As promised, a political angle on ObamaCare
The House, having issued a rule that disallows amendments and will hold discussion to one hour, is rushing to vote today on a continuing resolution deal that Boehner, Cantor, et al., have struck — again, behind the scenes, and with subsequent arm twisting of the party’s caucus, which includes an attempt to punish 30 conservative House members who have written a letter condemning any potential deal that doesn’t seek to address ObamaCare. The leadership has moved up the vote in order to move before a populist pushback from among the party base can gain full steam.
So let me repeat yet again: having passed of late three bits of legislation in which the Speaker and a handful of RINOs caucused with the Democrats against his own party, and now this — where the House GOP is refusing to represent its constituency and fight ObamaCare funding as it promised to do — it should be abundantly clear that we, the people, do not have any real representation in Congress. Boehner, Cantor, and the professional establishment Republicans, for all their talk of limited government and free markets, are part of a one-party system pretending to be an adversarial two party system.
And that cannot stand.
Bill Wilson, ALG:
It is incredible that the House of Representatives in its zeal to avoid any conflict is throwing away its only constitutional leverage to stop the Obama Administration’s out of control power grab on labor, environment and health care.
The House majority was elected due to their promise to stop Obamacare and rein in Obama’s big government schemes, and today’s decision to continue funding the very programs Republicans have ‘campaigned’ against can be seen as nothing less than a retreat from the limited government agenda.
It is my hope that this is merely a retreat and not a wholesale abandonment of the fight against Obama’s government expansion by this Congress.
Frankly, there’s no longer anything “incredible” about any of this. And that we’ve reached a point where we’re hoping and praying that the GOP-led House has only retreated rather than surrendered entirely, is a testimony to just how impotent our supposed “representation” has become.
To underscore this point even further, Terence Jeffrey, CNS News:
The House Republican leaders today will rush through a vote on a 269-page $982-billion continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal 2013 in direct violation of a pledge they made to the American people to post bills online for at least 72 hours before voting on them.
The text of the new CR was first posted online on the House website at 2:21 p.m. on Monday. The House leadership has now informed members that the chamber will start the final vote on this CR between 12:45 p.m. and 1:00 pm today.
That is a little less than 47 hours after they posted it online for review by members and the public.
There is a snow storm in Washington, D.C. today, but the CR the federal government is currently operating under does not expire until March 27—a full three weeks from now. So there is no imminent need to enact a new CR today.
Back in September 2010, when House Republicans were reaching out to the grass roots Tea Party movement and seeking its help in re-gaining control of the House, the Republican leaders published and promoted what they called “A Pledge to America.” They presented this pledge, in part, as a response to the manner in which then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was running the House.
In the Democrat-controlled House that sat in 2009 and 2010, Speaker Pelosi pushed through a 1,071-page stimulus bill that the CBO later estimated cost more than $830 billion. As CNSNews.com reported at the time, that bill was posted online at 8:20 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, and voted on the next day.
When asked by CNSNews.com on the day before that stimulus bill was posted whether he would actually read it in its entirety before he voted on it, Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg told CNSNews.com: “No, I don’t think anybody will have a chance to.”
When Pelosi did bring the stimulus up for a vote on the House floor on Feb. 13, 2012, only a day after it was posted, then-Minority Leader John Boehner went down to the well, dropped the massive piece of legislation on the podium, and complained that no one had read it. He also criticized the Democrats for violating what he said was their “promise” to let people see it for at lead 48 hours.
“Here we are with 1,100 pages–1,100 pages–not one member of this body has read,” said Boehner in that 2009 floor speech. “Not one.
“What happened to the promise that we’re going to let the American people see what’s in this bill for 48 hours?” said Boehner. “But no, we don’t have time to do that.”
“I don’t believe this is the way to do it,” said Boehner back then.
Among the controversial aspects of the CR that Boehner will bring for a vote on the House floor today—less than 47 hours after it was posted—is that it does not include language to prevent President Barack Obama from implementing a regulation that will force Roman Catholics and other Christians to act against their faiths in providing or buying health-care plans that cover sterilizations, contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs.
Last week, 14 House Republicans, led by Rep. Diane Black (R.-Tenn.) and Rep. John Fleming (R.-La.), sent Boehner a letter asking him to include language in the CR to this effect. Boehner did not do so, and the rule approved by the leadership-controlled House Rules Committee that will govern consideration of the CR will not allow members to offer an amendment to that effect when the bill is brought up for a vote on the floor today.
Boehner has struck a deal with Senate Democrats that will allow these budget fights to go away for six months, presumably giving him a respite from crying and a chance to recharge his perma-tan — at the low low cost of breaking a pledge he never meant to begin with.
That in the process, he and the GOP are willing to allow attacks on the first amendment protections of the faithful to become effectively institutionalized, and ObamaCare to be further funded in its implementation — without a fight (well, except for their fight against principled conservatives insisting on such a fight) means that the Party has officially signaled that it is abandoning its base.
Now its base must abandon it, and let the chips fall where they may. The establishment is banking on its history of being able to compel you to accept the lesser of two evils. Time to prove them wrong.
In the end, they’ll simply switch parties, being the political animals and pragmatists they are. They hold no core convictions. And therefore they owe no allegiance to anyone but themselves.
It has always been thus with these establishment types. The only difference now being that the mask is finally off.