This Week in Washington – September 20, 2010
The House has 39 suspension votes scheduled for Wednesday and possible work final passage of TARP, Jr. (H.R. 5297 – the Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010), as amended by the Senate for this week. The Senate will debate and vote on the motion to proceed to S.3454, the Department of Defense Authorization bill. There will be no roll call votes during Monday’s session of the Senate, but a vote on cloture is expected on Tuesday.
The big controversy in the Senate this week is over the Defense Authorization Bill. There are the numerous controversial issues that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is seeking to tack on to the measure. The hot button issues of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the DREAM Act and non defense related matters may be added to the legislation during the Amendment process. Expect a critical vote Tuesday on the question of whether the Senate will even proceed to debate on the bill
Extension of the ’01/’03 Tax Cuts is another issue expected for debate this week, but there is no clarity on whether the Democrats roll out of town to campaign for re-election.
Does President Obama know that he is the best thing to happen to the conservative movement since Ronald Reagan? The New York Times reports that the Obama Administration is considering a campaign against the Tea Party. So much for the lefty talking point that all politics is local in the ’10 Elections.
President Obama’s political advisers, looking for ways to help Democrats and alter the course of the midterm elections in the final weeks, are considering a range of ideas, including national advertisements, to cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists, people involved in the discussion said.
There is no rational explanation for this. It is as if the President is part of the Republican get out the vote effort. This year has proven to be the largest turnout of Republicans in the primary season since the early 70s and Democrats have depressed turn out numbers. This effort on the part of the Obama Administration seems ill conceived.
Then you pick up the Wall Street Journal and the story line gets more surreal. The Wall Street Journal reports that President Obama has decided, mere weeks before the election, that this is a great time to attempt a re-education campaign to convince the American people that ObamaCare is good for them. Has he looked at any recent polling on ObamaCare?
From the WSJ:
The Obama administration this week plans to revive its pitch for the health-care overhaul, hoping that a slate of consumer-friendly provisions will boost public support before midterm elections. Starting Thursday, insurers officially must adhere to about a half-dozen key changes under the law, including eliminating co-payments for preventive services and allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance policy until their 26th birthday. Democrats structured the provisions so they would kick in right before the elections, thinking incumbents would have a tangible achievement to promote on the campaign trail.
First of all, the polling for ObamaCare is bad for liberals. The WSJ reports that taxes and jobs are the most important issue for voters. These issues are far more important than a education campaign on the merits of ObamaCare.
But public support for the law continues to lag, with Americans split roughly in half over whether they support it, and the debate over jobs and taxes is squeezing the health law out of Democrats’ election narrative.
Furthermore, Democrats are more likely to campaign against ObamaCare rather than support it. More from the WSJ story:
In recent weeks, insurance companies have started mailing consumers letters informing them of double-digit rate increases starting this month, partially attributing them to the mandates that begin Thursday. That is sowing confusion among consumers, and muddying the Democrats’ contention that the law will rein in sharply rising premiums. The administration is chiding insurers for such increases, saying the new benefits only minimally increase insurers’ costs.
The Obama Administration really does not get it. They are going to attack the Tea Party and campaign in support of ObamaCare. It is as if the Republican National Committee is writing the strategy for the Democrats. Are they sitting in a room and saying, “how can we make this worse?”
As Americans are receiving notices that the rates on insurance is going sky high as a result of ObamaCare, this is the time to push for the idea of repeal of ObamaCare. The law is a disaster for the economy and average Americans.