At a recent discussion on so-called healthcare reform, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told reporters that once Obamacare is in place Americans will “learn” to love it. This is the same thinking process that President Obama has expressed with his decision to ram Obamacare down our throats regardless of what the American people want. Every poll, including the Democrat pollster Gallup, as well as pro-Obama’s polls taken by the likes of CNN, ABC, etc., show that an overwhelming majority of Americans (anywhere from 55 to 65%, depending on the poll you select to go by) oppose Obamacare. Furthermore, the same polls also show that the majority of Americans agree that the various Obamacare proposals are non-starters and we should start over.
During the State of the Union Address to the American people, President Obama, stated that he had gotten it and that he knew that the priority for the American people is jobs and that he would focus on that. It was probably the most exciting statement that we heard. Hearing the recognition by the President that “Jobs” is what the nation needs we all expected a major real effort to spur economic growth and the creation of jobs. Unfortunately, it was just a speech. Instead, no sooner had the President finished with the “mandatory” yearly speech, that he decided to again ignore the American people’s need for jobs, his own new commitment to address the high unemployment, and now is moving at flank speed to ram Obamacare through, even if he has to apply his Chicago politics methods at the national level.
The new approach seems to be, to have the House of the Representatives accept the Senate version of the bill, then make changes to it and using the so-called ‘Reconciliation process” pass Obamacare.
The problem for President Obama is that Nancy Pelosi, so far, has not convinced enough House Democrats to agree to the Senate bill. But, have no fear, the President is coming to the rescue. This past week he has resorted to the same tricks and bribery he used to get enough Senators to vote for the Senate bill ( Senator Landrieu of Louisiana, got the “New Louisiana Purchase deal”. Senator Nelson of Nebraska, got the Cornhusker deal, the unions got the $60 billion deal on their so-called “Cadillac” plans, and so on. Now Obama is working the same kind of “magic” on the House side. Representative Jim Matheson of Utah, voted against the House Bill last year, but now he is “all of a sudden” undecided. Obama has just nominated Congressman Matheson’s brother for a federal Judgeship. That is just a coincidence, right? In addition the President has had “special” meetings with another ten House members who are also “supposedly” undecided. Should we be worried about how many more “special” deals are in the works?
Now, let’s talk about the so-called “Reconciliation” process. This procedure is explained in the US Senate web site and it reads:
“Reconciliation process - A process established in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress changes existing laws to conform tax and spending levels to the levels set in a budget resolution. Changes recommended by committees pursuant to a reconciliation instruction are incorporated into a reconciliation measure.”
The Congressional Research Service has prepared a report for members of Congress further explaining the rules of this process and it reads:
The Budget Reconciliation Process:
The Senate’s “Byrd Rule”
Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by
which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent
spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has
been deficit reduction, but in some years reconciliation has involved revenue
reduction generally and spending increases in selected areas. Although reconciliation
is an optional procedure, it has been used most years since its first use in 1980 (19
reconciliation bills have been enacted into law and three have been vetoed).
During the first several years’ experience with reconciliation, the legislation
contained many provisions that were extraneous to the purpose of implementing
budget resolution policies. The reconciliation submissions of committees included
such things as provisions that had no budgetary effect, that increased spending or
reduced revenues when the reconciliation instructions called for reduced spending
or increased revenues, or that violated another committee’s jurisdiction.
In 1985 and 1986, the Senate adopted the Byrd rule (named after its principal
sponsor, Senator Robert C. Byrd) on a temporary basis as a means of curbing these
practices. The Byrd rule has been extended and modified several times over the
years. In 1990, the Byrd rule was incorporated into the Congressional Budget Act of
1974 as Section 313 and made permanent (2 U.S.C. 644).
A Senator opposed to the inclusion of extraneous matter in reconciliation
legislation may offer an amendment (or a motion to recommit the measure with
instructions) that strikes such provisions from the legislation, or, under the Byrd rule,
a Senator may raise a point of order against such matter. In general, a point of order
authorized under the Byrd rule may be raised in order to strike extraneous matter
already in the bill as reported or discharged (or in the conference report), or to
prevent the incorporation of extraneous matter through the adoption of amendments
or motions. A motion to waive the Byrd rule, or to sustain an appeal of the ruling of
the chair on a point of order raised under the Byrd rule, requires the affirmative vote
of three-fifths of the membership (60 Senators if no seats are vacant).
