Blame For The Shutdown Rests With Harry Reid and the Democrats
Is this really the "Republican" shutdown? No. The roads of blame all end with Sen. Harry Reid and the Democrats. First, Reid reportedly talked Obama out of negotiating with Republicans to avoid a government shutdown.
When the president considered sitting down with the four congressional leaders in the White House ahead of the deadline to avert a government shutdown, Reid privately urged Obama to call off the meeting, according to several people familiar with the situation,” Politico reported. “Reid believed that it would amount to nothing more than a photo-op that would give the false impression that a serious negotiation was occurring, even warning he wouldn’t attend such a session. Obama scrapped it.”
What did Republicans do?
In at least four separate times, the House has passed a bill to fund the government. Democrats have completely turned their backs on everything sent over by the House. In doing so, they have also turned their backs on American families and workers. How is that fairness and compromise? Furthermore, 77% of Americans want to delay Obamacare's individual mandate, including 65% of Democrats!
Democrats from Red states already know that the exchanges, which are already racked with glitches, are going to be a disaster. That's why twenty-two Democrats in the House voted for the delay last July. Also, the president has agreed to delaying some parts of Obamacare, specifically the employer mandate. That's a great foundation to force Obama into a corner, label him a hypocrite for his intellectually dishonesty over keeping the implementation of the individual mandate on schedule. It's not consistent, and their handling of the Syria fiasco could potentially embarrass the president once again. If not, what's left of these blue dogs will get rolled in the next election (ie: Landrieu).
Yet, Senate Democrats want the House to bow down to a clean CR at post-sequester levels, as if that’s them being generous. First of all, sequestration only amounted to a meager $44 billion in cuts. The Washington Post admitted last summer that the "scary" projections from sequestration were "wrong." The House has taken a stand that it will not continue negotiating with itself. They're are drawing the line, and – so far – standing strong. The opportunity for discussion with the Senate is there, but in order for that to happen – the Senate must stop stalling.
If Obama and the left were truly worried about the impact of this shutdown, then they wouldn't have issued a veto threat to bills proposed by the House yesterday to ease the burden on veterans, visitors at National Parks, and DC is nothing short of hypocritical.
The District of Colombia is losing $200 million dollars a day from this shutdown. Concerning the veterans, it's egregious that their benefits have become a political football. It's even more depraved that the order to close down the World War II Memorial came from the Obama administration. The RNC offered to pay to keep it open, but they've been turned down by the Park Service. Currently, veterans are allowed to enter the memorial under the pretense that it's a "First Amendment exception."
Ace of Spades blogger – and attorney – Gabriel Malor has more on this:
The "First Amendment exception" for vets at memorials, which was proclaimed sometime bw yesterday and today, is, legally speaking, bullshit.
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) October 2, 2013
Yet, let's talk more about Obamacare for a second. After all, it was one of the reasons – if not THE reason – that government was shut down. Yes, liberals are blaming the Tea Party, of which I'm a proud member, but there's a long history of liberal dissatisfaction with this miserable piece of legislation.
Repealing ObamaCare’s Medical Device Tax Is “One Of The Ideas Gaining Steam” Among Both Republicans And Democrats. “One of the ideas gaining steam in the back-and-forth between House Republicans and Senate Democrats is a push to repeal the 2.3% excise tax on the sale of medical devices. In March, 79 senators supported a symbolic measure to repeal it, including 33 Democrats, among them Messrs. Begich and Pryor and Mrs. Hagan.” (Patrick O’Connor and Kristina Peterson, “Tweaks To Health Law Attract Some Democrats,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/27/13)
- Reid Himself Called ObamaCare’s Medical Device Tax “Stupid” Just Last Week. REID: "If they want to shut down the government, here's how much time they have to figure out it: 4 days, 11 hours, 22 minutes, and 15 seconds. No, they can play around all they want. Some of the biggest supporters for doing away with the stupid tax--I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that--doing away with that tax have told me they won't support that on CR." (Sen. Harry Reid, Senate Press Briefing, 9/27/13)
