Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kill The Bill Sunday (UPDATED)


We'll be continuing coverage again today on Obamacare. Others will be offering coverage as well, for example, Stacy McCain is hosting a live chat event beginning at 12 noon, I'm assuming ET, at his place.

Michelle Malkin has the day's schedule and some explanation of the upcoming votes.

If anyone else is covering the day's events, drop me an email or a comment and I'll add you here.

So far today there's a lot of crowing about the whip count. Steny Hoyer said on Meet The Press that they don't have 216 yet, but that they "will have the votes" by this afternoon.

There's drama and intrigue with Rep. Loretta Sanchez who was in Florida for a fundraising event yesterday and basically MIA for all healthcare debate issues. Reports are that she will be a "no" vote, but will she even show up for the vote?

The Sunday morning talk shows are full of incredibly lively debate, especially Karl Rove and David Plouffe on ABC News This Week. who went head to head:

Karl and the Republicans would be familiar with that,” Plouffe retorted. “Under their leadership, they took us from big budget surpluses to a $1.3 trillion deficit,” he said.

Rove hit back: “Look, you have run up more deficit, before this bill, in the first 20 months and 11 days of your term in office then was done in the entire Bush years!”

“Don’t be lecturing us about what you’re doing with the profligate spending that started last year with the failed stimulus bill,” Rove said, “and continued with your budget increases.”

“You will bankrupt the country, if this bill passes!” Rove insisted.

Plouffe responded with another jab: “Karl and the Republicans have zero credibility – about as much credibility as the country of Greece does to talk about fiscal responsibility.”

Rove, brandishing a white board with health care cost figures, interrupted: “For God’s sake, will you stop throwing around epithets and deal with the facts, for once David!”

Plouffe, rolling his eyes, responded: “Let’s put the fanciful chart away…”

Before he could finish, Rove interrupted: “It is not a fanciful chart, deal with the chart!”

It was pretty lively and Rove appeared ready to jump through the screen at Plouffe.

Ed Morrissey is running a thread today as well, and posts that some Democrats prepared to vote "Nay" are also planning to cast their vote early in the 15 minute voting period and "get the hell out" of there.

At this point, right now, they don't have the votes. Keep up the phone calls. Many of yesterday's protesters are descending back on The Hill today to do what they can.

Stay tuned for updates.

Update 10:24: Don't miss Professor Jacobson's post: Freedom So Willingly Relinquished.

Also,, The Daily Caller is providing live coverage.

Update 10:32: The Anchoress offers How to Pray for a Nation. Lovely.

I'll say this before we get too far into the day. I'm so grateful for those Republican leaders who have not backed down on this and who have fought tooth and nail against this takeover of the health care industry. Rep. Paul Ryan has been phenomenal and Rep. John Boehner has been awesome as well. I recognize and appreciate their efforts.

Update 10:46: Don't miss Bride of Rove:

I write this at 10 am on a Sunday before the vote a 6 pm as if the vote is a done deal when it may not be, but I think it is and I think we need to get our feet under us and have a strategy in place or else all hell is going to break loose once the rest of the country wakes up and understands what’s happening and what it really means to them. This will affect every aspect of everyone’s lives. There will be no escaping it, no hiding it, no mitigation of impact is possible to sooth the wrenching vibrations of chains being dragged across a nation’s back. The IRS will be ramping up enforcement protocols for absconders. Employers will be sent literature on compliance guidelines. Banks will be receiving documentation on how to handle the garnishments. Hospitals will be assessing staff and making lists of who will stay and who can be let go on a moment’s notice as they struggle to stay open. Paychecks will be leaner as the withholding increases to start the payments four years before “benefits” theoretically kick in and people will take that initial fight to their HR departments.

Read the whole thing.

Update 11:00: Code Red lists the undecideds here. I've included their phone numbers.

Rep. Brian Baird (202) 225-3536) (360) 352-9768
Rep. Marion Berry (202) 225-4076 (870) 972-4600
Rep, Kathy Dahlkemper (202) 225-5406 (814) 456-2038
Rep. Lincoln Davis (202) 225-6831
Rep. Paul Kanjorski (202) 225-6511
Rep. Michael McMahon (202) 225-3371 (718) 630-5277
Rep. Earl Pomeroy (202) 225-2611 (701) 224-0355

Update 11:22: Red State is reporting multiple sources who say the Dems don't have the votes and that the vote is delayed.

CSPAN is showing the throng of protesters keeping vigil outside Congress. Amazing.

Update 11:56: Stacy McCain's live chat is rolling now.

MSNBC is now reporting Stupak is a "yes". Damn.

Update 12:25: And who was that that said this isn't a government takeover of healthcare?

See more here.

Update 12:51: Reports via Twitter are that Rep. Sanchez is in the building but no word on how she'll vote. The Stupak vote is still going back and forth as media outlets are going both ways on that. He's probably going to go for it, but it's not yet nailed down. Rep. Lincoln Davis is a "No."

