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CBO Health Care Reform Numbers Bring out GOP’s True Colors; Dark and Dingy

The Congressional Budget Office released their findings on the proposed Health Care Reform Bill. Their findings:
bill cuts deficit by $130 bill in first 10, $1.2 trill in second 10. Costs $940 billion in first decade.

Which means we are closer than ever to finally passing a health care reform bill in The United States.
Word is we will see a vote on the bill before the weekend is over.

As expected since this is good news for the Dems, the GOP is now flipping out. Literally. All judgement has long been thrown out the window and they’ll grasp at anything, anything to stop progress in this country. It’s their only goal now…………….stop anything that will benefit Americans because we don’t that one getting credit for anything.

Where the GOP is concerned it has never been about us, the Americans they swore to represent. It’s always been about them. Their progress, kickbacks, payoffs, perks, advantages and luxuries. Us, well we’ll just have to wait or pull ourselves up by our bootstraps since we’re just regular ol’ Americans.

The GOP’s response to the CBO report is as expected. No facts, no truth, no reality, just more spin, lies, innuendo, falsehoods and projection.

We have Glen Beck and Rep Steve King(R-IA) calling it an affront to God if the vote takes place this weekend.

“They intend to vote on the Sabbath, during Lent, to take away the liberty that we have right from God,” King said during an appearance on Beck’s radio show. That led to this little rant from Beck:

Thank you for pointing this out. I thought of this the other day because I’ve been saying, “faith, hope and charity.” Faith has been perverted, and our hope — they’re trying to sell this hope that we’ll have faith in the government, that they’ll be charitable.

And I thought, “They are going to vote for this damn thing on a Sunday, which is the Sabbath, during Lent.” You couldn’t have said it better. Here is a group of people that have so perverted our faith and our hope and our charity that — this is an affront to God. And I honestly, I don’t think anybody is like, “Yes, and now what we’ll do is we’ll vote on the Sabbath.” But I think it’s absolutely appropriate that these people are trying to put the nail in the coffin on our country on a Sunday — something our founders would have never, ever, ever done out of respect for God.

I guess I’d have to ask these two if it is an affront to God to watch people suffer or to ignore the suffering of their fellow man or to allow your neighbor to die. I’m sick of these tools kicking around like he’s their very own kickball to be be pulled out whenever they wan’t to justify an attack on their fellow citizens or their government. It’s disgusting and down right insulting and quite frankly fraudulent. Real Christians are horrified by the claims these idiots make and only further driven over the other side to avoid association with these frauds.

We have the RNC Chairman Michael Steele telling Rick Sanchez of CNN today that the CBO lies at the order of The White House.

STEELE: Can you just give me an honest number, Rick? How much do you really, legitimately think, adding, using the president’s number, 30 million people to a health care system that you just said doesn’t work is going to cost the American taxpayer? How much you think it’s really gonna? $940 billion dollars over ten years. So, you telling me an additional $940 billion dollars a year is going to make all of our problems go away?

SANCHEZ: According to the calculations that we did and according to the calculations the Democrats are announcing today, it’s going to save in the deficit for the United States citizens $1.2 trillion. Do you believe that’s not true?

STEELE: Ok, can I, I got two words for you — three words, three words.

SANCHEZ: Go, go.

STEELE: That’s a lie.

When Sanchez pointed out that Steele is “arguing with the CBO,” Steele responded by saying, “let me tell you about the CBO.” “Since they’ve been taken down to the woodshed at the White House last year, you can’t believe the numbers,” said Steele. “CBO is only as good as what you put into it.” “You’re saying the president of the United States is corrupted the CBO with a personal phone call or visit?” asked Sanchez. Steele then backtracked a bit, claiming that he was “just saying that, look, this whole process has not worked on behalf of the American people.”

They don’t even have a problem attacking an 11 year old boy who lost his Mother just two days ago over his story about her battle against cancer without health care coverage. They just use Glen Beck to do it.

Conservative talk show hosts and columnists have ridiculed an 11-year-old Washington state boy’s account of his mother’s death as a “sob story” exploited by the White House and congressional Democrats like a “kiddie shield” to defend their health care legislation.

Marcelas Owens, whose mother got sick, lost her job, lost her health insurance and died, said Thursday he’s taking the attacks from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin in stride.

“My mother always taught me they can have their own opinion but that doesn’t mean they are right,” Owens, who lives in Seattle, said in an interview.

Owens’ grandmother, Gina, who watched her daughter die, isn’t quite so generous.