The Byrd rule provides six definitions of what constitutes extraneous matter for
purposes of the rule (and several exceptions thereto), but the term is generally
described as covering provisions unrelated to achieving the goals of the reconciliation
The Byrd rule has applied to 17 reconciliation measures considered by the
Senate from 1985 through the present. There have been 53 points of order and 42
waiver motions considered and disposed of under the Byrd rule, largely in a manner
that favored those who opposed the inclusion of extraneous matter in reconciliation
legislation (43 points of order were sustained, in whole or in part, and 33 waiver
motions were rejected).
In march of last year, Senator Byrd, Democrat Senator of West Virginia, who has authored several volumes on the history of Senate rules, told the Washington Post regarding Healthcare legislation, and Cap and Trade legislations:
“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 institutional role.”
Nevertheless, notwithstanding the fact that the American people oppose Obamacare, neither the House Bill, nor the Senate Bill, or any variations thereof have been accepted by both houses of Congress, President Obama is buying House and Senate members, as well as unions to try to get his way. Even with all of this abuse of his power, he cannot still get the so-called healthcare reform through, now he is going all the way and will try to misuse the Reconciliation procedures to ram it down our throats. Many supporters of Obamacare will tell you that Reconciliation has been used before for other purposes, However, in every past instance of this process there has been bipartisanship. For instance, the Welfare Reform Act during the Clinton Administration passed on a bipartisan vote of 78-21. Obamacare, if approved, will not be by a bipartisan vote, but by the artful manipulation of the political process by our President.
When Obama was campaigning in 2006 and 2007, speaking about ways to pass healthcare reform he said:
In September 2007 "This is an area where we're going to have to have a 60 percent majority in the Senate and the House in order to actually get a bill to my desk. We're going to have to have a majority to get a bill to my desk that is not just a 50-plus-1”.
In 2006 he stated that:
"If we want to transform the government, though, that requires a sizable majority."
It is not only Obama who has used doubletalk on the subject of using “Reconciliation” to get Obamacare through, Majority Senate leader Harry Reid on one of the many Sunday talk shows on February 21, 2010 stated that Reconciliation was an option, yet, he denied it during the Obama Healthcare forum held 4 days later on February 25, 2010.
Again, the pro-Obamacare people will tell you that Obama has never said that “Reconciliation” would not be used to pass healthcare reform, but that his statements in 2006 and 207 was about him “trying” to get bipartisanship if possible. Just more doubletalk to, again try to confuse us. This is “Change” that we can all believe in.
The question is what are we to do? Below is the list of swing Congress members who can stop this bill once and for all. Call them and tell them that you are opposed to this monstrosity and that if they vote for Obamacare you and your friends will vote them out at the upcoming Congressional November 2010 elections. (It does not matter if they are not in you district). Time is of the essence and your call will make a difference.
PLEASE CALL! DC OFFICE LOCAL OFFICE
Harry Mitchell (202) 225-2190 (480) 946-2411
Gabrielle Giffords (202) 225-2542 (520) 881-3588
Ann Kirkpatrick (202) 225-2315 (928) 226-6914
Jerry McNerney (202) 225-1947 925-833-0643
John Salazar 202-225-4761 970-245-7107
Jim Hines (202) 225-5541 (866) 453-0028
Alan Grayson (202) 225-2176 (407) 841-1757
Bill Foster (202) 225-2976 630-406-1145
Baron Hill 202 225 5315 812 288 3999
Mark Schauer (202) 225-6276 (517) 780-9075
Gary Peters (202) 225-5802 (248) 273-4227
Dina Titus (202) 225-3252 702-256-DINA (3462)
Carol Shea-Porter (202) 225-5456 (603) 743-4813
Tim Bishop (202) 225-3826 (631) 696-6500
John Hall (202) 225-5441 (845) 225-3641 x49371
Bill Owens (202) 225-4611 (315) 782-3150
Mike Arcuri (202)225-3665 (315)793-8146
Dan Maffei (202) 225-3701 (315) 423-5657
Earl Pomneroy (202) 225-2611 (701) 224-0355
Steven Driehaus (202) 225-2216 (513) 684-2723
Mary Jo Kilroy (202) 225-2015 (614) 294-2196
Zach Space (202) 225-6265 (330) 364-4300
Kathy Dahlkemper (202) 225-5406 (814) 456-2038
Patrick Murphy (202) 225-4276 (215) 826-1963
Christopher Carney (202) 225-3731 (570) 585-9988
Paul Kanjorski (202) 225-6511 (570) 825-2200
John Spratt (202) 225-5501 (803)327-1114
Tom Perriello (202) 225-4711 (276) 656-2291
Alan Mollohan (202) 225-4172 (304) 623-4422
Nick Rahall (202) 225-3452 (304) 252-5000
Steve Kagen (202) 225-5665 (920) 437-1954