The pResident made a special trip to the Hill today to give the democratic caucus a “pep talk” about how they will be going down in history when they pass the lynchpin of socialist policies health care reform. Let’s not forget the transparency angle as deals were being made behind closed doors….again!
President Barack Obama gave Senate Democrats a “pep talk” on healthcare Sunday, telling them they stood to make history if they passed a bill expanding healthcare coverage to millions of Americans.
Obama, during a rare Sunday Democratic caucus in the Senate, said that the healthcare reform bill, which seeks to provide coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans, is “the most important social legislation since Social Security,” according to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).
“He reminded us why we’re here, he reminded us why we run for office and he reminded us how many people are counting on us to come through,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
Senate Democrats leaving the meeting expressed confidence that they would eventually pass a bill that would help Americans and would help Democrats politically as they enter into a crucial mid-term election year.
If they passed the bill, Democrats would be “rewarded in ’10, and in 10 years, in 20 years, in 30 and 40,” Baucus said. “Nothing’s more important.”
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said that Obama’s message was most effective when he was “putting into context how important [the healthcare bill] was to the economy and what this means in terms of how people judge this Congress and what happens to us.”
Obama said that despite their progress, Democrats should pass healthcare to show Americans that they can tackle big problems, Casey said.
“We tend to forget we’ve been about as productive a Congress as there’s been in a long time, but we’ve got to get this done to demonstrate that we can get something this substantial done,” Casey said.
Baucus said that Democrats would be able to get the 60 votes to invoke cloture on the bill to end debate and eventually pass it. He predicted that would happen within a week or two.
Sen. Tom Coburn has come out today stating that this bill will cost $2.5 Trillion and leaves millions uninsured. I am more prone to believe a practicing doctor with more than 25 years of experience than democrats who have actually failed at everything they are rammed through so far. (See next segment below)
What is important about Sen. Casey’s statement about being productive goes to the newest marketing scheme come up with by the Democrats and announced this past Friday. The reality vs. the rhetoric is amazing.
Fearful that their legislative achievements are getting lost amid dismal economic news and intra-party fights on healthcare and Afghanistan, House Democratic leaders are telling their members to do some bragging.
“Who remembers that we extended healthcare to 11 million kids?” said a Democratic leadership aide. “This stuff isn’t going to get out on its own.”
To that end, leaders are arming their members with talking points saying that this has already been one of the most productive Congresses in recent memory, and reminding them of some of the more positive headlines they’ve been racking up.
The effort is an indication that House leaders don’t want to wait for the White House to change their message.
White House officials had indicated they wanted to wait until January’s State of the Union speech to start a push on jobs. But Democratic members fretted they’d already waited too long, and now they’re trying to pass at least some measures through the House before the end of the year.
Many members, particularly freshmen and centrists, were worried by the explosive town halls in August and are angry that they’ve been forced to cast tough votes that aren’t popular at home.
But leaders are saying that some of the reason for that anger is that Congress is getting things done. If they weren’t, they’d be criticized as a “do-nothing” Congress.
The talking points, distributed at a caucus meeting early last week, highlight a laundry list of bills that once made headlines, but got quickly swallowed by the 24-hour news cycle. Among them: funding for Afghanistan last year, “cash for clunkers,” and the credit card holder’s bill of rights.
Cash for Clunkers was a failure costing Americans billions, and the credit card holder’s bill of rights had the unintended consequence of credit card companies raising the interest rates to ungodly numbers on Americans with great credit scores (but you won’t hear too much about that).
Other bills were big issues when President George W. Bush was still in office, but passed easily with little fanfare once Democrats controlled both Congress and the White House, like children’s health insurance and Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco.
22 million more Americans will need to START smoking in order for S-Chip to stay in the black, and tobacco tax rates have been raised over 2000%, hitting the poorest among us, and blacks in particular.
And others reach deeply into people’s daily lives but didn’t spark controversy and got little attention, such as student aid, a raise for military personnel and food safety.
They are also noting items that haven’t been forgotten but are more controversial: the $787 billion stimulus and the healthcare bill passed by the House.
“We stand up pretty well to previous Congresses,” the leadership aide said.
This Congress has given us a $1.5 Trillion Dollar Deficit; an asset bubble, and a dollar on the verge of collapse. These accomplishments definitely are something to be proud of, and I am hoping they just keep shouting it from the rooftops because the alternative news media (the internet) is educating more and more people every day.
Aides note that they’ve been cheered by Congressional Budget Office reports that the stimulus prevented the loss of jobs and the Senate healthcare bill won’t raise premiums. They’d been particularly worried that the healthcare analysis might show an increase.
House leaders hope to have another accomplishment next week with financial regulatory reform, which they’ve packaged as “Wall Street reform and consumer protection.” The nonpartisan CBO said late on Friday that the wide-ranging bill to crack down on Wall Street and revamp the nation’s financial markets will increase the national deficit by $4.5 billion over the next decade.
Are you ready for more regulation, more unintended consequences from those evil, free enterprise junkies, and even more debt?
Way to go 111th Congress; you are going to give yourselves whiplash with the amount of spin that is being put out there.
Sen. Tom Coburn on the floor, 12.06.09: