Senator John McCain has, again, weighed in to stop the repeal of Obamacare, this time citing procedural issues with how the bill is coming to the Senate floor. Senator McCain, (R) Arizona, said, in part:
“As I have repeatedly stressed, health care reform legislation ought to be the product of regular order in the Senate. Committees of jurisdiction should mark up legislation with input from all committee members, and send their bill to the floor for debate and amendment. That is the only way we might achieve bipartisan consensus on lasting reform, without which a policy that affects one-fifth of our economy and every single American family will be subject to reversal with every change of administration and congressional majority.”
The original health care bill was passed exclusively on partisan lines and was famously presented only hours before the vote, with Democrat Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi saying, “we have to pass the bill” before we could see what was in it. But Senator McCain’s desire for “bipartisan reform” could not be achieved unless Republicans agreed to simply bolster Obamacare, after having campaigned for 7 years on repealing the partisan health care plan.
Senator McCain joins Senator Rand Paul, (R) Tennessee, who opposes the bill on the grounds that it is a “fake repeal.” With the two Senators now in opposition, the actual passage of this bill, using a procedure that allows for only 51 votes, with the Vice President as the tie-breaker, is in severe doubt.
The outstanding question remains as to McCain’s true motives here, despite his comments and public statement. It would be obvious that Democrats would never join in any repeal and that to follow the procedures he prescribes would run out the clock on the ability to pass the bill with only 51 votes.
At this point, observers note, the GOP is unwilling or unable to deliver on any single one of its campaign promises. While Senator Rand Paul is arguing that this is a fake repeal, Senator McCain is going further away from repeal when he makes the issue procedural and demands more “partisanship” which could only be won the expense of abandoning repeal altogether.
Initial social media responses from conservatives were, predictably, quite hostile to the Senator. On the left, his stance was hailed as principled and noble.
What do you think? Comment below!
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House Republicans Hoping to Get Americans Back to Work By End of April
It’s a aspiration, not a plan.
House Republicans are considering plans that would help Americans get back to work by the end of the month. Kevin Brady of Texas told reporters on a conference call that the caucus is preparing preliminary plans that phase the workforce back in at the end of April.
“Our focus is on locking down the virus while we’re taking the steps now to prepare to reopen the economy by the end of the month if the virus permits.”
Brady was careful to qualify that there’s no guarantee the public health situation in the United States would allow such a development.
“I think we should all expect the jobs, the unemployment in the GDP numbers to feel brutal over the short term. It’s because they are. This economy is taking hits like we’ve not seen in most of our lifetimes. But it is just a short-term hit.”
Initial social distancing guidelines set forth by the White House in conjunction with the CDC were extended from two weeks to April 30th earlier in the week, suggesting the executive branch may be cautiously looking towards the end of April to begin phasing out the unprecedented disruptions to everyday American life.
It is worth noting that an early cease to social distancing and commonsense measures to deter the spread of the Chinese coronavirus could prove to be even more harmful than the negative impacts to the economy since the beginning of the virus-related recession. This can’t be rushed. But the consequences of the economic damage are real, and all Americans should look to get everyday economic life up and running against as soon as possible.
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