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Steele Dares Democrats to Pass Health Overhaul On Their Own

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Doomsday101, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Thursday dared Democrats to try a one-party push to overhaul the nation's health care system.

    Steele told reporters that he thinks if Democratic senators think they have the votes, they should try a tactic that would allow them to get around a bill-killing filibuster without the 60 votes usually needed. Steele said he didn't think Democrats would do it because of potential voter backlash.

    "Get it to the floor. Up or down, baby," Steele said at a news conference at the state GOP headquarters. "Put it on the table. And if you don't think you've got enough votes to get to 60, you've got the nuclear option. You've got 51."

    Steele was in Little Rock for a closed-door round-table discussion of health care and to headline a fundraiser for the Arkansas Republican Party.

    The national Republican chairman said he thinks his party has been unfairly cast as an obstacle to President Barack Obama's health care efforts and challenged Democrats to push legislation through on their own.

    "You want it done? Pass the bill," Steele said. "But they know it's poisonous and they know the American people will not tolerate it. They're scrambling now and they're beginning to turn on each other because they've got a big problem, a political one, and they can't solve it."

    Derrick Plummer, a Democratic National Committee spokesman, said Obama has indicated his desire to get bipartisan support for the health care bill.

    "I would just encourage (Steele) to encourage members of his party to work with the president so the 46 million Americans who are without health insurance have access to quality affordable health care that ensures choice and brings down cost," Plummer said.

    The legislative tactic Steele suggested, called "reconciliation," would allow senators to get around a bill-killing filibuster without mustering the 60 votes usually needed. Democrats control 60 of the Senate's 100 seats, but some moderate Senate Democrats have expressed reservations about Obama's plan.

    Reconciliation lets the Senate pass some measures with a simple majority vote. Non-budget-related items can be challenged, however, and some lawmakers say reconciliation would knock many provisions from Obama's health care plan.

    Steele visited the state as Democratic members of Arkansas' congressional delegation face pressure from Republicans over the White House's health care push. Obama on Thursday pitched his plan, aimed at extending health coverage to those Americans who lack it, to both conservative talk radio and liberal supporters.

    Opponents of the overhaul have drowned out supporters at lawmakers' town halls around the country this month, and public backing for Obama's effort has slipped in opinion polls. Congressional Democratic leaders are preparing to go it alone on legislation, although bipartisan negotiations continue in the Senate.

    Obama also faces opposition from activists and lawmakers on the left who insist any overhaul must include a government-run insurance option.

    U.S. Rep. Mike Ross dismissed talk of using the lower-vote threshold in the Senate on health care, and said bipartisan support will be needed to get any proposal through Congress. Ross represents south Arkansas and has led his fellow conservative Blue Dog Democrats in delaying a vote on the health care overhaul until at least September. Ross is chairman of the Blue Dogs' health care task force.

    "The challenge is it's going to be difficult to get a health care reform bill through the House that doesn't include a public option," Ross told reporters "It's going to be difficult to get a health care reform bill through the Senate that does include a public option, so this is a long way from being over."
  2. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    I saw this yesterday. Im no fan of Steel's however and I wish he wouldnt be like this. It really is to devisive on his part.


    BUT.....

    He's right. If the Dems try and force this through, then it comes down to not if the Republicans can regain control, but when.

    I see the Dems losing 20 or so seats in 2010 if they keep carrying on the way they have.

    Congress has a 70% disapproval rating atm. Yikes! People loathe this government.
  3. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a big fan of Steele either but he is responding to the threats from some dems of pushing this through without working with Republicans. I agree with Steele on this
  4. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    Yup ....let this be a Dem thing.
  5. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    Exactly. This plan is completly wrong and the people are telling Washington just how wrong it is.

    These Dems don't care however and will vote how they vote regardless of what their constituants want or say to them.
  6. MetalHead

    MetalHead Benched

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    Let them own it...
  7. DIAF

    DIAF DivaLover159

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    Uhm, no they do care. And that's exactly what Steele is banking on. He knows that there are questions and divisions within the Democratic party over the HC Reform bill and knows that those democrats aren't going to or aren't yet ready to stick their necks out over it with all the voter ire directed at it thus far.
  8. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    If they cared bro, like you say they are then they wouldn't be calling for the...


    "WE'LL RAM IT DOWN THROATS. WE DON'T NEED BIPARTISAN SUPPORT."




    Bring it. ;)
  9. DIAF

    DIAF DivaLover159

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    Yeah, but look who is saying it. The leadership. If they were so convinced they had the votes within their own party to ram it down our throats, they'd have done so already and would not be wasting all this time trying to smooth things over with everyone. It won't pass and they know it.
  10. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    I agree that it won't pass. What really bothers me is anyone getting up and saying these things.


    The Democrats could use some better leadership. The Republicans as well but the Dems are so freakin out of touch w/ our society its laughable, and this Health Care bill is showing just how far out in outer space they really are.

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