“These are adults, and he is an 11-year-old boy who lost his mother,” Gina Owens said. “They should be ashamed.”

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., told Marcelas Owens’ story to President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House health care summit last month. Murray also has spoken about it on the Senate floor. Last week, Owens was in the nation’s capital to speak at a health care rally and to meet with Senate Democratic leadership.

Limbaugh, Beck and Malkin are skeptical about the story, saying there were other forms of medical help available after Owens’ mother, Tifanny, lost her health insurance. They lambasted Democrats for using the story.

“Now this is unseemly, exploitative, an 11-year-old boy being forced to tell his story all over just to benefit the Democrat Party and Barack Obama,” Limbaugh said on March 12, according to a transcript his show. “And, I would say this to Marcelas Owens: ‘Well, your mom would still have died, because Obamacare doesn’t kick in until 2014.'”

Beck, according to a transcript of his March 15 show, pointed out that Owens’ recent trip to Washington was paid for by Healthcare of America, a group that has been lobbying for a health care overhaul.

“That’s the George Soros-funded Obama-approved group fighting for health care,” Beck said. “Since all of the groups are so concerned and involved now, may I ask where were you when Marcelas’ mother was vomiting blood?”

Beck, who’s from Mount Vernon, Wash., said there were plenty of programs in Washington state that could have helped Tifanny Owens.

Malkin dismissed Marcelas Owens as “one of Obama’s youngest lobbyists” who has been “goaded by a left-wing activist grandmother,” promoted by Murray and has become a regular on the “pro-Obamacare circuit.”

They’ve even gone as far as creating a fake memo claiming it was created by and circulated amongst Dems trashing their own plan and the MSM bought it as expected rather than acting as real journalists.

UPDATE 3/19 5:20pm: Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) just read from the memo on the House floor. And Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) responded by ripping him and demanding his source.

“What they’re doing is producing fake memos,” he said.

“That memo that he read from has no source. He will not return to the microphone to tell us what it was because he took something that was created by the opponents of health care — and there are a whole lot of them, mostly paid for by the health insurance industry — and came to the rostrum with a fake document,” said Weiner.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) interrupted. “Parliamentary inquiry,” she yelled.

“I don’t yield for that,” said Weiner, continuing. “There is no reluctance to talk about the real CBO score: $1.2 trillion in savings for the American people. That’s the fact. That’s nothing we’re hiding from.”

“Will the gentleman yield?”

“I will yield only if the person will tell us the source of the document.”

A chaotic back-and-forth broke out until Weiner regained the floor.

“Ladies and gentlemen, what you saw just now is a microcosm for this debate: A real piece of legislation that for a year we’ve been working on and a fake document that they won’t even give a source for,” he said.

Yes, while the Dems are hard at work trying to secure a health care reform package that will not only help American families, the GOP is busy making up lies, spin and innuendo in attempt to frighten the American voter.

But, when will the GOP get it together and actually start to contribute? How long will they wait before they get to work for Americans? How long will they continue to play games with American lives?


The Hypocrisy of the GOP marches on!

Well it’s been another stellar week for the Grand Ol(d) Party. The one thing they’ve mastered………..lying, hypocrisy, manipulation and obstruction all in fine form over the last several days. When they aren’t running from studio to studio spreading lies over the television airways they’re behind closed doors organizing their strategy of NO.

So let’s see what did they grace us with this week……………………………………..

Republican Fundraising Strategy: Stoke ‘Fear’ of Obama and ‘Socialism’

The veil has been lifted off of the public veneer of Republican fundraising strategies, with Politico’s expose yesterday of a 72-page PowerPoint document which details plans to stoke “fear” of President Obama and pledges to “save the country from trending toward socialism.” The document also contains an offensive slide, entitled “The Evil Empire,” which contains a crude caricature depicting Obama as the Joker from Batman labeled Socialism; an image frequently seen at tea party protests. When news that the controversial document was published, reached the Republican National Committee, staffers moved quickly to try and distance Chairman Michael Steele from its contents, claiming he wasn’t aware of it. But this particular horse has already left the barn, as it were, and despite all of the backtracking in the world, it’s been obvious for quite some time that the Party of no ideas will sink to despicable levels of fear and hate-mongering to reclaim power.

According to the report in Politico, the document not only spells out in graphic terms, the Republican strategy of capitalizing on voter’s fears and prejudices, but also considers its donors to be idiots:

“The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism.” The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchochkes.” The presentation was delivered by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18, a source at the gathering said.”