This Weekend, A Bipartisan Majority In The House, Including 17 Democrats, Voted To Repeal The Medical Device Tax. “Late Saturday night the House passed two amendments to the Senate spending bill, one to delay the implementation of Obamacare for a year, the other to repeal the tax on medical device manufacturers that was included in the Affordable Care Act to help offset the cost of expanded insurance coverage. … On the medical device tax repeal, 17 Democrats voted for it, as did all Republican members.” (Tom Curry, “Cruz Urges Reid To Call Senate Into Session And Avert Shutdown,” NBC News, 9/29/13)
- 38 House Democrats Have Co-Sponsored Other Legislation, “Protect Medical Innovation Act Of 2013,” Which Repeals The Medical Device Tax. (H.R. 523, Introduced 2/6/13)
Earlier This Year, The Senate Voted To Repeal The Medical Device Tax By An Overwhelming 79-20 Margin, Including Support From 34 Democrats. “Thirty-four Senate Democrats joined Republicans on Thursday night in a nonbinding but overwhelming vote to repeal a key tax in President Barack Obama's health reform law. The Senate voted 79-20 to get rid of the law's 2.3 percent sales tax on medical device-makers.” (Jennifer Haberkorn, “Democrats Join Push To Dump ObamaCare Tax,” Politico, 3/22/13)
Among Vulnerable 2014 Democrats, Senators Begich, Pryor And Hagan Have Already Voted To Repeal The Medical Device Tax. (S. Amdt 297 to S.Con.Res 8, Roll Call Vote #47, Adopted 79-20: R 45-0; D 34-29, 3/21/13, Begich, Pryor, And Hagan Voted Yea)
Vulnerable 2014 Democrats Have Been Anxious To Change Other Controversial Parts Of ObamaCare, Including IPAB And Costs To Small Businesses. “Each of the Republicans' top targets have proposals to change the new law. In July, Mr. Begich introduced multiple bills to reduce the costs that small businesses pay to insure their employees. Earlier in the year, Mrs. Landrieu offered legislation to protect independent insurance agents and brokers whose services are imperiled by the law. Additionally, Mrs. Hagan and Mr. Pryor have co-sponsored a bill to eliminate the new 15-person panel created by the law to find savings in Medicare.” (Patrick O’Connor and Kristina Peterson, “Tweaks To Health Law Attract Some Democrats,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/27/13)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Has Said He Will Support A Spending Plan That Includes A Delay Of ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate. “U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia broke ranks with fellow Democrats and said he’d support a stopgap spending plan that delays the individual mandate in President Barack Obama’s health-care law.” (Michael C. Bender, “Democrat Manchin Breaks Ranks to Back Mandate Delay,” Bloomberg, 9/26/13)
Manchin, On Delaying The Individual Mandate: “It’s Very Reasonable And Sensible.” “‘There’s no way I could not vote for it,’ Manchin said at a Bloomberg Government breakfast today. ‘It’s very reasonable and sensible.’” (Michael C. Bender, “Democrat Manchin Breaks Ranks to Back Mandate Delay,” Bloomberg, 9/26/13)
Labor Unions, Once “Among The Strongest Supporters” Of ObamaCare, Now Recognize The Law “Threatens To Hurt Their Own Members.” “Labor unions were among the strongest supporters of the Affordable Care Act when it passed in 2010. They spent millions of dollars in ad buys supporting the bill, pressured wavering Democrats in Congress to pass it, and followed up with support for those Democrats in the November elections. Three years later, union leaders say the bill they fought to pass now threatens to hurt their own members.” (Patricia Murphy, “Obama’s Labor Pains,” The Daily Beast, 9/20/13)
The AFL-CIO Has Approved “A Strongly Worded Resolution” Condemning ObamaCare’s Impact On The Cost Of Union-Sponsored Health Plans. “The nation's largest labor federation approved a strongly worded resolution Wednesday that says the Affordable Care Act will drive up the costs of union-sponsored health plans to the point that workers and employers are forced to abandon them.” (Sam Hananel, “AFL-CIO Steps Up Pressure For Health Law Changes,” The Associated Press, 9/11/13)
- The AFL-CIO Voted In Favor Of Their Resolution Even After White House Officials Had Been Calling Union Leaders To Oppose Its Passage. “White House officials have been calling union leaders about a resolution critical of ObamaCare that is set to pass on Wednesday at the AFL-CIO convention. Union leaders have been tight-lipped about the calls coming from Washington, but at least one labor official said he understands that the Obama administration has been watching the resolution’s progress and expressing a desire that it not move forward.” (Kevin Bogardus, “White House Calling Union Leaders Ahead Of Vote On Obamacare Resolution,” The Hill, 9/11/13)
Terry O’Sullivan, President Of The Laborers’ International Union Of North America, Said That If ObamaCare Is Not Fixed “It Needs To Be Repealed.”“If the Affordable Care Act is not fixed and it destroys the health and welfare funds that we have fought for and stand for, then I believe it needs to be repealed,” said Terence M. O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. “We don’t want it to be repealed. We want it to be fixed, fixed, fixed. “We’ve had our asses kicked on retirement security and we know our health funds are under siege,” he added. “We ask the president and Congress to do the right thing for the men and women we represent.” (Steven Greenhouse And Jonathan Martin, “Unions’ Misgivings On Health Law Burst Into View,” The New York Times, 9/12/13)
