02.28.2010 0

Obama “Reaches Across the Aisle,” Demands ObamCare Vote Within Weeks

  • On: 03/04/2010 10:07:47
  • In: Health Care
  • By Kaitlyn Czajkowski

    “Reconciliation” and “bipartisanship” are the buzzwords of the day. Today, Barack Obama delivered his latest incarnation of ObamaCare, wherein he green-lighted the use of the budget reconciliation process, as reported by the Daily Caller. He even made a pretense of “reaching across the aisle” to include some of the “best ideas from Republicans” on how to reform the system.

    “Democrats and Republicans agree that this is a serious problem for America,” Obama said in his prepared remarks. His attempts at “reaching across the aisle” include a proposal to allegedly expand health savings accounts and allowing insurance companies to sell high-deductible policies.

    But is this truly bipartisanship? In his assessment of the situation, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) scoffed at the so-called “bipartisan” efforts. “You can’t add a couple of Republican sprinkles on the top of a 2,700 page bill and claim it’s bipartisan,” he said on Wednesday, as reported by Fox News.

    He’s right. If “bipartisan” is what anyone calls the President’s feeble attempts at grafting a few Republican suggestions into a bill nearly 3,000 pages long — I don’t see much stretching across the aisle going on. In fact, I don’t even see a handshake.

    Obama’s statement continued, “I believe the United States Congress owes the American people a final vote on health care reform. We have debated this issue thoroughly, not just for a year, but for decades… I have therefore asked leaders in both of Houses of Congress to finish their work and schedule a vote in the next few weeks.”

    The Daily Caller called it “a green light for reconciliation. Obama didn’t use the word, but Democratic leaders agreed Wednesday that they would go ahead with the procedure.”

    The Caller confirmed the claim, quoting a senior Democrat aide who said, “We are prepared to move forward using reconciliation.”

    Reconciliation is a procedure which would allow for a simple up-or-down vote in the Senate, thus enabling a health-care overhaul with just a simple majority, rather than the filibuster-proof 60 votes.

    According to Senator Tom Harkin, the House will pass the Senate bill after Senate leaders demonstrate to House leaders that they have the votes to pass reconciliation in the Senate.

    RNC Chairman Michael Steele had harsh words for Democratic plans to attempt reconciliation. This “plan has already received three ‘up-or-down’ votes: rejections from Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts,” Steele said.

    “What President Obama really wants to do is ram through his government takeover of health care with reconciliation, a parliamentary procedure that Senator Obama once said was ‘the wrong place for policy changes.’ The fact is reconciliation wasn’t designed to be and has never been used as a partisan political tactic to force wildly unpopular policies on America,” Steele said.

    According to one Capitol Hill source, Democrats in the House plan to move first — and fast — adopting the Senate bill by March 19th. This assumes, of course, that pro-life Democrats can even be persuaded to vote in favor of the bill with its abortion-funding based on the promise that those problems with the bill will be corrected later.

    “The first step is with Speaker Pelosi and so I will let her decide what it takes in the House,” said Senator Durbin, as reported by Politico, confirming the Capitol Hill source’s assessment.

    As reported by that source, if successful, the House will then pass the reconciliation package by March 23rd, and the Senate will take the reconciliation bill and pass it before Easter. Without any Republican support, it should be noted.

    Reconciliation and bi-partisanship? They’re nice words, but also a very thin veneer to cover the hypocrisy in passing a measure already soundly rejected by the American people.

    As GOP Chairman Steele pointed out, Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts already voted “no” on this reform. Meanwhile, over half of Americans also oppose the plan proposed by the President and Democrats — opposition that has not wavered since September, according to Rasmussen Reports.

    Democrats would do well to reconsider their frenzied approach to the passage of their health care takeover, an act that will not only nationalize over one-sixth of the economy, but through the elimination of the filibuster also set a precedent to weaken and potentially destroy the nation’s two-party system.

    Kaitlyn Czajkowski is a contributing editor to ALG News Bureau.

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