in favor of Senate language that many consider unacceptable. (source)
Republican House Whip Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) recently outlined the House changes since that first health care bill passed and said he now believes there’s no way to pass health care in the House with only Democratic votes. According to Mr. Cantor’s count, Speaker Pelosi doesn’t have more than maybe 202 votes; well short of the 217 needed to pass the second (and hopefully final) Obamacare bill. (source)
The last time President Obama and his cronies came up short on votes for his signature domestic issue, they started bribing Senators with hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to get the votes they needed. The public now wise to this tactic and Senators Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) and Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) have become examples to their legislative brethren of what happens to the political prospects of anyone who chooses Team Obama’s arm twisting and bribes over the expressed wishes of their constituents.
I personally believe that the Senate Republicans would be wise to first inform/threaten to use their option to shut down the Senate with endless amendments, and then follow through if the Democrats actually try to use reconciliation (aka the ‘nuclear option’).
Why? Because I think the public would turn further against the nuclear option if they understand how extreme this tactic is, and just what the consequences of pursuing it would be.
Here’s what Senator Robert Byrd, who not only wrote the reconciliation procedure but is a Democrat to boot, said of the Democrats’ attempt:
Americans have an inalienable right to a careful examination of proposals that dramatically affect their lives. I was one of the authors of the legislation that created the budget “reconciliation” process in 1974, and I am certain that putting health-care reform and climate change legislation on a freight train through Congress is an outrage that must be resisted.
Using the reconciliation process to enact major legislation prevents an open debate about critical issues in full view of the public. Health reform and climate change are issues that, in one way or another, touch every American family. Their resolution carries serious economic and emotional consequences.
The misuse of the arcane process of reconciliation — a process intended for deficit reduction — to enact substantive policy changes is an undemocratic disservice to our people and to the Senate’s institutional role. Reconciliation, with its tight time limits, excludes debate and shuts down amendments. Essentially it says “take it or leave it” to the citizens who sent us here to solve problems, and it prevents members from representing their constituents’ interests. Everyone likes to win, and the Obama administration, of course, wants victories. But tactics that ignore the means in pursuit of the ends are wrong when the outcome affects Americans’ health and economic security. Let us inform the people, get their feedback, allow amendments to be considered and hear opposing views. That’s the American way and the right way.
If the public says it wants an end to the partisan bickering, they need to realize that the nuclear option would create nothing short of a full-blown war that could poison our political system for years, even decades, to come.
If the Democrats who deceitfully keep talking about “bipartisanship,” they should bloody well get one. And the American people should be told in advance what that total war the Democrats will be starting would look like.
Second, I think it is vital that the American people be informed of just what the Democrats themselves said about the use of the nuclear option just a few years ago.
The following is a very short summary of the statements (fully cited here) made by key Democrats about how vile the use of reconciliation would be:
- It is “a change in the Senate rules” that “would change the character of the Senate forever.”
- It is “majoritarian absolute power” which is “just not what the founders intended.”
- It is “the precipice of a crisis, a constitutional crisis.”
- It evaporates “the checks and balances which have been at the core of this Republic.”
- It is “almost a temper tantrum.”
- It is the abandonment of the concept of “a check on power” and an abandonment of that which “preserves our limited government.”
- It is something that “will turn the Senate into a body that could have its rules broken at any time by a majority of senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority.”
- It “is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power.”
- It “is a fundamental power grab.”
- It “is a tyranny of the majority.”
- It is “where the majority rules supreme and the party of power can dominate and control the agenda with absolute power.”
- It is a “naked power grab.”
- It is to “change the rules, break the rules, and misread the Constitution so that they will get their way.”
- It is “The Senate … being asked to turn itself inside out, to ignore the precedent to ignore the way our system has worked, the delicate balance that we have obtain that has kept this Constitution system going, for immediate gratification of the present President.”
- It is “the way Democracy ends. Not with a bomb but with a gavel.”
How can it possibly be that – when the Republicans merely CONSIDERED using it in a way that nevertheless didn’t come anywhere NEAR the Democrats’ takeover of our entire medical system representing one-sixth of our national economy – it was so terrible, but now it is somehow justified???
The fact of the matter is that the Democrats condemn their present course as genuinely evil in their very own words.
We need to defeat health care. It is amazing that fully 60% of the health care system is now already controlled by the government, which is running it a mind-boggling deficit of unfunded liability. On what planet is it sane to say we need to save a failing system that has been taken over by the government by giving the government even more total control?
An analogous example would be for me to hit your car engine with a sledge hammer. And when it starts running really crappy I tell you that all I need to do to fix the problems is give it another couple of good hard whacks.
I end by citing an article that every American should read which reveals what our health care system will one day look like if the Democrats’ sledgehammer attack is allowed to proceed.