September 30, 2013 at 8:56 am #97274
In this week’s address, President Obama says that on October 1, a big part of the Affordable Care Act will go live and give uninsured Americans the chance to buy the same quality, affordable health care as everyone else. It is also the day when some Republicans in Congress might shut down the government just because they don’t like the law. The President urged Congress to both pass a budget by Monday and raise the nation’s debt ceiling so that we can keep growing the economy
As you begin a new week, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate.
Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.September 30, 2013 at 8:57 am #97275
Good Morning, EveryoneSeptember 30, 2013 at 8:57 am #97276
Poll: More blame Republicans for government shutdown
By Jonathan Easley – 09/30/13 07:30 AM ET
Republicans will bear most of the blame for a government shutdown, according to CNN-ORC poll released Monday morning.
The survey found that 46 percent of respondents would blame Republicans for a shutdown, against 36 percent who said President Obama would be to blame. Still, that’s a closer divide than the same poll found earlier in the month, when 51 percent blamed Republicans and 33 percent blamed Obama.
House Republicans approved a spending bill early Sunday that delays ObamaCare by a year. Senate Democrats, who have repeatedly said they will not pass a resolution that attempts to dismantle the president’s signature healthcare law, will likely vote the bill down on Monday.September 30, 2013 at 8:59 am #97277
Two chambers, 16 hours, and one deadline
By Steve Benen
Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:00 AM EDT
With the deadline for a government shutdown now just 16 hours away, there’s a dirty little secret that hasn’t received as much attention as it deserves: there’s an obvious solution that enjoys the support of the White House, a majority of the Senate, and a majority of the House. It’s not going anywhere, however, because House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is too afraid of the idea.
It came up briefly yesterday on “Meet the Press” when Dee Dee Myers asked Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) a good question. So what’s the endgame, though, congressman?” Myers said. “Are you willing to vote for a continued resolution that comes back [to the House] that does not delay or defund Obamacare?”
“I am not, but I think there’s enough people in the Republican Party who are willing to do that,” the far-right congressman responded.
And there it is: the obvious resolution. A temporary budget bill (or “continuing resolution”) that keeps current spending levels in place, and leaves the federal health care system alone, has already been approved by the Senate. The White House has said President Obama would sign it. And if it came to the House floor for a vote, it’d probably get a majority there, too, ending the threat of a shutdown.
Indeed, Labrador isn’t the only one who thinks so. Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.), Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), and Steve Womack (R-Ark.) have all made similar comments in recent days.
So why doesn’t the House GOP leadership just take the obvious step and allow the House to vote on the Senate bill? Boehner may yet do exactly that — like I said, there are still 16 hours to go — but he’s balked up until now because he insists on placating his far-right members.
We’re on the brink of another shutdown, in other words, because Boehner is a weak Speaker who has allowed extremists to push him around — and push us to another Republican-imposed crisis.
There was also this from the Hill yesterday:
House Republicans, who insisted that they had passed a compromise over the weekend that would avoid a shutdown if only the Senate would act, blamed Mr. Reid for purposely running out the clock.
Ah yes, a “compromise.” The House GOP unanimously approved a measure that would strip millions of Americans of their health care benefits for a year, while blocking access to contraception for much of the public. Republicans then told the Senate to pass this or they’d shut down the government — and this is, in their strange minds, a “compromise.”
As for what to expect over the next few hours, this paragraph also jumped out at me.
Republican lawmakers said on Sunday that the House leadership had one more card to play, but that it was extremely delicate. They can tell Mr. Reid he must accept a face-saving measure, like the repeal of the tax on medical devices, which many Democrats support, or they will send back a new amendment that would force members of Congress and their staffs, and the White House staff, to buy their medical insurance on the new health law’s insurance exchanges, without any subsidies from the government to offset the cost.September 30, 2013 at 9:03 am #97278
A failure of self-awareness
By Steve Benen
Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:32 AM EDT.
As congressional Republicans push the nation closer to its first government shutdown since the Republican shutdowns 17 years ago, GOP talking points are lacking an important quality: self-awareness.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the #4 Republican in the House leadership, argued yesterday about Senate Democrats, “They’re the ones playing games.” This came just hours after she and her House colleagues told the Senate to approve a spending measure that would, among other things, block contraception access for many Americans, adding that if Democrats failed to agree, House Republicans would shut down the government.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) added over the weekend that if Senate Democrats reject the House’s “reasonable proposals” — including, presumably, the anti-contraception idea — then Democrats are “the real extremists.” I don’t think he was kidding.
