Obamacare By Easter: The Timeline For Moving Forward On Health Care Reform

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Well Obamacare just won’t go away…No matter how many times it is killed, somehow it’s reincarnated into a “new” bill. As I’ve said before, Obama and company are hell bent on passing this legislation. It looks like they want to pass a smaller version of the bill and then through “reconciliation” pass “fixes” until it’s back to the monstrosity that the majority oppose.  I just can’t believe they keep dong this. The only thing that makes sense is to gain more control and power over it’s citizens. This type thing is what is fueling the “tea party” movement and making it grow even bigger.

Obamacare By Easter: The Timeline For Moving Forward On Health Care Reform

easter clcokInside Health Policy has obtained a Democratic memo that lays out a timeline for passing the Senate health care bill in the House alongside a package of fixes using reconciliation. Hoping to avoid the disastrous August recess town halls, Democrats are going to try and finish reform before members go home for the Easter break at the end of March. The hard deadline and pending vacation could pressure reluctant Democrats to vote ‘yes’ in the House and help Democrats move on to jobs and the economy as they enter the election season.

Here is the rough outline:

1. March 3: President Obama lays out the path forward for health care reform and unveils a smaller package of fixes that will bridge the difference between the House and Senate health care bills.

2. March 4-19: Summary of the president’s proposal will be turned into legislative language. House and Senate leaders will begin looking for votes.

3. By March 19: The House passes the Senate’s health reform. The bill then goes to the president for signature without going through conference. Senate Democrats will make some kind of assurance to House leadership that they will pass a package of fixes through the reconciliation process.

4. By March 21: The House amends the Senate bill through a reconciliation bill.

5. By March 23: The Senate begins debate on the reconciliation bill. Debate is limited to 20 hours.

6. Votes begin March 26, the first day of Easter recess, at which point Reid announces that the Senate will stay in session through recess to consider all amendments.

7. Before March 29: Vote on final passage follows consideration of the last amendment. The reconciliation bill will have to go into conference with the House. The goal is to pass health reform before the Spring recess (March 29-April 9).

Full text: Obama on healthcare

The timeline is incredibly tight and will require Democrats to move quickly in convincing reluctant members to support Obama’s package of fixes and reassuring skeptical House Democrats that the Senate has the votes to pass his package. But first, Obama will have to appease progressive Democrats while simultaneously retaining more moderate Democratic votes. The package will have to invest more money in affordability affordability standards, move up the excise tax thresholds and close the Medicare part D donut hole, all while containing the cost of the legislation and ensuring enough deficit reduction. It’s a tough haul considering that Democrats might also have to rely on Vice President Joe Biden to incorporate an abortion compromise in the reconciliation package if they hope to hold on to Stupak’s pro-lifers.

Democrats will also have to withstand the GOP’s strategy of offering hundreds, if not thousands of amendments after the initial 20 hours of debate. As Roll Call reports today, “Republicans believe these tactics could tie up the Senate floor for several weeks and force Democrats to take multiple votes that would be difficult to defend in the midterm elections.”

If Democrats decide to pursue a reconciliation strategy, as most observers and lawmakers believe they will, they should expect to come out a bit scarred on the other end. But then again, that’s their only alternative. If Democrats use reconciliation, Republicans will undoubtedly attack Democrats for ‘jamming through’ unpopular legislation. If they don’t, Republicans will attack Democrats for voting for unpopular legislation in 2009. Even worse, voters will resent Democrats for abandoning reform and succumbing to the process of Washington.

Consider that the Democrats’ Easter offensive may be the very last opportunity for passing comprehensive reform for the next 15-20 years, the battle is worth the political sacrifice. The odds of success are unknown, but if there is one thing we learned from the health care debate it’s that you never know if you have enough votes until the clerk reads the roll.

Update House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is raising doubts “about a directive from Senate Democrats that the House needs to pass their health care bill before the Upper Chamber can approve any changes to the final package”:

“It’s difficult to do so,” Hoyer told reporters during his regularly weekly press briefing. “Members want some assurance that those items they have problems with are, in fact, modified before they vote for the Senate bill. I don’t know that it’s impossible, but it’s difficult.”

Workroom.ThinkProgress.org

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Obama Caught Lip-Syncing!!!

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I knew music artists got caught doing this, but now Obama? I’d laugh if this wasn’t ridiculous….

Well, it was worth a laugh…I did…

Puhleeze, The Goracle an Honorary Doctorate?

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Leave it to the University of Tennessee to bestow an Honorary Doctorate to Al Gore, for lying and deceiving the public.  I guess the trustees of UT figure they should honor someone who has fleeced the taxpayers more than they have, huh? Would you call that tax envy?  Sure does keep me from supporting them and their liberal ideology now. My Emphasis in Red.

