Scroll for updates…GOP Rep. Deal resignation makes House magic number 216….
They’re all in — and they’ve convinced themselves that you do not care about the process. They’ve learned nothing from the Tea Party protests, the town hall revolts, or the Massachusetts election. The White House/Democrat message: Screw you!
The White House called for a “simple up-or-down” vote on health care legislation Sunday as Speaker Nancy Pelosi appealed to House Democrats to get behind President Barack Obama’s chief domestic priority even it if threatens their political careers.
In voicing support for a simple majority vote, White House health reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle signaled Obama’s intention to push the Democratic-crafted bill under Senate rules that would overcome GOP stalling tactics.
Republicans unanimously oppose the Democratic proposals. Without GOP support, Obama’s only chance of emerging with a policy and political victory is to bypass the bipartisanship he promoted during his televised seven-hour health care summit Thursday.
“We’re not talking about changing any rules here,” DeParle said. “All the president’s talking about is: Do we need to address this problem and does it make sense to have a simple, up-or-down vote on whether or not we want to fix these problems?”
DeParle was optimistic that the president would have the votes to pass the massive bill. But none of legislation’s advocates who spoke on Sunday indicated that those votes were in hand.
You remember DeParle as the overseer of the White House’s infamous Internet snitch brigade. More importantly, I’ve filled you in on her career as a Clinton-era health care bureaucrat-turned-corporate cash cow-turned Obama health czar in Culture of Corruption.
None of her lucrative corporate ties were mentioned, of course, as she posed as a crusading industry-basher on Meet the Press this weekend:
MS. DePARLE: I believe that the president will keeping fighting and that the American people want to have this kind of health reform.
MR. GREGORY: But you don’t have the votes yet?
MS. DePARLE: Well, look, the president will have more to say about that later this week, and he’s working with the Congress on how best to address that.
MR. GREGORY: Has he made a decision, especially given the results of this summit, that you’ve got to move forward with reconciliation, just go for a simple majority and, you know, losing the opportunity to try to bring some Republicans along?
MS. DePARLE: Well, look, he’s going to have more to say later this week about how he thinks is the best way to move forward. But I think what it’s important to remember here is that we have some fundamental problems with our insurance markets. We have insurance companies sending out premium increases of 39 percent out in California. These are problems that need to be fixed, and the president hears every day from Americans who are hurting because of that.
MR. GREGORY: Right. OK. But fixing those problems, you have to get through procedure to get there, and I’ve been told by several people the decision has been made. It’s reconciliation, go for the simple majority, or else the reforms you’re talking about simple won’t be possible.
MS. DePARLE: Well, I don’t know about that. But I do know this. The healthcare reform has already passed both the House and the Senate with not only a majority in the Senate but a super majority, and we’re not talking about changing any rules here. All the president is talking about is, do we need to address this problem and, and does it make sense to have a simple up or down vote on whether or not we want to fix these problems?
MR. GREGORY: A lot of talk at the summit about where public opinion is. And, and here’s one poll from CNN Opinion Research about how Congress should proceed, a similar bill, a new bill, or stop working on the bill. Nearly three-quarters of the public saying either start over or stop working. I wonder if you respond to Senator McCain who says the “unsavory deals,” in his words, that were made by this administration with pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies, really hurt the president’s effort overall?
MS. DePARLE: Well, first of all, I’m not sure what he’s talking about with deals with insurance companies. If you’ve watched your network or any others, you’ve seen a lot of the ads they’re running to try to stop reform. And I think we know why. I think we know that right now insurance companies are making the rules and that’s part of what the president’s…
MR. GREGORY: Right.
MS. DePARLE: …trying to change. So…
MR. GREGORY: But they did agree to more regulation and to allow people with previous, you know, prior conditions, because they’d get access to a wider of market of people who would be insured.
MS. DePARLE: I don’t know that they agreed to anything.
MR. GREGORY: There was a deal with pharmaceutical companies.
MS. DePARLE: I think…
MR. GREGORY: There was a deal with the senator from Nebraska…
MS. DePARLE: Well…
MR. GREGORY: …and deals for Louisiana and Florida’s both with regard to Medicaid.
MS. DePARLE: And let’s, let’s, let’s talk about that. The, the Medicaid provisions in the president’s proposal that he put out last week are not the same ones. And, in fact, all states are treated the same with respect to Medicaid. But the more important question, David, is are we going to move forward here or just start over? What is that really code for?
MR. GREGORY: Right.
MS. DePARLE: Is that, is that just code for let’s not do anything? And I don’t think that’s what the American people want. That’s not the people that I’m hearing from every day.
MR. GREGORY: But where’s the evidence–the, the president has said that Americans don’t want to wait. But you see the poll that I just showed, and I’m asking where, where’s the evidence that Americans don’t want to wait, that they really want to move forward? The only protests you’ve seen publicly are on the right in opposition to the bill. Is it a problem of apathy among those who support it or is it not really there?
MS. DePARLE: No. I think it’s a problem partly of who has the power in this whole equation, and I think that’s part of the president’s fighting for is that, right now, the people that he hears from every day–I get notes from him about people that he’s hearing from when he’s there out talking to them and the letters he gets–who can’t get insurance coverage because their child has a pre-existing condition. They have asthma, they can’t change jobs, their premiums are skyrocketing. So I leave the polls to others. What the problem he’s asked me to work on is to try to get the best, most effective way we can to help Americans who are dealing with these problems.
MR. GREGORY: Right.
MS. DePARLE: The small business people who…
MR. GREGORY: But you can’t…
MS. DePARLE: …can’t afford to keep providing coverage.
MR. GREGORY: But you can’t separate the lack of public support for an effort as you move forward on, on the policy. Can this be passed through Congress without support from the American people?
MS. DePARLE: I think there is support.
This is the new strategy of the Dems — to keep repeating out loud that they have the support and they have the votes (even as they urge their members to commit health care hara-kiri and go down with the ship against the will of their constituents).
Pelosi is looking into her mirror and into the cameras and repeating: I have the votes.
They are counting on wearing down their opponents, catching them off-guard, and taking their silence as consent.
As year two of the Tea Party movement begins, job number one is to stop the Obamacare juggernaut, restore true deliberation to the deliberative process, and revoke the consent of the governed to the backroom deals and generational theft being crammed down our throats in the name of compassion and “reform.”
Call your congressional rep. Pound the pavement. Make yourselves heard. Again and again.
Update: I’ve been hearing from some very irate Georgia readers about this all morning…
An e-mail alert from Congress Daily:
Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., announced today he will resign from Congress to devote his “full energies” to the governor’s race, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. One of seven Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for governor, Deal will step down from the House next Monday.
The earliest Deal would be replaced is probably late July, when Georgia holds its 2010 primary election.
Among other things, this means ObamaCare is one vote closer to passage. Democrats will now need only 216 votes in the House for a majority, and there is one less “no” vote. By Rep. Eric Cantor’s whip count, though, Democrats are probably more than ten votes short — for now.