But when it comes to failures of self-awareness, leave it to the feeble Speaker of the House to offer the creme de la creme.
Senate Democrats must meet Sunday to vote on legislation funding the government, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, calling their failure to do so “an act of breathtaking arrogance.”
Right. Boehner and his caucus are ignoring national election results, trying to advance its unpopular policy agenda through an extortion scheme, threatening to shut down the government in the hopes of denying millions of Americans health care benefits, and dismissing polls showing the American electorate pleading with House Republicans to be more responsible and less reckless.
But Senate Democrats are guilty of “breathtaking arrogance.” I’m not sure which is worse: the notion that Republicans are throwing around accusations that better describe themselves or the possibility that these GOP leaders actually believe their own nonsense.September 30, 2013 at 9:07 am #97279
Arkansas waiver news
Posted by Richard Mayhew at 9:14 pm .
CMS approved a waiver for Arkansas for Medicaid expansion. Instead of doing the mechanically simple thing of just expanding Arkansas Medicaid for individuals up to 133% of poverty line, Arkansas will engage in premium support. Individuals who are newly qualified for Medicaid in Arkansas will get a voucher to buy a policy on the Exchange.
The Hill blog:
Under the waiver, Arkansas will expand Medicaid to cover individuals whose income is less than 133 percent of the federal poverty line — the expansion contained in the Affordable Care Act.
But rather than placing those newly eligible residents on traditional Medicaid, Arkansas will offer them private coverage. Residents will be able to buy the private healthcare plans offered in the state’s insurance exchange — the other half of ObamaCare’s coverage expansion.
Iowa, following Arkansas’s lead, has already proposed a similar waiver, and state officials have said Arkansas’s plan could serve as a broader model.
This is big news with a couple of levels if implications:
First, as a purely technocratic wonk, this is asinine. It is reinventing the wheel and adding some right angles to the second prototype for the hell of it. Medicaid has a system for enrollment that is scaleable and a set of providers who are willing to take it. Premium support will lead to the ineffecient use of a couple billion federal dollars over the next ten years. It will also lead to the waste of a few hundred million Arkansas dollars.
However, screw that. This is a political exercise that will make sure that tens of thousands of people who otherwise would not have gotten coverage will get coverage. A 8% or 10% inefficiency tax that allows people to benefit from Obamacare without calling it Obamacare is a net societal win. Furthermore, since it now builds in a layer of middle men that have minimal real value, there is a rentier class in Arkansas that will now be interested in keeping their income stream. A new advocate for Medicaid will be created which will make Medicaid sustainable in Arkansas.
Furthermore, several other states (Indiana and Iowa) have applied for very similar waivers from CMS. I think they will get the same waiver in the next couple of weeks. Pennsylvania’s expansion request will not be going through the same expedited approval. Pennsylvania wants to do a premium support model, but Gov. Corbett also wants to do some serious poverty shaming and lifetime limitations on both expansion and current Medicaid populations. I don’t think that waiver request has been filed yet, nor do I think that we can draw any conclusions from the Arkansas waiver to the Pennsylvania plan.September 30, 2013 at 9:10 am #97280
Countdown to ShutdownThink 1996 was bad for the GOP? This time will be much, much worse
BY NOAM SCHEIBER @noamscheiber
The year 1996, the last time the GOP took its toys and went home rather than fund the government, hasn’t loomed so large in Washington since it actually was 1996. Democrats, the media, and a not insignificant number of Republicans are convinced the looming shutdown will be just as disastrous for today’s GOP as the previous one was for Newt Gingrich’s. Meanwhile, the Tea Partiers in the House, at whose behest the shutdown is being instigated, have spent the weekend insisting this time will be different because … well, the why isn’t entirely clear, but it has something to do with the fact that Obamacare is involved.
There is, of course, much to be said for the 1996 analogy given that it’s our most recent example. But I’d argue that the more relevant case study is the payroll tax fight of late 2011, which involved the same players as today, the same internecine Republican dynamics (Tea Partiers versus Speaker John Boehner and a number of Senate Republicans), and the same media environment. The bad news for Republicans is that 2011 was every bit the rout 1996 was—arguably much more so. Republicans were able to hold out for a respectable 21 days back then. The 2011 fight was over in 48 hours.
