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The Senate | Red State Town Hall

Archive for The Senate

House Passes Bill To Repeal Obamacare | The Daily Caller


Lawmakers in the House passed a bill Tuesday evening that would repeal President Obama’s health care law. But don’t be fooled: the legislation faces certain death.

A symbolic move to follow through on a promise made by Republican candidates on the campaign trail last year, the GOP-led House approved the legislation that repeals Obamacare and directs House committees to submit “an alternative, patient-centered solution.” The body voted 239 to 186.

The Senate is expected to take up repeal legislation at some point too, but Democrats there have enough votes stop it. Even if it made it onto the president’s desk, Obama has said he would veto it and the Senate doesn’t have enough votes to override.

In a statement, the Obama administration said: “If the President were presented with H.R. 596, he would veto it.”

“I don’t believe Obamacare can be fixed through piecemeal reforms,” Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne, the bill’s sponsor, said on the floor before the vote. “I think the only way to truly get rid of this harmful law is to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.”

Read complete article via House Passes Bill To Repeal Obamacare | The Daily Caller.


GOP-controlled House votes to approve Keystone pipeline despite veto threat – The Washington Post


For four years, Republicans in Congress have been accused of obstructing President Obama’s agenda. Now, with the House and Senate under their control, GOP leaders are ready to turn the tables.

During the next few months, congressional leaders plan to approve a steady stream of legislation that has the support of at least a few Democrats but is opposed by the White House. Obama will be forced either to sign these “bipartisan” bills — including several that would begin to dismantle his Affordable Care Act — or dust off the veto pen he has used only twice in six years.

The test case for this strategy cleared the House on Friday: approval of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Obama has threatened to veto the Keystone bill, along with two others. Nonetheless, the House voted 266 to 153 to approve the measure, with 28 Democrats joining all but one Republican voting yes. The bill goes to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to stage a lengthy, high-profile debate that is likely to stretch through Obama’s State of the Union address Jan. 20.

Both parties are girding for a rhetorical battle that could have far-reaching political implications. Democrats, for instance, plan to offer an amendment by Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) that would force Republicans to go on record either acknowledging or denying that climate change “is real” and “is caused by human activities.”

They also will seek to force Canadian oil companies using the pipeline to pay into a federal oil-spill trust fund, a change Republicans are willing to include in the final bill, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said Friday.

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, plan to focus on Keystone’s potential to create jobs and foster U.S. energy independence, as well as its broad appeal to the general public.

“We’re going to put this bill on the president’s desk. And he’s going to have to make a decision whether to side with jobs and the economy or whether to side with environmental extremists,” said Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), a member of the Senate GOP leadership.

Read complete article via GOP-controlled House votes to approve Keystone pipeline despite veto threat – The Washington Post.


Cromnibus delenda est: shutdowns are awesome when Democrats threaten them | Human Events

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

In case you had something better to do last night than follow the most disgusting new holiday tradition in America, the annual “cromnibus” spending drama – a passion play of Big Government irresponsibility in which Congress waits until the absolute last possible minute to do their jobs, then screams “By Odin’s beard, the government is about to RUN OUT OF MONEY AND DIE!!!!  We have to spend a trillion dollars RIGHT THIS INSTANT!” – the cromnibus bill managed to drag itself out of the House of Representatives, bleeding cash from a multitude of rider wounds, and is now heaving its corpulent body towards the Senate, where some Democrats have decided they do not like it very much.

After we finish this pathetic spectacle and pump that trillion dollars into Big Government’s veins, the unhappy Dems can commiserate with such dismayed Republicans as Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), who says the House Republican leadership straight-up lied to him to get his support for a test vote that might have killed the cromnibus bill.  Stutzman says the cromnibus was supposed to survive the test vote, but then get pulled at the last minute and replaced with a far more sensible short-term bill that wouldn’t give the abject losers of the 2014 election control over the national purse until fall 2015.  Instead, the cromnibus passed the House 219-206.  Bazinga!

Republican “leaders” gave Barack Obama the sun, moon, stars, and amnesty, but that still wasn’t good enough for the Democrats who have decided to exploit the obvious weakness of GOP leaders and demand more.  The GOP leadership, meanwhile, decided to dig in its heels on a banking de-regulation measure that would chip away at the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.  Dodd-Frank is awful, and the regulation in question is a finicky bit of business that costs the private sector quite a bit of money, without really providing the sort of financial-meltdown protection it was supposed to, as explained by the Wall Street Journal:

Read the complete article via Cromnibus delenda est: shutdowns are awesome when Democrats threaten them | Human Events.


Half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare won’t be part of new Senate | WashingtonExaminer.com

The last to fall...

The last to fall…

On Dec. 24, 2009, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed President Obama’s healthcare law with a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, triggering a massive backlash that propelled Republicans to control of the House the following year. On the Senate side, going into this year’s midterm elections, 25 senators who voted for Obamacare were already out or not going be part of the new Senate being sworn in next month. After Democratic losses on Nov. 4 and Saturday’s defeat of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., the number has risen to 30. In other words, half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare will not be part of the new Senate.

