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Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Obama Interview- Earthquakes In Hawaii? No Concern About Procedural Rules?

Obama- "That also — I’m giving you an example of one that I consider important. It also affects Hawaii, which went through an earthquake. So that’s not just a Louisiana provision. That is a provision that affects every state that is going through a natural catastrophe."

From the rush transcript of "Special Report With Bret Baier" from March 17, 2010 with Barack Obama being interviewed, there are a few things being mentioned across the web.

First because it is gaffes like the one shown in the 1:28 video below that make me think Barack Obama is confused, overtired, overworked or just an outright liar or any combination of the above aforementioned.

Earthquake in Hawaii?

Hat Tip for that video goes to Hot Air, who points out that "the last earthquake in Hawaii to cause any deaths at all was in 1975, and two people died."

So, that confusion solved, on to the next matter, which is that Barack Obama is "Not Worried About “Procedural Rules” like “Deem and Pass” for Health Care," via ABC's Political Punch:

President Obama said today that he is not too worried about the controversial “deem and pass” strategy being considered on Capitol Hill, and that members should not “pretend” that a vote, in whatever form it ends up taking, is anything other than a vote for or against reform.

"I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or Senate," Obama said in an interview with Fox News' Bret Baier, "What I can tell you is that the vote that's taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform. And if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform. And I don't think we should pretend otherwise.”

The "deem and pass" solution aka the Slaughter Solution, is a plan House leaders are considering where members of the House of Representatives will not have to actually take a vote on the Senate version of Obamacare, but would simply "deem" it passed so they could vote on measures to "fix" the said plan to make it more to their liking.

Those "fixes" would then go to the Senate and be voted on using another procedural rule called reconciliation where the Senate Democratic leaders could attempt to pass those House "fixes" to the Senate's original bill with a simply majority, bypassing any filibuster.

Quite a bit of gymnastics and the reason they needed explaining is because using other "procedures", the GOP believe "that as much as 40 percent of the measure can be killed through procedural objections." (Via The Politico)

The provision is just one of many that Republicans expect to challenge. Under a strategy developed by Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune of South Dakota and Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Republicans are plotting ways to strike major elements of the reconciliation bill, including changes to the special Medicaid deal for Nebraska and the carve-out for Florida senior citizens from Medicaid Advantage cuts. They are also going small bore, looking to strike seemingly minor provisions, including one that would fix language dealing with the employer mandate and the construction industry.

One senior Republican aide said staff and senators believe that as much as 40 percent of the measure can be killed through procedural objections.

I wonder if those procedures will be denounced by Obama and if he will continue to simply say they do not concern him when Republicans use them if the bill goes back to the Senate with the side car "fixes" and manage to cut over 40 percent of the House liberals changes right out of the bill?

Every line in the bill must adhere to complex rules or risk being struck by the parliamentarian. If so much as a comma is changed in the bill, it will need to return to the House for a second vote. Depending on what is eliminated, passage in the House could be tough.

Barack Obama may not be worried about Pelosi's tactics or "procedures" but a letter sent from Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, (via NRO) shows that certain individual states will challenge the legality of her deem and pass strategy:

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

I am writing to urge you not to proceed with the Senate Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act under a so-called “deem and pass” rule because such a course of action would raise grave constitutional questions.

Based upon media interviews and statements which I have seen, you are considering this approach because it might somehow shield members of Congress from taking a recorded vote on an overwhelmingly unpopular Senate bill. This is an improper purpose under the bicameralism requirements of Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution, one of the purposes of which is to make our representatives fully accountable for their votes.

Furthermore, to be validly enacted, the Senate bill would have to be accepted by the House in a form that is word-for-word identical (Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998)).

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office has just confirmed that Virginia will file suit against the federal government if the Democratic health care reform bill is approved by the U.S. Congress. (Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog)

A spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) said this afternoon that Virginia will file suit against the federal government if the Democratic health care reform bill is approved by the U.S. Congress.

Cuccinelli has long said he was examining the legal issues and suggested he would likely file suit. Brian Gottstein, a spokesman for the office, said this afternoon that a lawsuit is now a definite. Gottstein would provide no details of the legal rationale for such a suit, indicating the process is "still being worked out."

Virginia last week became the first state in the country to pass a state bill declaring it illegal for the government to require individuals to purchase health insurance, a key part of bills under consideration on Capitol Hill.

While the majority of the focus has been on the politicians and what they will or will not vote for, what procedures they will or will not use, those being ignored by those politicians are the people of the United States of America, the American citizens, or to be more specific for the politicians... the voters.

For Example, Ingrid Martin, who took Obama on at his own little rally:

The conversation went along politely and the president promised to send Martin some information to answer her questions. What didn’t happen is the president explaining how cutting $500 billion out of Medicare while adding more people to the rolls is going to “make its finances more secure.”

Obama didn’t answer the question because he can’t. Even Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf agrees with Martin, saying “to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare with the same $500 billion in ‘savings’ would essentially double-count . . . and thus overstate the improvement in the government’s fiscal position.”


Voters across America - and particularly here in Massachusetts - are focused on the question of policy. Will this 2,400-page “deem and pass” Washington monstrosity get me a better doctor or better medicine at a better price? We’ve figured out the answer is no, which is why the latest WSJ/NBC poll has opposition to Obamacare at 48 percent, a new high. Only 36 percent of Americans support it.

But Democrats aren’t even talking policy anymore. They’re all about the politics. They’ve got to pass a bill - any bill - to save this inept poseur of a president from himself.

That’s the worst part of Ingrid Martin’s encounter with Obama. It showed the facts don’t matter. The trillion-dollar debt doesn’t matter.

And none of those Democrats in Congress understands the consequences of this bill as well as one unemployed woman in Ohio.

As it stands, right now, not one of the latest health care polls conducted show a plurality or majority in favor of Obamacare, in fact each one shows a plurality or majority opposing Obamacare.

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