Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

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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Tea Party vows payback over health care reform

If you thought Tea Party activists were mad before, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Instead of being discouraged by passage of health care reform, tea party activists across the country say the defeat is a rallying cry that makes them more focused than ever on voting out any lawmaker who supported the measure. “We’re not going to stop. Obviously, the whole tea party movement started because we’re about smaller government and less spending and less taxes. There is absolutely no way we can pay for this,” said Denise Cattoni, state coordinator for Illinois Tea Party, an umbrella group for about
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Will America buy the flawed premise of health care ‘reform?’

The initial blush of President Barack Obama‘s health care triumph immediately gives way to a sober political reality — he must sell the landmark legislation to an angry and unpredictable electorate, still reeling from the recession. Voters may not buy it. And that could mean a disastrous midterm election year for Obama and his fellow Democrats. “We proved that this government — a government of the people and by the people — still works for the people,” the president said late Sunday, beginning his sales pitch from the White House one hour after Congress passed the sweeping measure. “This isn’t
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Racism, bigotry in health care protest

Racism and anti-gay bigotry reared their ugly heads Saturday as Tea Party participants protested the health care vote that is scheduled for a historic vote Sunday. Protesters taunted openly-day Democratic Congressman Barney Frank with “faggot,” “homo” and other homophobic slurs and called African-American Georgia Congressman John Lewis a “nigger” as he left the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. “They were shouting, sort of harassing,” Lewis told reporter William Douglas of McClatchy Newspapers. “But it’s OK. I’ve faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright
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Dems: We have the votes

The chairman of the Democratic caucus in the House says his party has the 216 votes needed to pass President Barack Obama‘s historic health care bill. Speaking Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Connecticut Rep. John Larson said, in his words, “We have the votes now — as we speak.” House Democrats are predicting that a rare Sunday session will produce one of the most significant legislative triumphs in decades: passage of a bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system to provide coverage to millions of people. Republicans resolutely oppose the bill. Related articles by Zemanta Sunday Morning Bobblehead Thread
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Dems close in magic number for health care bill

Slowly but steadily, support is building behind President Barack Obama‘s health care legislation in the House, the result of intense lobbying and politically targeted changes aimed at reassuring waverers and winning over critics. Obama himself was to talk up the sweeping overhaul in a midday speech Friday in Virginia, his fourth outside-the-Beltway event in two weeks as he scrambles to rally the public ahead of a climactic vote this weekend. On Capitol Hill, congressional leaders were focusing on those rank-and-file Democrats, including moderates and opponents of abortion, who remained undecided after the release Thursday of a final package of changes
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First jobs bill clears Congress

A package of tax breaks and highway spending cleared Congress on Wednesday, the first of what Democrats hope will be several efforts to bring down the 9.7 percent unemployment rate. The Senate passed the $17.6 billion measure by a vote of 68 to 29 and sent it to President Barack Obama, who will sign it into law on Thursday. “It is the first of what I hope will be a series of job packages that will help to continue to put people back to work all across America,” Obama said. With congressional elections looming in November, Democrats hope to show
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Health care vote delayed until Sunday

Pushing toward a history-making vote, Democrats struggled to eliminate lingering complications standing in the way of House action this weekend on President Barack Obama‘s landmark health care overhaul. Their drive to change the way health care is administered and extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans took on a growing sense of inevitability, picking up endorsements from a longtime liberal holdout and from a retired Roman Catholic bishop and nuns who broke with church leaders over the bill’s abortion provisions. At the same time, last-minute snags related to costs delayed formal release of the legislation and an analysis from the
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Democrats defend hardball tactics

Under heavy Republican attack, Democrats in the House of Representatives on Tuesday defended plans to pass a healthcare overhaul without a direct vote as President Barack Obama‘s top domestic priority neared a make-or-break showdown. Obama and House Democratic leaders lobbied undecided Democrats for support ahead of a possible weekend vote on the overhaul, which would constitute the biggest change in the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system in four decades. Democrats are considering using a complicated process to avoid a direct vote on the Senate-passed bill, which is unpopular with House Democrats. Instead, they would declare the Senate bill passed once
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Passing health care without a vote?

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi admitted Monday she is considering some political slight-of-hand to push the controversial and flawed health care bill through the House without a vote. Instead of holding a vote on the full bill, Pelosi could hold a vote on a package of “fixes” that have support and them impose a little -known “self-executing rule” to “deem and pass” the full bill without a vote by members of the House. The “deem and pass” rule is normally used as a procedural move to approve routine legislation but not for big budget controversial bills. “It’s more process-oriented
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