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October 15, 2013

Emerging Senate Deal And House Counterproposal
House Proposal Would Force Members Of Congress And Cabinet Officials Into Exchanges, Not Staffers

Things are changing fast but here are the reports on where we seem to be at this point.

The Senate GOP is going to be meeting shortly to discuss the developing McConnell-Reid deal.

Lawmakers and aides said the legislation would fund the government until Jan. 15 and extend the nation’s borrowing authority until February but leave ObamaCare largely untouched.

One senior Senate aide said it would raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 while another said Feb. 15 remains a possibility.
It would also establish a Senate-House budget committee to craft a replacement for the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, which would have to report its work product to Congress by Dec. 13.

There's also talk that the deal might include a gift to unions, a one year delay in ObamaCare's "reinsurance tax". There are other reports that say that won't be in the deal.

Basically, the Senate deal gives the GOP nothing. Income verification is part of the law (but one Obama is ignoring), so why is getting a provision that restates that a win of any sort?

The budget conference would simply be a device to loosen the sequester levels, so while some big spending Republicans will like that, conservatives won't.

The House has decided that's a non-starter and is proposing another ping-pong shot back to the Senate.

The length of the CR and Debt Ceiling hike aren't clear at this point but are important. If the CR is only for 3 months, then the Democrats will come back and try to loosen the sequester levels again. If they are going to do a CR at this point, it needs to be at least 6 months.

And please stop trying to repeal the medical device tax. It's a gift to K-Street lobbyists and gives no relief to actual voters. Who exactly is the GOP standing with here?

Personally, I'd like to see the House do one of two things. Either pass a clean debt ceiling hike to get it off the table, keep the shutdown and refocus the fight where it belongs, ObamaCare or add some of those conditions Costa tweeted about to the debt bill. Either way, leave the shutdown in place.

(To me the ideal strategy would have been to have passed the clean debt ceiling hike last night...jam the Senate before they jam you, put Reid on defense and cut the legs out from under the GOP sellouts. I guess Boehner doesn't follow me on Twitter)

Remember, I didn't think the debt ceiling was a good place to fight from the start because it was an empty threat all along. Yes, the feds can pay interest and some contracts but aside from how the media and markets spin it, the real rub will be when entitlement checks don't go out. Stop Social Security and Medicare checks and even Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will come running to open the spigots again. Yes, Obama did a debt ceiling deal in 2011 but not because he was worried about protecting the US from a financial crisis (never let one go to waste) but because he was worried about his reelection in 2012. He's never going to be on a ballot again, so he's willing to go full Bullworth.

The important thing here is to keep in mind who the sellouts are...the Senate GOP. Reid never had to deal with the House because he knew eventually Collins, Corker, McConnell, etc would cave and cut a deal. Reid could then take that deal and jam it to the House at the last second. And because the press in this country is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrats, they'd play it as "the House must pass this because the Senate produced a bi-partisan deal". Note that when the House passes bill upon bill that the Senate ignores, that's just partisan gamesmanship that doesn't matter. But time and time again (2011 debt ceiling, fiscal cliff, Sandy Relief) when the Senate passes something then the House MUST accept it according to The Narrative.

The House has held pretty firm so far but the Senate GOP, whose only job in this was to vote no on whatever Reid puts up, has once again come to the rescue of the Democrats.

Yeah, let's put all out eggs in the Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader basket. At least if he's Majority Leader he'll have the nicer office when he cuts the legs out from conservatives in 2015.

Added: Boehner going full O'Reilly..Fuck it! We'll do it live! What could go wrong?

Rule Number 12 of politics...never go full O'Reilly.

UPDATE: Here's the outline of the GOP leadership sales points for their new plan.

On the Vitter Amendment:

The House GOP proposal would modify the emerging Senate agreement to prohibit special treatment for House Members, Senators, the president, the Vice President and members of the president’s Cabinet under the president’s health care law, requiring all to be placed in ObamaCare without taxpayer-provided subsidies. If the president and Senate Democrats are going to force the American people to live under ObamaCare, then they and all Washington leaders should not be shielded from the law.

Protect the ruling class!

Members of Congress don't come up with these crappy ideas, staffers do. Make them feel the bite.

And cry me a river about their hard work. Plenty of people are being kicked off their existing employer provided plans and dumped into the exchanges. Lots more will be in 2015 (remember, Obama delayed the employer mandate because it would have led to so many angry people before the midterms).

Good enough for the plebes, good enough for the staffers in DC.

digg this
posted by DrewM. at 10:11 AM

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