The payroll tax fight essentially began that September, when Obama proposed a stimulus package that included an extension of an existing payroll-tax holiday. Throughout the fall, Obama traveled the country touting the importance of that provision, so that workers wouldn’t face higher taxes when it expired in January. The House GOP spent most of that same time resisting the extension, notwithstanding the party’s traditional tax cut stance. But as it became clear that the pure rejectionist position was untenable, they adjusted it somewhat: By late fall, House Republicans were no longer opposed to extending the tax cut in principle; they just wanted to offset the cost with spending cuts elsewhere.September 30, 2013 at 9:11 am #97281
Dan Pfeiffer @pfeiffer447m
Most important fact for today:Majorities in the House and Senate support clean CR, but Tea Paty is blocking a vote and shutting down the Gov
Dan Pfeiffer @pfeiffer442h
With apologies to spoiled children, a new @CNN poll says 69% of respondents think Congressional Republicans are acting like spoiled childrenSeptember 30, 2013 at 9:13 am #97282
How Congress reached this point
By Steve Benen
Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:01 AM EDT.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) appeared on “Face the Nation” yesterday and made clear that he’s confused about the federal budget process. Noting that the House and Senate have passed competing spending measures intended to keep the government’s lights on, the Republican senator asked, “Why don’t we have a conference committee on this?”
It fell to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to patiently try to explain the details Rand Paul must have missed: “We’ve been trying for more than six months to get Republicans to approve a conference committee on the budget.”
I mention this exchange because I imagine there are quite a few Americans wondering how in the world we ended up, once again, with the prospect of an imminent government shutdown. It’s worth taking a moment to remember that this crisis isn’t an accident — congressional Republicans created it on purpose several months ago.
In the early spring, both the House and Senate approved competing budget resolutions, and under the American system of government, both sides were supposed to go to a conference committee to hash out the differences. This year, Republicans refused. Consider this Washington Post piece from early May, which is all the more amazing nearly five months laterSeptember 30, 2013 at 9:17 am #97283
Dana Houle @DanaHoule
No, NPR, it’s not “Congress.” Repeat after me: It’s not Congress, it’s the Republicans, it’s not Congress, it’s the Republicans…
6:15 AM – 30 Sep 2013September 30, 2013 at 9:19 am #97284
Republicans Aren’t Hostage-Takers, They’re Political Terrorists
Today’s Republicans will never release the hostage—instead they’re intent on taking down Obama, and they don’t care if they go down with him, says Michael Tomasky as we head toward a shutdown.
by Michael Tomasky Sep 30, 2013 5:45 AM EDT
Back in the late 1970s, Richard Pryor had a routine where he gave a rundown on the various factions he’d encountered inside prison. There were the black Muslims, he said. They were fairly rough customers. Then there were the Double-Muslims. The Double-Muslims, he said, “can’t wait to get to Allah, and they wanna take a bunch of muthafukkas with them.”
Pryor obviously wasn’t talking about today’s Republicans, but he was describing them better than they’ve been described anywhere. They know they’re going to bear the brunt of the blame if the government shuts down. At least some of them do, the ones who have the ability to think beyond the boundaries of their districts. And the thing is, they don’t care. As long as they can drag Obama and the Democrats down with them, dropping in the polls is fine by them. And that’s why we’re in this situation. We have here people who are participating in the democratic process, and who respect certain of its rules and practices because they know they must to attain legitimacy in the eyes of the public and the media, but who at the end of the day—and the end of the day means now—operate and act with the mentality of Pryor’s Double-Muslims; which is to say, the mentality of terrorists.
It’s naive to call them anything else. What they’re doing here is not hostage-taking, the most commonly used metaphor in the media. It’s political terrorism. When hostage-takers see that their demands are met, they release the hostage. But what makes anyone think today’s Republicans will ever release the hostage? No—if the Democrats agree to negotiate, the demands will never stop. Every pivot point on the legislative calendar will be an opportunity to make demands without precedent in our system.September 30, 2013 at 9:20 am #97285
The frauds on the Hill target Obama
By ROGER SIMON | 9/30/13 5:06 AM EDT
Who are these people? Of what are they made that they can say and do such things on the floor of Congress?
No nonsense is too great, no act too low.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) leaves the floor of the House in the wee hours of Sunday morning, having taken action that will probably shut down the government, and releases a statement saying, “It’s time for President Obama to rise above stubborn partisanship.”
Which is like an arsonist telling others not to play with matches.
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) said on Saturday: “Obamacare is based on limitless government, bureaucratic arrogance and a disregard for the will of the people.”
Except Congress passed Obamacare, the president signed it, the Supreme Court upheld it, Obama campaigned on it a second time and was reelected. So in what manner was the will of the people disregarded?