A hard copy of the PowerPoint document was left at the Gasparilla Inn & Club hosting the $2,500-a-head retreat, and was retrieved by a Democrat and given to Politico.

Besides the offensive cartoonish depiction of President Obama as a Socialist Joker, “The Evil Empire” slide also depicts House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV), as Cruella de Vil and Scooby-Doo, respectively.

Another slide asks: “What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House, or the Senate…?” The answer: “Save the country from trending toward Socialism!”

The marketing section continues with a slide that divides potential donor groups into direct marketing and major donors, with the smaller direct marketing donors under the heading “Visceral Giving” and the major donors tagged with the heading, “Calculated Giving.”

The motivations of the smaller tea party dupes, include “Fear,” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing administration” and “Reactionary.”

And the motivations of the major donors, include “Networking Opportunities,” “Access,” “Wall of Fame” and “Ego-Driven.”

RNC Fallout: ‘Ashamed’ donor closes checkbook:

A prominent Evangelical figure and Republican donor says he will end his contributions to the organized Republican Party in reaction to the leaked fundraising presentation that advised using “fear” to solicit contributions and displayed an image of President Obama as the Joker from Batman.

Mark DeMoss, who heads a major Christian public relations firm in Atlanta and served as a liaison to the Evangelical community for Mitt Romney in 2008, wrote Chairman Michael Steele yesterday that he was “ashamed” of the presentation, calling depictions of Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Majority Leader Harry Reid “shameful, immature and uncivil, at best.” More at Politico

 RNC Finance director behind fundraising pitch

Then we have Mr. Jim Bunning (R-KY)who went out of his way to hold up any progress in Washington over the past week. Never mind that also meant holding up unemployment benefits for millions, held up state contracts, suspended the National Flood Insurance program and many other important stimuli needed but also felt that the unemployed need to get used to. I think his exact words were ‘tough shit’.

 This week in crazy: Jim Bunning.  He held unemployment benefits hostage in the chamber for days. But behind the scenes, things were even stranger.

WASHINGTON — There was one thing Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., did this week that only seemed crazy. Trying to flee reporters on Monday, Bunning ducked into an elevator in the Hart Senate Office Building and insisted they stay out. “Excuse me, this is a senator-only elevator,” Bunning growled repeatedly (before flipping off the reporters who were trying to talk to him).

That may have sounded nuts, but actually, the Capitol and its surrounding office buildings are filled with elevators that only elected members of Congress are allowed to use. By insisting on his right to ride up and down in peace, Bunning did a useful service and brought more widespread attention to one of the weirder perks lawmakers get.

As far as how he spent the rest of his time recently, though, Bunning easily qualified for “This Week in Crazy” honors. For five days, the former Major League Baseball pitcher held federal unemployment benefits hostage while he ranted about the need to find a way to pay for them. The bill that Bunning blocked also provided federal highway projects that employed 2,000 people, increased Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors, and allowed satellite TV operators to carry local channels in some rural areas.

And yes, it was expensive — about $10 billion. But blocking it over the price tag would be less crazy if Bunning hadn’t joined every Republican and voted against a measure to require federal spending to be paid for. (Democrats classified the bill Bunning blocked as emergency spending, because it was temporary, which meant it wasn’t subject to the new pay-as-you-go rules that Bunning had opposed.)

Behind the scenes, though, the situation was even stranger. Democratic aides tried for several days to persuade Bunning to drop his objection by agreeing to a vote on an amendment that would have paid for the extension. They say he refused until they could guarantee he’d win the vote. (In the end, he didn’t come close, getting the support of only 43 senators, mostly from the GOP.) Even Republicans were blindsided by Bunning’s stunt — he loathes his fellow Kentuckian, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and around Capitol Hill, a lot of people wondered whether Bunning’s real goal was just to make McConnell suffer. Bunning’s little game handed Democrats fresh ammo in their rhetorical war with Republicans over Senate rules; the sight of one angry old man bringing the chamber to a complete halt for the better part of a week probably didn’t convince many voters that things like the filibuster aren’t being abused.

And we have Mr. Roy Ashburn (R-CA) leading anti-gay rights opponent in his home state California out cruising the streets drunk with the man he met at a GAY BAR! Yes folks Mr. Anti-Gay seems to be a frequent visitor of his states many gay bars. Maybe he’s just doing research.

State Sen. Roy Ashburn was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of driving under the influence in Sacramento.

Sources told the CBS affiliate KOVR in Sacramento Ashburn was seen leaving Faces, a gay nightclub in midtown Sacramento.

