Today in Washington – September 16, 2010
The first House Democrat has joined the effort to repeal ObamaCare. Congressman Gene Taylor, (D-MS) has signed a discharge petition that would force a vote on H.R. 4972, a bill sponsored by Congressman Steve King (R-IA) to repeal the so called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” To force a vote on the House floor, supporters of a repeal need 218 signatures on a discharge petition before the end of the year. Maybe a number of other Democrats who opposed ObamaCare (34 Dems voted no) will join Taylor in the effort.
The House has 3 votes scheduled on the Suspension Calendar and a vote on H.R. 4785, the Rural Energy Savings Program Act. The Senate will continue debate on H.R.5297, the Small Business Jobs bill, also known as TARP, Jr. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Orin Hatch (R-UT) have offered amendments requiring 67 votes, then the Senate will proceed to another cloture vote before final passage of the bill. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider the New START Treaty and may vote to send the measure to the full Senate. My sources on the Hill tell me that Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is not releasing any video or audio of this meeting and this will result in the American people being shut out of this important national security issue. So much for the idea of transparency.
ObamaCare is so unpopular that Democrats are starting to run away from the new law. According to Heritage Action for America, 172 members have signed the discharge petition, including Congressman Taylor. Politico reports that the 34 Democrats who votes against ObamaCare have received no retribution from the left and they may be inclined to join the repeal effort.
The threats ranged from crippling primary election challenges to a withdrawal of support for some of the offending lawmakers. In a few cases, activists even went so far as to say they would run third-party candidates against the Democrats in November. But five months later, the group of 34 has emerged from primary season not much worse for the wear. Every one of the 30 lawmakers who voted against the health care bill and is seeking another term won re-nomination.
ObamaCare is so unpopular that Democrats are campaigning against the signature legislative accomplishment of the Obama Administration. Politico reported yesterday that:
Democratic candidates are spending three times more advertising against the health reform law than they are in support of it. Since the beginning of Congress’s August recess,Democratic candidates have poured $930,000 into ads deriding the health overhaul but just $300,000 in pro-reform spots, according to Evan Tracey at Kantar Media.
We might see more of these Democrats who oppose ObamaCare joining the effort for repeal. It would seem to make sense with some Democrats going as far as to support extension of the so called “Bush Tax Cuts.” That is how bad it is getting for many on the left. More conservative leaning Democrats may need to support repeal of ObamaCare and extension of the Bush Tax Cuts to save their political hides.
The Hillreports that Taylor is the first Democrat to join Republicans repeal effort. Conservatives are encouraged and empowered to continue the fight for repeal. Michael A. Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, a branch of the Heritage Foundation, applauded Taylor Wednesday and was quoted by The Hill as saying:
His commitment to representing his constituents, who have been opposed to Obamacare from the beginning, is refreshing.
The next few weeks it will be interesting to gauge the responsiveness of nervous politicians in Washington, D.C. Conservatives should watch the King Discharge Petition numbers and the number of Democrats coming out for extension of the Bush Tax Cuts to see how many Democrats seem ready to run away from the unpopular policies of the Obama Administration. This is going to be an exciting fall.