Thursday, May 16, 2013

37 times

House Republicans brought H.R. 45 to a vote today.  H.R. 45, introduced by Michele Bachmann (yes, the one and only Michele Bachmann) in January was a chance to repeal Obamacare.  If you were thinking to yourself, how many times have the House Republicans tried to repeal Obamacare, the answer is 37.  So, why would House Republicans try to repeal Obamacare so many times when they know it has no chance of passing the Senate or even being signed into law by President Barack Obama?

Well.  Depends who you ask.  Mick Mulvaney, Republican Congressman from South Carolina complained, "If you’re a freshman — the guys who’ve been up here the last year, we can go home and say listen, we voted 36 different times to repeal or replace Obamacare. Tell me what the new guys are supposed to say.  We haven’t had a repeal or replace vote this year.”

Freshman Florida Republican Trey Radel whined, "We have not had a chance as freshmen to do that.  Even if it’s just symbolic — and even if we understand that process-wise we are not going to be able to say, okay we want repeal, it’s done, and it’s over. But this is the issue that so many people around the country who love the Republican Party are frustrated with.” 

Even Republicans understand that these are really symbolic votes.  But oh well.  All that really matters is fiscal conservatism.

Consider the following:

According to the Congressional Research Service, it costs $24 million to run the House of Representatives for a week.  The first 33 votes to repeal Obamacare took about 80 hours of floor time, which is about two weeks, assuming 40 hours per work week.  Basically, the first 33 votes cost the tax payers $48 million.  There's been four other ones since then, so we're looking at an excess of $50 million being spent in these efforts to largely have a series of symbolic votes. 

Now that there is a "scandal" going on in the IRS, it's become a lot easier for Republicans to criticize Obamacare.  Every single Republican talked on the House floor about why would we trust the IRS for enforcing Obamacare when they  can't even be trusted to be able to enforce the current laws.  Michele Bachmann criticized the IRS stating that they went after hard-working Americans and Christians in the latest "scandal."  Some Republicans even managed to talk about Benghazi while talking about how Obamacare should be repealed.  When they said Benghazi, I won House Republican Bingo.

In case you missed the Congressional debate on C-SPAN today, I'll give you a summarized version.

Every Republican:
Obamacare is a job killing law.
Obama promised this and this.
It's 20,000 pages.
It's red tape.
The IRS enforces Obamacare, can we trust them after this scandal?
We'll vote to repeal it everytime.
It's so expensive.
Health care costs are going up.
Children with pre-existing conditions are not being allowed on the health insurance

At least one Republican:
The alternative to Obamacare is nocare.

Every Democrat:
Where's your alternative?
You were asked for an alternative and have yet to give one.
This is a waste of time.
This is a waste of money.
Why are we doing this again?
It'll save money in the long run.
Something about a doughnut hole.
Children are covered.

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