Sgt. Rick Campbell of the CHP in Sacramento said he pulled over Ashburn at 2:00 a.m. Wednesday after Campbell noticed a black Chevy Tahoe weaving in his lane at 13th and L Streets.

He had bloodshot, watery eyes and smelled of alcohol and completed a field sobriety test at the scene, Campbell said. He said Ashburn was determined to be under the influence of alcohol and arrested on misdemeanor charges at about 2:10 a.m. “He was extremely cooperative throughout the entire process,” Campbell said.

When the officer stopped the state-issued vehicle, the driver identified himself as Senator Ashburn. He was arrested without incident and charged with two misdemeanors: driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol level higher than .08 percent or higher.

A male passenger, who was not identified as a lawmaker, was also in the car but was not detained.

Ashburn was booked into the Sacramento County Jail, where he remained for eight hours before being released on a $1,400 bond. The vehicle Ashburn was driving has been impounded at the Capitol for 30 days.

Ashburn served six years as a state Assemblyman before being elected to the State Senate.

According to Project Vote Smart, Ashburn’s voting record shows he has voted against every gay rights measure in the State Senate since taking office including Recognizing Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriages, Harvey Milk Day and Expanding Anti-Discrimination Laws.

“We can’t expect our politicians to be saints, but we can expect them to follow the law,” said Steve Maviglio, a Sacramento-based Democrat strategist.

Ashburn represents the 18th Senate District, encompassing Kern, Tulare, Inyo, and San Bernardino Counties.

To see Ashburn’s charging documents, navigate to the following link: http://www.kvsun.com/pdf/ashburn.pdf

Ashburn taking leave amid questions over sexual orientation.

DA: Republican state senator had .14 blood alcohol.

Anti-Gay Lawmaker Reportedly at Gay Club Before DUI Arrest

Liz Cheney still out trying to make the world forget her father was a criminal and deserves to be behind bars. Of course she’s also trying to get people familiar with her face and name so she can swoop in and fill the void that will be left once Sarah Palin’s star finally burns out and fades away. Sarah seems to be on a faster track to burn out than maybe Liz expected so she’s amping up the ol GOP fear card (see above). Liz is amping up the same ol tired argument that we’ve only been safe in this country for 8 short years. Otherwise we’ve always been at risk and unsafe but not when her Daddy was there. Nope. Her Daddy was taking care of us and we should be really, really scared of the other guy in office as he probably has no desire to keep us safe. Hmmmmmmmmmm now if Liz could just get those guys that used to work for her Dear Ol’ Daddy to agree with her and all would be right in the world.

Liz Cheney: Taking flak from the right as well as the left

Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz has become a political lightning rod. Now she’s going after Justice Department lawyers who represented terrorist suspects. Not all conservatives are happy with that.

Like her father before her, Liz Cheney has become a political lightning rod. No surprise, perhaps, but now the sparks are coming from the right as well as the left.

On her “Keep America Safe” website and through conservative media, the former vice president’s daughter most recently has been hammering away at Justice Department lawyers who previously represented Guantánamo detainees.

The “Al Qaeda Seven,” she calls them, portrayed in silhouettes alongside a photo of Osama Bin Laden and with creepy background music. (More Monitor reporting on the Cheneys’ attacks on Obama here.)

Shades of ‘Tail-Gunner Joe’

This has brought pushback from the left, naturally, generally boiling down to charges of “McCarthyism.”

Writing at Salon, Glenn Greenwald calls the “Al Qaeda Seven” video by Cheney’s group “certainly one of the more repugnant political ads of the last decade, if not the most repugnant.”

“Joseph McCarthy himself couldn’t have done a better job of using fear and insinuations to smear his political enemies,” said People For the American Way president Michael Keegan. “Most Americans understand that McCarthyism was a shameful chapter in American history, but the Cheney wing of the Republican Party seems to have embraced Senator McCarthy’s utter lack of shame.”

But the ad is being criticized from the right as well, including those who have served in Republican administrations. (The Monitor’s Linda Feldmann explored whether Dick Cheney is helping or hurting the GOP. Click here.)

One of these is Peter D. Keisler, assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, who argued in court against lawsuits filed by Guantánamo detainees.

“There is a longstanding and very honorable tradition of lawyers representing unpopular or controversial clients,” Mr. Keisler told the New York Times. “The fact that someone has acted within that tradition, as many lawyers, civilian and military, have done with respect to people who are accused of terrorism – that should never be a basis for suggesting that they are unfit in any way to serve in the Department of Justice.”

