Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Republican unease growing over Steele’s rule at RNC

Signs of growing GOP uneasiness over Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele’s high-flying lifestyle and mismanagement emerged over the weekend as two Congressional leaders voiced their displeasure. “This kind of thing has got to stop or they won’t get any contributions,” noted Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl. Kyl joined California Rep. Kevin McCarthy in voicing concern over the growing list of problems with the RNC under Steele’s leadership. Steele has come under fire for his lavish lifestyle with money contributed to the committee, including extensive use of private jets, luxury hotel suites and bloated expense accounts. The RNC was also rocked
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Heath care defeat gives GOP a reality check

As the Republican party heads into the mid-term elections, some worry that their scorched-earth policy on health care reform could come back and bite them in the ass. Some GOP leaders now admit they may have overplayed their hand and worry that the “repeal the law” strategy promoted by the party’s extreme conservative base could backfire on election day. First, any chance for repeal is remote at best and failure would not sit well with the right-wing grassroots that’s long on emotion and short of political common sense. Second, polls show growing public support for the new health care law
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Drug Lobby: The big winner in health care ‘reform’

Chalk one up for the pharmaceutical lobby. The U.S. drug industry fended off price curbs and other hefty restrictions in President Barack Obama‘s health care law even as it prepares for plenty of new business when an estimated 32 million uninsured Americans gain health coverage. To be sure, the law also levies taxes and imposes other costs on pharmaceutical companies, leaving its final impact on the industry’s bottom line uncertain. A recent analysis by Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street firm, suggests the overhaul could mean “a manageable hit” of tens of billions of dollars over the coming decade while bolstering
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Threats escalate against lawmakers over health care vote

A fax bearing the image of a noose. Profane voice mails. Bricks thrown, a gas line cut. White powder sent to an office. Democrats and a few Republicans revealed mounting numbers and unsettling details of threats against them Thursday in the emotional aftermath of the passage of the health care overhaul. Lawmakers uniformly condemned the harassment, but that’s where the agreement ended. Democrats said Republicans were slow to condemn the vigilantism, while Republicans said Democrats were playing politics with the threats. “By ratcheting up the rhetoric, some will only inflame these situations to dangerous levels,” said House Republican Whip Eric
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Final piece of health care bill headed for Obama’s signature

Congressional Democrats sent the final piece of landmark health care legislation to President Barack Obama before heading home to face a skeptical — and sometimes even threatening — electorate. The last legislative chapter in the wrenching national debate over Obama’s health overhaul plan came Thursday night in the House, as Democrats approved — for the second time — a package of fixes to the sweeping health bill Obama signed two days earlier. The measure includes better benefits for seniors and low-income and middle-class families. In the hours ahead of the vote lawmakers reported isolated threats of violence from a volatile
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Democrats face threats, vandalism over health care vote

Democratic Congress members are getting lessons from the FBI on how to handle threats such as several directed at their colleagues, including bricks hurled through windows and menacing obscenity-laced phone messages left for those who supported sweeping federal health care legislation. Windows were shattered at four Democratic offices in New York, Arizona and Kansas and at least 10 members of Congress have reported some sort of threats, leaders said. No arrests had been made as of Wednesday, but the FBI is investigating. Lawmakers who feel they are at risk will be “getting attention from the proper authorities,” said House Majority
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Tea Party hurts Republicans at ballot box

Warning to Republicans. The Tea Party could cost you election victories in November. A new poll shows that while the GOP leads Democrats in many Congressional districts, that lead would not be enough to overcome votes siphoned away if a Tea Party candidate is on the ballot. A Quinnipiac University polls shows 44 percent of voters would vote for a Republican over a Democrat in this year’s midterm election, compared to 39 percent for Democrats — a sure sign of a Republican resurgence. That’s the good news. But, if a Tea Party candidate shows up on the ballot, the Democrat
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Oops! Health care bill overlooks children

Hours after President Barack Obama signed historic health care legislation, a potential problem emerged. Administration officials are now scrambling to fix a gap in highly touted benefits for children. Obama made better coverage for children a centerpiece of his health care remake, but it turns out the letter of the law provided a less-than-complete guarantee that kids with health problems would not be shut out of coverage. Under the new law, insurance companies still would be able to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem, said Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee,
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Now it’s up to the Senate

President Barack Obama has signed into law the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. health care since Medicare, but one last chapter in the epic struggle is still playing out in the Senate. Senators are debating a package of fixes to the new health law, demanded by House Democrats as their price for passing the mammoth overhaul legislation that will extend coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans over the next decade. Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, declaring “a new season in America” as he sealed a victory denied to a line of presidents stretching back more than half a century.
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Anybody got a user manual on health care reform?

President Barack Obama and the Democrats have overcome their doubts and divisions to pass landmark health care legislation affecting every family and one-sixth of the economy. The president will sign the main bill at a White House ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, and a companion package of fixes is expected to be on its way to his desk soon. That leaves Americans with a burning question: How’s this all going to work? “A key element to these reforms is that options that weren’t available to people will become available now,” said DeAnn Friedholm of Consumers Union. The publishers of Consumer Reports
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