Theodore's World: Obama Sets Stage for Using Budget Maneuver to Pass Health Reform

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September 14, 2009

Obama Sets Stage for Using Budget Maneuver to Pass Health Reform

Obama sets stage for using budget maneuver to pass health reform

The Hill

Barack Obama this week has been laying the foundation for Senate Democrats to use a controversial budget maneuver to pass healthcare reform.

By offering Republicans olive branches during his address to Congress on Wednesday, Obama has set up a win-win situation. If GOP lawmakers embrace compromise, a healthcare bill would pass Congress easily. But the more likely scenario is that Republicans will continue to oppose Obama’s plan, and the president later this fall will be able to note he tried to strike a deal with the GOP but could not.

That will set up a Democratic argument that Senate leaders have been forced to use a partisan budget tool known as reconciliation to pass a health bill through the Senate by a simple majority, instead of 60 votes. Under the budget plan they passed earlier this year, Democrats could invoke the reconciliation process on Oct. 15.

Republicans contend that the use of reconciliation would be at odds with Obama’s call for bipartisanship during his 2008 presidential campaign. But Obama has countered that argument in recent days by forcefully resurrecting the anti-Washington rhetoric that got him elected.

In Cincinnati on Monday, Obama blamed the "usual bickering in Washington" for the "funk" supporters of healthcare reform were enduring. And in a discussion with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., on Tuesday, Obama said "there are a lot of politicians like that who, all they're thinking about is just, ‘How do I get reelected?’ and so they never actually get anything done."

Then on Wednesday night, Obama sought to portray his health reform plan as one that contains both Republican and Democratic ideas.

"The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed," Obama said. "Now is the season for action."
On "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, Obama repeated his call for Congress to stop playing politics. He also acknowledged he made a tactical error in giving lawmakers too much leeway to craft a bill.
"I, out of an effort to give Congress the ability to do their thing and not step on their toes, probably left too much ambiguity out there, which allowed, then, opponents of reform to come in and to fill up the airwaves with a lot of nonsense," Obama said.
The president also said that the White House has made every effort to include Republicans and their ideas in the process, but blamed "unyielding partisanship" for the absence of compromise.
The president went so far as to warn Republicans that he "will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it's better politics to kill this plan than improve it."

Another aspect of the Democrats’ rationale for using reconciliation will likely be the $787 billion stimulus bill, which they note included tax cuts but was only supported by three Republicans in Congress.

Republicans, predictably wary of Obama's maneuvering, said if Obama is setting up a defense of reconciliation, it will do little to blunt the blowback from both Congress and the American people.

“If Democrats use controversial insider tactics to force a proposal that the majority of Americans disagree with, not only would they guarantee bipartisan opposition, but they would also spark a new level of outrage among a huge majority of people in this country," said a Senate Republican leadership aide.

Wild Thing's comment........

"By offering Republicans olive branches during his address to Congress on Wednesday"

This is a total lie Obama did not do this. I'm not sure what speech "The Hill" was listening to, but I surely didn't hear any olive branches in Wednesday's performance. If fact, the only branches I saw were the ones Obama used to forcefully and frequently jab into the eyes of the Republican caucus.

“If you misrepresent the contents of this bill, we will call you out.””

Obama sure loves to make threats.

The Evil One doesn’t care about anything but advancing his agenda of destroying America. He wants a USSA.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at September 14, 2009 04:45 AM


Maybe he's trying to destroy the whole world. China is pissed about the tarrifs he placed on Chinese imported tires and calling for a trade war. He wants to regulate the world banks, Bin Laden says obama's powerless. And he's out there threatening Republicans. He's incompetant.

Posted by: Mark at September 14, 2009 08:11 AM

If obama gets his healthcare bill passed and then the cap and trade, that will be the end of our financial freedom in America. The government will own us lock stock and barrel. In less than a year an evil group has taken power and 200+ years of a free republic will turn to socialism, then Marxism.

Buy more ammo.

Posted by: TomR at September 14, 2009 11:33 AM

Congress better wake up. obama said, he gave congress too much authority ? Who the hell does he think he is. He's not a dictator yet.

Posted by: Mark at September 14, 2009 12:13 PM

Mark, whew what a list and he is not
even done yet.
I think he would love to rule the entire

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 14, 2009 07:13 PM

Tom, you are so right.

OH man oh man,we are doomed if both happen
and half way doomed with even one of them happening.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 14, 2009 07:17 PM

Mark, this is insane, he is insane.
He really has no clue about our
country. There are NO Kings,
no dictators well untll this pos
purple lipped limp wristed jerk.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 14, 2009 07:19 PM