Rachel Maddow’s excellent take on Liz Cheney’s “Al Qaeda Seven”:

Then we have Mr. John McCain, still hard at work earning his way back into the party after he let ‘That One’ beat him at the game. John’s sole and primary mission and function in the Republican Party is now nothing more than a daily reminder of how far he’s fallen.

He’s been forced to turn on every single belief or ideal he ever held sacred in order to stand in the way of his former opponent regardless of the damage to his reputation or those Americans he once wanted to do sooooooooooooooo much for.

Report Discredits Letter Waved About By McCain As Evidence Of Military Opposition To DADT Repeal

Although respected military figures such as Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and Gen. Colin Powell have spoken out in favor of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), opponents are still insisting that most military commanders believe that gay men and women serving openly in the military would have disastrous consequences.

One of the reports these opponents hide behind is by “Flag and General Officers for the Military.” It’s a letter signed by 1,000 “distinguished retired military leaders” who all say they oppose DADT repeal: “Our past experience as military leaders leads us to be greatly concerned about the impact of repeal [of the law] on morale, discipline, unit cohesion, and overall military readiness.” On Feb. 2, for example, a “cranky” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, “Well, I hope you’ll pay attention to the views of over a thousand retired and flag general officers” when considering whether to repeal DADT. Frank Gaffney, president of conservative Center for Security Policy, cited the letter in a Washington Times op-ed that same day.

However, a new Servicemembers United report obtained in advance by DC Agenda severely undermines the legitimacy of this letter. Some of the problems:

– The average age of the officers is 74. The “oldest living signer is 98, and several signers died in the time since the document was published.” Servicemembers United Executive Director Alex Nicholson added that only “a small fraction of these officers have even served in the military during the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ period, much less in the 21st century military,” so it’s hard to believe that they “know how accepting and tolerant 18- and 21-year-olds are today.”

– “At least one signer, Gen. Louis Menetrey, was deceased when the letter was published and didn’t sign the document himself. According to a footnote on the letter, his wife signed the document for him after his death using power of attorney — six years after Alzheimer’s disease robbed him of the ability to communicate.”

– One signatory said that they “no longer want to be a part of the letter, writing to the organization, ‘I do not wish to be on any list regarding this issue.‘”

– Multiple generals said they “never agreed” to sign the letter in the first place, writing “I never agreed. To represent either side of this issue” and “I do not remember being asked about this issue.”

– At least seven officers “were involved in scandals tarnishing their careers.” Gen. Carl Mundy, for instance, gained negative publicity when he told CBS’s 60 Minutes that “minority officers do not shoot as well as the non-minorities.”

In June 2009, a PBS’s Ray Suarez also did a report on the letter, reporting, “The NewsHour contacted a number of four-star officers requesting an interview for this story. However, none agreed to speak to us on camera. One general expressed surprise his name was even on the list, since he says he had never agreed to sign the letter, and at least three officers listed as signatories are dead.”

McCain Backs ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

McCain appears to shift on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell …

McCain’s DADT Support Letter Signed By A Bunch Of Dead Guys

And they’re still running the Never have we voted using reconciliation for something so important meme because they have nothing else. No good ideas, no compromises, no proposals, no cost cutting measures, nope……nothing…….nada.

So as all good Republicans do………………they just repeat the same old lies and talking points over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and hopefully one of them sticks.

Just watch this short video of each Republican that attended the recent Health Care Summit. You hear any new ideas, any individual thought, any concern for Americans, any facts, any points, any anything? All I hear is there must have been a Powerpoint presentation on the stupidity of Health Care with all these folks in attendance before the summit. Seems they’ve all memorized the same 2 to 4 sentences. I mean this is all seriousness……………….are you flipping kidding me? This is what you brought to the summit?

Media have repeatedly allowed GOP senators to attack use of reconciliation

Media have not challenged GOP criticisms of reconciliation process. Media Matters for America has documented a pattern of journalists uncritically quoting Republican senators criticizing the decision to use reconciliation, without noting that those same senators — including Alexander, McConnell and Sens. Judd Gregg (R-NH), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) — voted to allow the use of the budget reconciliation process to pass legislation during the Bush administration, including tax cuts.

Congress previously used reconciliation to pass major changes to health care law.
Reconciliation has repeatedly been used to reform health care. On February 24, NPR noted that many “major changes to health care laws” passed via reconciliation. Additionally, during a February 24 broadcast of NPR’s Morning Edition, correspondent Julie Rovner quoted George Washington University health policy professor Sara Rosenbaum saying: “In fact, the way in which virtually all of health reform, with very, very limited exceptions, has happened over the past 30 years has been the reconciliation process.”