KNOXVILLE — Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore will be honored by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with only the third honorary degree granted by the campus. The degree was approved by the UT Board of Trustees at their meeting today.

Gore will receive the degree — an Honorary Doctor of Laws and Humane Letters in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology — at the spring commencement exercises of the College of Arts and Sciences on May 14. He will be the featured speaker at the ceremony, addressing graduates and their families along with the gathered faculty.

“Vice President Gore’s career has been marked by visionary leadership, and his work has quite literally changed our planet for the better,” said UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. (??????)
“He is among the most accomplished and respected Tennesseans in history, and it is fitting that he should be honored by the flagship education institution of his home state.”

Gore, whose career in public service and business has spanned four decades, is currently chairman of Current TV, an Emmy-award-winning, independently owned cable and satellite television nonfiction network for young people based on viewer-created content and citizen journalism. (Also that is failing miserably in ratings and revenues.) He also serves as chairman of Generation Investment Management, a firm that is focused on a new approach to sustainable investing. (the guys that sell you those famous carbon credits…)

Gore’s appreciation and personal interest in the institution of higher education is apparent as he serves as faculty member/visiting professor at various institutions across the country. A UT Knoxville faculty member holds the Nancy Gore Hunger Chair for Excellence in Environmental Studies, endowed by Gore to honor his late sister. Gore also is a distinguished member of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy’s board of directors and honorary co-chair of the Tennessee 4-H Club Foundation Inc. with UT Extension.

Gore, a native of Carthage, Tenn., was inaugurated as the 45th vice president of the U.S. on Jan. 20, 1993, and served eight years in that office. During that time, Gore was a central member of President Clinton’s economic team. He served as president of the Senate, a Cabinet member, a member of the National Security Council, and as the leader of a wide range of administration initiatives. Prior to his service as vice president, Gore was twice elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee, in 1984 and 1990, and represented Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District — the seat held by his father, Al Gore Sr., before his own service in the Senate — in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1976 to 1982.

He received a degree in government with honors from Harvard University in 1969. After graduation, he volunteered for enlistment in the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War. Upon returning from Vietnam, Gore became an investigative reporter with the Tennessean in Nashville, where he also attended Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School and then Law School.

Gore was the co-winner, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change. He is the author of the best-selling books “Earth in the Balance” and “An Inconvenient Truth” and also is the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary.

In addition to his roles with Current TV and Generation Investment Management, Gore is a member of the board of directors of Apple Inc., a senior adviser to Google Inc., and a partner with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He is a visiting professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and chairs the Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit organization designed to help solve the climate crisis.

He and his wife, Tipper, live in Nashville. They have four children and three grandchildren.

Gore will join entertainer and philanthropist Dolly Parton and former Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. as the only recipients of honorary degrees from UT Knoxville.

Charles Rangel steps Down Leaves Democrats without chair

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Well it looks like the heat got to hot in the kitchen. These politicians should have learned by now, most of the time once something starts that’s very serious, it won’t go away.

The House ethics committee said Wednesday it was establishing an investigative panel to determine whether Rep. Charles Rangel, the influential chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, had broken House rules as a result of several reported lapses in his personal affairs.

Rangel, D-N.Y., has urged the ethics committee to look into questions surrounding his finances while rejecting Republican demands that he step down as head of the tax-writing committee.

FoxNews.com

Rangel steps aside; Dems without chair

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) announced at a 9:00 am ET news conference that he was temporarily stepping aside from his post as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

He did not take questions, but made a point of saying that he has previously made this offer to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As CNBC’s John Harwood told NBC’s Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown this morning, Republicans were set to introduce a resolution against Rangel that would have forced Democrats — in this election year — to say whether they were with or against Rangel. Democrats didn’t want that vote to take place.

As we noted in First Thoughts this morning, “As for whether Pete Stark or Sandy Levin replaces Rangel… Eventually, it’s probably going to be Levin, but Stark may get it temporarily if Rangel simply gives it up temporarily. But for the long term, Levin is the preferred choice among the Dem leadership. And even if Stark gets the gavel, his health problems may prevent him for truly running the committee, giving Levin de facto control.”

Who will be in charge has not sorted itself out quite yet. The first meeting of the committee since Rangel’s announcement has been unexpectedly cancelled. That means that Democrats still do not know who the chairman of the committee is going to be.

Minority Leader John Boehner said he doesn’t know how Rangel temporarily stepping aside will be interpreted under House rules.

“Either you are the chairman or you are not,” he said.

Pelosi said of Rangel: “Chairman Charlie Rangel has informed me of his request for a leave of absence from his duties and responsibilities as Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means. I will honor his request. I commend Chairman Rangel for his decades of leadership on jobs, health care, and the most significant economic issues of the day.”

MSNBC.com