Dems Ramp Up Opposition Trumpcare Ram Through
They started last night in earnest with 7 hour talkathon:
“With Senate Republican speeding towards a self-imposed June 30 deadline to vote on an Obamacare repeal, Democrats are ramping up their own efforts to put scrutiny on the incredibly secretive process the GOP is using to put together their bill.”
“Monday evening, Senate Dems ground the routine Senate activities to a near halt with procedural moves designed to slow the process, while engaging in a late night talk-a-thon on the floor.”
“If Republicans are not going to allow debate on their bill on the floor or in committee, Democrats will make opportunities to debate,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), said.”
“Throughout the nearly seven hours they devoted to objecting to GOP’s intentions on health care, Democrats engaged in a number of mostly symbolic moves designed to troll Republicans for their lack of transparency around their Obamacare legislation. They offered motions to gum up plans for unrelated hearings and votes for as long as text of the Republican bill was unavailable to the public.”
“At one point, Schumer asked Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)—who was on the floor for much of the the night to shoot down the Dem motions—whether the public would have more than 10 hours the GOP health bill, and McConnell could not even guarantee that.”
“I think we’ll have ample opportunity to read and amend the bill,” McConnell would only say.
So ‘ample opportunity’ is less than 10 hours. McConnell’s intent is to have effectively nine hours of debate on the House bill and then only in the 10th hour will the actual bill be introduced. So it will effectively be one hour on the actual Senate bill.
“Trump himself called the bill ‘mean’ last week which has been the source of more GOP embarrassment. When Tom Price testified in front of the Senate, he was asked about that:
“Trump, meanwhile, handed Democrats an assist by reportedly calling the House bill “mean” in an health care meeting with Republican senators last week. Price was put in the uncomfortable position last week of being asked by Dems about Trump’s comments and whether the he agreed with them.”
“It’s not a yes or no answer,” Price said at an appropriations subcommittee hearing in his attempt to dodge Dems’ grilling.
That mealy mouthed non answer seems to say it all about the GOP in the Trump era. Nothing for them is ever a yes or no answer. Price can’t even bring himself to say definitively that this bill is not mean.
Did Trump collude with Russia? It’s not a yes or no answer. Is it a Muslim ban? It’s not a yes or no answer. Are 14 million going to lose their Medicaid? It’s not a yes or no answer.
Is trying to set up a back channel with the Russians in their embassy treason? It’s not a yes or no answer.
Yesterday Paul Waldman looked at the Dems planned tactics to fight back against and stop Trumpcare ram through:
“Today, Democrats in Congress say they are prepared to try new tactics in order to stop the bill that Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are determined to pass through the Senate. According to a senior Democratic aide, they’ll be doing the following:
- Slow all action on the Senate floor to a crawl by objecting to “unanimous consent” requests (which are required to move anything forward), with the possible exception of some honorary resolutions.
- Make multiple requests to move the health care bill that passed the House into the Senate committee process, as a way of highlighting the secrecy with which the Senate version is being crafted.
- Make parliamentary inquiries (which can further slow things down) on the secrecy of the GOP bill.
- Hold a talkathon starting today and stretching until at least midnight tonight, wherein Democratic senators will rail against the bill on the Senate floor.
“These are merely the first steps we’re prepared to take in order to shine a light on this shameful Trumpcare bill and reveal to the public the GOP’s true intentions: to give the uber-wealthy a tax break while making middle class Americans pay more for less health care coverage,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “If Republicans won’t relent and debate their health care bill in the open for the American people to see, then they shouldn’t expect business as usual in the Senate.”
Again, Waldman wrote that yesterday morning, so bullet point number 4 has already happened-they had the 7 hour talkathon last night on the Senate floor.
Remember all that talk that the Senate would improve the House bill and have less draconian Medicaid cuts? File that one under wishful thinking and GOP dissembling:
“Something extraordinary and unprecedented is happening right now. A group of 13 Republican senators is writing a bill in secret that will remake the entire health care system. There will be no hearings and no expert testimony. No committee will consider the bill. Even Republican senators outside that small group don’t know exactly what’s in it. And they want to pass it in the next two weeks, in the obvious hope that it will all be done before the public even notices let alone understands how much the bill would hurt them. And even though the details are still opaque, we already know that the bill will be impossibly cruel; today we learned that the Senate may be making even deeper cuts to Medicaid than the odious House bill.”
As I argued in my last post, this is the dog that caught the car syndrome-they feel they have to have a bill after years of promising ACA repeal.
Waldman analyzes how this bill can actually be defeated and not to confuse means and ends regarding tactics.
“So how do Democrats stop it? As I’ve been arguing, whether it looks like the Democrats are “fighting” is less important than whether their specific tactics are likely to achieve their goal. Today, we found out what those tactics in the Senate are going to be.”
“Well the question of whether it looks like the Dems are fighting is not substantively important but is about politics-the Bernie Bros want any excuse to accuse them of letting this happen without a fight. Remember the Bernie Bro rules mean no matter what the GOP does, it’s always really the Democrats fault for not stopping them.”
“Now, none of these actions will actually stop the Senate bill — at least not yet — in part because as of now there is no bill. At times like this one can fall into the trap of confusing means and ends, seeing a tactic that gets a lot of media coverage as a successful achievement of the goal. Media coverage is critical, but it’s important to keep in mind that there is one — and only one — mechanism by which this bill can be defeated. For every parliamentary maneuver Democrats employ to slow things down, there’s another maneuver McConnell can come up with to move the bill forward. Eventually, there will be a vote if McConnell wants one.”
As Waldman says, at the end of the day it’s about whether or not there are three Republican Senators who won’t vote for it.
So for Dem tactics to be successful they have to put increasing pressure on the six or so GOP moderates who are iffy on the bill. That’s what it will take.
P.S. So the Gravis poll against Peter King NY2 and it has good news-almost too good to believe.
In my March poll I trailed King by 11 and thought that was very good news. Now Gravis has me up by 10? Still, the moment of truth is next week when Gravis writes up the press release.
I can use any help I can get at this point-volunteers or supporters who live in NY 2. Donations whatever your zip code. These days we can’t just support a local Dem we need a Dem Congress. Which is why I’ve donated few hundred to Jon Ossoff.
Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House-$5 or $10 can do so much.
If you feel that you can’t I, of course, understand-who is rich these days? But please do me one favor: ask yourself privately, mentally, if you really can’t spare $5 dollars. If you can honestly say you can’t, no worries.
We can have a Dem Congress, we must have a Dem Cogress, and we will.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.