To be sure, it isn’t fair to attribute all of the turnover in the chamber to Obamacare. In some cases — such as John Kerry leaving his seat to become secretary of state, or Robert Byrd passing away — Obamacare clearly had nothing to do with the departures. Additionally, some outgoing pro-Obamacare votes were replaced by new Democratic senators (although that tended to be the case in heavily Democratic states).

That having been said, many senators who voted for Obamacare lost re-election battles in which they were hit hard for their support for the law and other Democrats were forced to retire because they had no hope of getting re-elected given their support for the law. A total of 16 Senators who voted for Obamacare either failed to win reelection or declined to run for reelection and had their seats turned over to Republicans.

The following is an updated breakdown of senators who voted for Obamacare and will not be part of the next Senate.

Lost and replaced by a Republican:

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.

Arlen Specter, D-Penn.

Read complete article via Half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare won’t be part of new Senate | WashingtonExaminer.com.


Republicans strike back at Harry Reid for calling ObamaCare victims liars | Human Events

Dingy Harry

Dingy Harry

In response to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bizarre declaration that all ObamaCare horror stories are false, and all the people lodging complaints are liars, the National Republican Senatorial Committee put together a devastating video that hits Reid with the weapon every ObamaCare-defending Democrat fears most: the truth.  Short, simple, and damn near nuclear:

The media loves to give Reid a pass for these nasty little smear jobs, but this time he’s run afoul of the very same personalization Democrats are normally good at exploiting for their advantage.  There are too many ObamaCare horror stories, too many ordinary Americans with names and faces; the magnitude of deception and failure built into this bill is too large to be ignored.  If there was any winning play for the Democrats in 2014, slandering all of these people as liars was not it.  They won’t be intimidated into silence, either.

The fate of the nation really shouldn’t be decided by individual anecdotes; gigantic programs which effect millions of lives should not be judged in a contest between a dozen people who really like them, and a dozen people who hate them.  But such individual anecdotes have enormous currency in politics today, and no one has spent that currency more freely than the Obama Democrats, who have reduced the use of human props at press conferences to near-parody.  They wouldn’t do that if they didn’t think it was working, so of course they’re uncomfortable when the same tactic is turned back against them.

In the case of ObamaCare, the weight of bulk data is also behind opponents.  There’s a good reason happy stories from satisfied customers are hard to come by.  A stunning CBS News / New York Times poll this week found only six percent of Americans claiming to support the Affordable Care Act in its current form, while support for full repeal was 42 percent.

Read complete article via Republicans strike back at Harry Reid for calling ObamaCare victims liars | Human Events.


House passes Ryan-Murray budget agreement | The Daily Caller

WASHINGTON — Members of the House on both sides of the aisle held their noses and voted to pass a compromise budget agreement on Thursday, as both sides acknowledged that it was not all they wanted, but was perhaps the best they could get under the circumstances.

The vote passed by a wide margin, 332-94. 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats voted in favor of the budget plan; 62 Republicans and 32 Democrats voted against it.

The budget agreement was forged by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, and will now go to the Senate. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the plan would reduce deficits by approximately $85 billion over the next decade.

Read complete article via House passes Ryan-Murray budget agreement | The Daily Caller.


Senator Cruz returns to Texas welcome after shutdown battle – Yahoo News Canada

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, returned home to a rousing welcome in Texas on Saturday after his attempt to derail Obamacare with a shutdown of the federal government led to sharp criticism of his tactics as reckless and futile.

“After two months in Washington, it’s great to be back in America,” Cruz joked in speaking to a crowd of about 750 people in a packed downtown San Antonio hotel ballroom.

Cruz was greeted with an eight-minute standing ovation in an appearance organized by the Texas Federation of Republican Women. People in attendance, many of them wearing red to show their support for keeping Texas a conservative-leaning state, lined up to greet him.

The speech and another talk earlier in the day at a panel in Austin marked Cruz’s first public appearance in his home state of Texas since his part in the showdown in Washington over the rollout of Obamacare that resulted in a 16-day shutdown of the federal government that ended on Thursday.

A related stalemate over the debt limit threatened to lead to a default on U.S. government debt until the Senate on Wednesday voted 81-18 to end the crisis and the House of Representatives followed with a vote of 285-144 to approve the plan, allowing government to open without defunding Obamacare.

Cruz in his speech in San Antonio blasted Senate Republican leaders for “failing to stand with House Republicans against the train wreck that is Obamacare.”

He declined to criticize any Republicans by name.

Read complete article via Senator Cruz returns to Texas welcome after shutdown battle – Yahoo News Canada.


Why are phones for Democratic Congressmen and Senators Silent?

If ObamaCare is so great, why are the phones for Democratic Congressmen and Senators silent?

While Republican switchboards are jammed, those for Democrats are eerily quiet. Why is that? Where are all the Americans who WANT ObamaCare? Why aren’t they calling to encourage their representatives to stand firm and vote for ObamaCare?

Just asking…