And since when did the extremists in Congress care about the will of the people? Is it the will of the people that government be closed, salaries stopped, services suspended?
Slyness and game-playing rule the day. Having lost the vote on Obamacare, the extremists and those who fear them will vote to cut off the funding of government unless Obamacare is suspended. And then they will try to force the United States to default on its debt.
Not because they wish to do the will of the people, but because they wish to thwart the will of the people.
And when, in those rare moments, they decide to earn their salaries of $174,000 per year (plus expenses, plus perks, plus pensions) and actually pass a bill, what do they do? The week before last, the House voted to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program over the next 10 years.
It voted to deny people food.September 30, 2013 at 9:23 am #97286
Justice Department to challenge North Carolina voter ID law
By JOSH GERSTEIN | 9/30/13 12:03 AM EDT
The Justice Department will file suit against North Carolina on Monday, charging that the Tar Heel State’s new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls violates the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against African-Americans, according to a person familiar with the planned litigation.
Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce the lawsuit at noon at Justice Department headquarters, flanked by the three U.S. attorneys from North Carolina.
The suit, set to be filed in Greensboro, N.C., will ask that the state be barred from enforcing the new voter-ID law, the source said. However, the case will also go further, demanding that the entire state of North Carolina be placed under a requirement to have all changes to voting laws, procedures and polling places “precleared” by either the Justice Department or a federal court, the source added.September 30, 2013 at 9:27 am #97287
Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb, Revisited
Mon Sep 30th, 2013 at 08:09:55 AM EST
Approximately one in ten Americans will change their support of the Affordable Care Act to disapproval if you call it “ObamaCare,” indicating that there is a significant amount of partisan opposition to the bill that doesn’t reach the merits. It’s significant because calling it ObamaCare lowers support from 46% to 37%, which makes all the difference in the world. Meanwhile, in this part of the country, Republican lawmakers are running scared. Michael Grimm, who represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, has this to say:
“The circus created the past few days isn’t reflective of mainstream Republicans — it projects an image of not being reasonable. The vast majority of Republicans are pretty level-headed and are here to govern,” said Representative Michael Grimm, a New York Republican.
“This is a moment in history for our party to, once and for all, put everything on the table. But at some point we’re going to come together and unify,” Grimm said, adding that the “far-right faction” of the party “represents 15 percent of the country, but they’re trying to control the entire debate.”
And Rep. Charlie Dent, who represents Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, says that he is ready to support a clean continuing resolution (CR) because he doesn’t intend “to support a fool’s errand.” The House Republicans have tried to put on a show of unity, but it’s not real.September 30, 2013 at 9:29 am #97288
The Morning Plum: For GOP, a refresher on the meaning of the word `compromise’
By Greg Sargent, Updated: September 30, 2013
With House GOP leaders set to decide as early as today between stiff-arming the Tea Party and taking the blame for a government shutdown, I dug up my old college dictionary and looked up the word “compromise.” Here’s the primary definition:
A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions
Careful readers will note that a compromise requires concessions from both sides, not just one side. The relevance of this will become clear in a moment.
Today, as the Post’s write up explains, House Republicans are likely to offer a new proposal to avoid a government shutdown, one that includes a repeal of Obamacare’s medical device tax, or perhaps repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or eliminating Obamacare subsidies for lawmakers and staff. This comes after House Republicans voted over the weekend to tie funding of the government to a year-long Obamacare delay. This morning, Senate Dems will reject that proposal, requiring a response from Republicans, likely along the lines of the three mentioned above.
Republicans right now are working very hard to cast these various ideas — ones that fund the government but also delay or block parts of Obamacare — as “compromises,” because they don’t constitute the total destruction of the law that Republicans want. On Face the Nation yesterday, Rand Paul said: “We have now offered a new compromise, our new compromise is not getting rid of his signature achievement, but delaying it.” Meanwhile, GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi, a close ally of John Boehner, claims Republicans are already compromising because they are no longer demanding total defunding.
Expect lots more of this. With House Republicans set offer yet another measure today that chips away at Obamacare, you can expect them to call on Obama to “compromise” by embracing it. Indeed, Boehner is casting the Dem refusal to accept a one year delay of Obamacare as “an act of arrogance.”
In other words, Republicans are asking Obama and Dems to “compromise” with them by giving them only some of what they want under threat of a government shutdown, rather than all of it. Republicans are claiming that in dropping their demand for the total destruction of Obamacare, they are making a big concession, which should be rewarded by a concession by Dems: Agreeing to fund the government with a delay of Obamacare or a repeal of parts of it.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.