Congress used reconciliation to pass Medicare Advantage. As part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, enacted through the reconciliation process, Congress — which was controlled by the Republicans at the time — created the “Medicare+Choice Program,” currently known as Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part C. The program allows seniors to enroll in HMO-type plans rather than the traditional Medicare fee-for-service plan.

Congress used reconciliation to pass COBRA. As stated on the Department of Labor website, as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, Congress gave “workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances.”

Congress used reconciliation to pass Patient Self-Determination Act. As part of the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1990, Congress passed the Patient Self-Determination Act, which requires hospitals, nursing homes, HMOs, and other organizations that participate in Medicare or Medicaid to provide information about advance directives and patients’ decision-making rights.

Republicans repeatedly attempted to use reconciliation to pass increase in Medicare eligibility age. The version of the Balanced Budget Act of 1995 introduced by then-Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) using the reconciliation procedure contained a section providing for raising the Medicare eligibility age. As the CRS reported, the provision was stricken from the bill during floor consideration on the basis of a point of order that the provision was “extraneous” to matters appropriate to reconciliation.

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 — also introduced through the reconciliation procedure — also included a provision to raise the eligibility age. Fifty Republicans voted in favor of waiving a point of order against the provision that it was extraneous, allowing the provision to remain in the bill. The final version of the bill signed by Clinton did not contain this provision.

GOP used reconciliation to pass Bush tax cuts, welfare reform

GOP used reconciliation to pass Bush’s tax cuts. Republicans used the reconciliation process to pass Bush’s 2001 tax cut, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001; Bush’s 2003 tax cuts, the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003; and Bush’s 2005 tax cuts, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the 2001 tax cuts would “reduce projected total surpluses by approximately $1.35 trillion over the 2001-2011 period”; that the 2003 tax cuts would “reduce projected total surpluses by approximately $1.35 trillion over the 2001-2011 period”; and that the 2005 tax cuts would “reduce federal revenues … by $69.1 billion over the 2006-2015 period.”

Republicans repeatedly voted to use reconciliation to pass components of welfare reform. Congress employed the reconciliation process to pass welfare reform in 1996 as part of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. Senate Republicans previously included welfare reform provisions in the Balanced Budget Act of 1995, which Clinton vetoed. As CRS reports, 46 provisions of the bill were deemed extraneous by the Senate’s presiding officer. Fifty-three Republicans voted in favor of a motion to waive the point of order, but the motion — which requires 60 votes — failed on a 53-46 vote.

Barbara Boxer Calls Out Republicans on their continued hypocrisy:

 GOP Goes ‘Nuclear’ w/ Health Reform Distortions

Republican Reconciliation Hypocrisy

 Friday Talking Points [113] — Republican Hypocrisy


CBO Report on Senate Bill: Will Insure 94% of Americans and Cuts Defecit by $127 Billion

From the Huffington Post:

House conservatives have threatened to block the reform bill if their more restrictive provision isn’t included. Kerry acknowledged that there could still be negotiations, “but that’s where the Senate is starting.

Instead of taxing the rich to pay for a significant piece of the bill, as the House does, the Senate plan taxes “Cadillac” health plans. But the value of plans that would be taxed is increased from previous versions to $8,500 for an individual and $23,000 for a family of four. Higher values are allowed in high-cost states and workers in high-risk jobs – such as coal miners – are given an exemption.

Reid’s bill also altered the formula by which businesses would be assessed a fee for not insuring their workers. But the new formula was unclear. Kerry called it “convoluted” and Durbin dubbed it “complex.”

Reid presented to his colleagues a preliminary Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Senate health care legislation. It finds that the bill will cost $849 billion over the next decade while covering 94 percent of eligible Americans; 31 million currently uninsured Americans would be covered under the legislation. The bill would also lower the deficit by $127 billion over the next decade and by $650 billion during the decade after that. Kerry cautioned that the numbers were still being finalized and could change slightly.

By keeping the total cost of the bill under $900 billion, Reid met one of the conditions set by the Obama White House. The bill is also expected to drastically bend the cost curve in the health care system — another major Obama objective — by achieving “almost a trillion dollars in cost savings” within the health care system.

Reid will file a cloture motion Thursday, which will be followed by an intervening day, by Senate rules, leaving Saturday for the vote.


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