Senate rejects House Republican extortion 54-46 | Arkansas Blog

Senate rejects House Republican extortion 54-46

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The U.S. Senate has voted 54-46 to resist House Republicans' effort to repeal Obamacare by holding the U.S. budget hostage. This vote was over a continuing budget resolution stripped of Obamacare money. Their amendments also included a repeal of a tax on fatcat medical equipment companies and would have allowed any employer to strip coverage for preventive health care, such as contraception, from women's health insurance coverage.

When Republicans control both houses of the Congress and the White House, they can proceed as they wish in overturning the law of the land without resorting to economic terrorism.

When the Social Security checks stop coming, don't forget to send a thank-you note to Tom Cotton, Tim Griffin, Rick Crawford, Steve Womack and John Boozman. (Yes, Boozman and Womack have both said shutting down government to achieve overturn of Obamacare by hostage taking was irresponsible. But both, so far, have voted the party line to do so.)

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor has taken the responsible course in refusing to fold up a giant health insurance program expansion that is already well underway with millions of happy beneficiaries and more to come. Too Extreme Tom Cotton, the Club for Growth's man with the Yell County rent house, thinks he can make Obama enmity in Arkansas lemonade out of the lemons he wants uninsured Americans to suck.

Gov. Mike Beebe had a statement:

“The inability of Congress to do its most basic job will put many Arkansans out of work and leave Arkansas children in peril.

“If the federal government shutdown occurs and funding stops, it will greatly hinder the ability of the Arkansas Department of Human Services to investigate claims of child abuse and neglect. More than 85,000 meals for Arkansas children will not be provided and protection for nursing-home residents will be reduced. Two-thousand newborn babies will not receive infant formula through the Department of Health’s WIC program. That number includes the more than 300 special-needs babies who soon run out of special formula they can only receive through a certified program like WIC.

“As many as 2,000 state employees will be furloughed, with thousands more facing a similar fate if the shutdown is sustained. Losing these jobs affects not only those working Arkansans and their families, it also hurts our local and state economies. That economic damage will be compounded by the furlough of federal employees in Arkansas, as well.

“Once again, Arkansas stands to suffer from a crisis wholly manufactured by Congress. What should be a simple and clean resolution to fund our federal government has turned into political posturing by elected officials who, of course, will not be among those hurt by their actions. Arkansas and America deserve better from Washington.”

House Republicans continue to play games. Next ploy: Offer a bill to delay the "individual mandate" — gut expansion of insurance coverage, in other words — and drop subsidies for health coverage of congressional staff and lawmakers. Stupid.

Meanwhile, real people suffer. Furlough notices have begun going out to federally paid Arkansas employees, such as 300 in the Arkansas Health Department.

What's so unreasonable about a little delay in individual coverage? Only that it would leave 11 million people in the lurch.

President Obama addressed the nation on the hostage-taking late this afternoon. Said CNN:

One faction of one party does not get to shut down the government to fight the results of an election, President Barack Obama said.

"You don't get to extract a ransom for doing your job," Obama said. With a midnight deadline looming, a government shutdown is not inevitable, he said.

A shutdown would be the "height of irresponsibility," he said.


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