Latest House Bill to End Govt Shutdown: Require Obamacare for Congress, President & Cabinet – White House Quickly Dismisses Offer

If this doesn’t tell you we have lawbreakers and criminals in office, I don’t know what will. Obamacare was passed. The individual mandate was upheld as a tax. Members of Congress petitioned and got waivers from Obamacare for themselves and their staff. That was not a part of Obamacare. Yet, in the latest rounds of (non) negotiations, House leaders have proposed that Obamacare be a requirement for Congress, for Obama, Biden and his entire cabinet. What happened? A speedy dismissal from the Obama White House.

First, let’s be clear (in the silly Barack Obama voice), the deal put forth didn’t make any major changes in Obamacare. I seriously want to know what House leadership is thinking should Obama actually accept their proposal, but I digress.

Second, the Washington Times reports:

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Republican leaders had hoped they’d found popular changes that would be able to win widespread support among the GOP and also earn backing from some Democrats who want to distance themselves from Obamacare.

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Key among those was the plan to make Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden and their Cabinet officials have to participate in the health exchanges, without government subsidies, the same as many other Americans.

If Obamacare is good for members of Congress, then it’s good for the president,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican.

In opening the Senate on Tuesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid didn’t make mention of the House plan, saying only that he and his Republican counterpart Sen. Mitch McConnell are working on a deal and hope to have it done “this week.”

House Democratic leaders said the GOP was being “irresponsible” by not just raising the debt outright, with a deadline looming.

“It appears that once again our House Republican colleagues are prepared to put the economy at risk to advance their political agenda,” Rep. Xavier Becerra, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus told reporters Tuesday morning.

Rep. Joseph Crowley, New York Democrat, predicted that the House Republican’s bill will never pass the Senate and may not even pass the House.

We’re pretty sure that a House Republican bill getting nowhere unless hands are off Obamacare. Obama has been clear on that issue, but he doesn’t realize that the American people are behind the House on this one, not him. Even college students from a liberal town college see this and blame Obama and the Democrats for not negotiating.

“The president has said repeatedly that members of Congress don’t get to demand ransom for fulfilling their basic responsibilities to pass a budget and pay the nation’s bills,” said White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage. “Unfortunately, the latest proposal from House Republicans does just that in a partisan attempt to appease a small group of tea party Republicans who forced the government shutdown in the first place.”

Democrats in the House also said that they could not be counted on to pass the bill the House is looking at voting on.

So where will that leave us two days before the deadline? According to Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor for National Review:

Townhall’s Conn Carroll seems to agree with Ponnuru. “If the bill passes, House Republicans may adjourn leaving Senate Democrats and President Obama with a final take-it-or-leave-it offer,” he writes.

Guy Benson adds:

This would be a highly risky take-it-or-leave-it strategy. The GOP would argue that they gave Senate Democrats everything they asked for in their latest deal, but added a delay of a job killing tax that 79 Senators have already voted to repeal altogether, as well as a somewhat stripped-down Vitter Amendment. This would force members of Congress, but not staffers, to forego the president’s special subsidy carve-out. The bottom-line message: “We’ve agreed to Harry Reid’s plan, plus a few small additions that the American people support. We’ve bent over backwards to accommodate the other side. We’ve done our jobs. And we’re outta here.”That…might work. But it also might add to the (largely unfair) perception that Republicans are the obstinate, unflinching actors in this crisis. Harry Reid is likely to say “stuff it” to the House-passed bill — if it passes. That’s been his consistent position on almost everything, no matter how reasonable. If we hit the technical default wall with Republicans effectively AWOL, I’m not so sure those optics would work well during the ensuing, intense blame-game. Especially since the drumbeat GOP critique of Democrats over the last few weeks has been that Obama & Co are unwilling to negotiate. At the moment, nothing is certain. Votes and coalitions are fluid. And the clock is ticking.

We still don’t know what Reid and McConnel are negotiating, but many House representatives are not content with a “take it or leave it approach.” Funny, that’s what they have been getting from Obama, isn’t it? Boehner doesn’t seem to be able to get the votes anyway for his proposal, so where does that leave him?

According to Benson, “GOP leadership may be re-writing their counter-deal already, under pressure from conservatives. Shades of the “Plan B” fiscal cliff fiasco, which eventually resulted in a worse outcome for conservatives.”

….which is what I’ve been saying all along.

Frankly, I would like to see the all or nothing approach. Send a bill to defund Obamacare and a bill to fund government under enumerated powers, then pick up and leave town, and in my opinion, for good!

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