Update 1:33: Paul Ryan just spoke on the Floor and had his charts out. He's such a champion for conservatives! Calling this bill "the mother of all entitlements," he listed many of the mandates in the bill and then explained how it lead us into a "tidal wave of red ink" into debt. Ryan closed by making the case that rationing is inevitable under this bill.

He was followed by Louise Slaughter who introduced a single page document into the record as to why the bill is not unconstitutional.

Then Patrick (aka "Patches") Kennedy comes out shouting and bathering about his father and how wonderful this bill is. Overwrought is the word I'd use to describe that young man. Overwrought.

Update 1:49: The Hill is reporting that as of 30 minutes ago they still don't have the votes. It comes down to Stupak.
The decisions of two Tennessee Democrats, Reps. John Tanner and Lincoln Davis, to vote no has put President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her lieutenants in a major bind.

If every member votes, Democratic leaders can only afford 37 defections. According to The Hill's whip list, there are 39 Democrats planning to vote no.

Depending on the deal reached with Stupak, some of those who are currently "yes" could flip back to "no."

Keep the hope alive!

Update 2:46: The shenanigans on the floor of the House are just crazy. With Jesse Jackson, Jr. acting as Speaker, well, he appears to be out of his league. Darrell Issa continues to raise parliamentary inquiries and points of order which Jackson sometimes addresses and sometimes refuses to address.

Issa is making the case that the earmarks in the bill are in violation of the Rule. Louise Slaughter took objection to this and says if the Republicans would just agree to reconciliation then those earmarks could be fixed and removed. This issue seems to be that the Louisiana Purchse, the Cornhusker Kickback, Gator Aide and the Bismark Bank fix are all going to be signed into law in the Senate bill, which would be a violation.

All in all, things descended into chaos and shouting with Slaughter having a near melt down, yelling "You know no such thing!" at Issa as he made his case. Jackson, meanwhile, seems at a loss as to how to control things.

Reports on Twitter are that Dems still don't have the votes; Mike Pence held up a sign to the protesters declaring that they are still short. It comes down to Stupak who has a presser at 4. It seems unlikely he'd have a press conference unless he was falling in line.

Update 3:40: Well of course Stupak caved. He caved for a piece of paper, a non-binding Executive Order. I guess it's going to work about as well as the Executive Order demanding the closure of Gitmo...last January. Last time I checked, Gitmo is still open.

Update 3:53: Yuval Levin at NRO has read the Executive Order and finds it meaningless:
Looking at the executive order (which you can read here), the answer is clearly nothing. The executive order quite literally does nothing that the Senate bill does not already do, and it is careful to say as much. It offers a kind of narrative of what champions of the bill claim it does with regard to abortion (claims that Rep. Stupak among others has disputed for months), and then says the executive branch will make various people aware of this understanding of what the law says. It orders no action (only the usual promulgation of regulations the law requires anyway) and offers no interpretation beyond that.

Rep. Broun is speaking on the floor and says if you vote for this bill "you can NEVER call yourself a pro-life Democrat again!"

Andy McCarthy's remarks here.

Update 5:32: This has been the front story on Drudge all afternoon:

Senate Republicans say they can get the whole package of reconciliation fixes – the fix-its that make the Senate plan palatable to House Democrats - thrown out with a trump card procedural motion. And they say Democrats are slow-walking a decision from the parliamentarian until the House passes the Senate bill.

That means the Senate bill, which everyone in the House seems to universally hate, will be the law of the land....

...For an appetizer, take a look at Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Judd Gregg’s statement tonight.

“Immediately after receiving the final reconciliation bill language, Senate Republican staff was ready and willing to meet with Senate Democratic staff and the Senate Parliamentarian to discuss the fact that the House reconciliation bill may be brought down by the 310(g) point of order in the Senate. Senate Democrats are mysteriously unavailable until after the House votes on the health care bill tonight. The Senate Democrats appear to be pushing off this meeting so that House Democrats will remain in the dark about what is likely to happen to the reconciliation bill on which many have staked their careers in Congress. House Democrats should be alarmed by this latest development, since the survival of the reconciliation bill is clearly at risk in the Senate.”

There's more here.

Allahpundit is having none of it. He says it sounds too desperate. Right now, desperate is about all we've got.

General debate is about to begin.

Endgame: And so it goes.

There is little for me to feel encouraged about here, but I do think that our Republican leadership did a fine job and the best that could be done. Paul Ryan is a bright star and something to look forward to as we move forward. John Boehner WILL be Speaker one day and he delivered a powerful speech tonight.

Many states are already filing challenges to the mandate. Lawsuits and challenges will abound. Democrats will be voted out in the fall in droves.

But the fix is in. The deed is done and we fight another day.

We are all socialist now.



Longhaired Conservative said...

Copied and linked at MNR & The Resistance

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Pat. I will be following you today to stay current. -Naomi

Anonymous said...

Politico reporting that the Dems have the votes.


Government Mess said...

Great work here, keep up the good fight as we have much more fighting to do against these Tyrants in our Government! The cockroaches will be squashed but not soon enough! You have been linked - Conservative Bloggers are Fighting for every Americans Freedom -