“Three Major U.S. Unions … Sent A Scathing Open Letter To Democratic Leaders” That ObamaCare Will “Destroy The Foundation Of The 40 Hour Work Week That Is The Backbone Of The Middle Class.” “The leaders of three major U.S. unions, including the highly influential Teamsters, have sent a scathing open letter to Democratic leaders in Congress, warning that unless changes are made, President Obama’s health care reform plan will ‘destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.’” (Tom Gara, “Union Letter: ObamaCare Will ‘Destroy The Very Health And Wellbeing’ Of Workers,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/12/13)
Pryor Praised ObamaCare As “An Amazing Success Story” In August. KHOG’s CRAIG CANNON: “Political experts say the new healthcare law could be a hot topic. Pryor was one of 60 Democrats who voted for it back in 2009. He defends that vote today.” SENATOR MARK PRYOR: “I would say if you want a good opinion about ObamaCare, go right here to Mercy Hospital and ask them how they feel about it. It’s been an amazing success story so far.” (“Rep. Tom Cotton Running For Senate,” KHOG, 8/6/13)
According To HHS’s Report On Premiums In The ObamaCare Exchanges, A 27 Year Old In Arkansas Will Pay An Average Of $181 A Month For The Lowest Bronze Plan – An Increase Of 397% Over Average Premiums Currently Available. (Office Of The Assistant Secretary For Planning And Evaluation, “Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums For 2014,” HHS, 9/13; John E. Dickson, Director Of Health Care For The Government Accountability Office, Letter To Honorable Orrin G. Hatch, 7/23/13)
Little Rock-Based Baptist Health System Announced That It Will Lay Off 170 Arkansas Workers Due To ObamaCare. “Little Rock-based Baptist Health System says it will lay off 170 workers across its statewide health care network and one industry leader says more hospitals could follow suit… In a statement provided to members of the media, Mark Lowman, Vice President, Strategic Development at Baptist Health said: ‘To ensure Baptist Health’s continued success and our long term ability to sustain our Mission, we are undertaking a number of initiatives that will position our organization to address the challenges of health reform and severe federal budget cuts.’” (Roby Brock, “Baptist Health System Laying Off 170 As Hospitals Cope With Medicare Cuts,” Talk Business Arkansas, 7/16/13)
College Professors In Arkansas Will Have Their Hours Cut Because Of ObamaCare. ANCHOR: “Beginning this fall, Pulaski Tech will limit the amount of courses professors are able to teach. KARK 4’s Joceyln Tovar says this change in turn will limit the benefits available to them.” … TOVAR: ““Human resource officials for the college say that changes in benefits because of the ObamaCare law require part time employees who are working 30 hours to be considered full time, and therefore require benefits, benefits the school says are just too much strain on their shoestring budget.” (KARK 4, 4/4/13)
Begich, On ObamaCare: “There’s A Lot Of Good That People Will Realize As This All Comes Online.”(“Senate Democrats Running In 2014 In GOP-Leaning States Firm Up Support Of Health Care Law,” The Associated Press, 6/15/13)
According To HHS’s Report On Premiums In The ObamaCare Exchanges, A 27 Year Old In Alaska Will Pay An Average Of $254 A Month For The Lowest Bronze Plan – An Increase Of 129% Over Average Premiums Currently Available. (Office Of The Assistant Secretary For Planning And Evaluation, “Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums For 2014,” HHS, 9/13; John E. Dickson, Director Of Health Care For The Government Accountability Office, Letter To Honorable Orrin G. Hatch, 7/23/13)
Blue Cross Has Predicted That An Alaska Family Of Four That Does Not Qualify For Federal Insurance Subsidies Could See Their Out-Of-Pocket Health Care Costs Increase By As Much As 158 Percent. “Jeff Davis, who heads Premera’s Alaska unit, said a younger Alaskan couple aged 30 to 34 with two small children and who are moderate-income and earning $115,000 a year or less will qualify for the planned new federal subsidies. They could see up to a 42 percent decrease in out-of-pocket health care expenses, according to Premera’s estimates. However, if the couple exceeds the $115,000 income limit by even a small margin, the subsidy goes away and they could see an increase as high as 158 percent in out-of-pocket costs.” (Tim Bradner, “Alaska Health Insurance Rates To Go Up In 2014 As ACA Kicks In,” Anchorage Daily News, 1/15/13)
In An August Interview, Hagan Defended ObamaCare, Saying There Are “A Lot Of Positives” For Small Businesses In The Law. SEN. HAGAN: “But what does benefit a small business is once the new healthcare exchanges come on line, and come on the market, coming in October of this year, small business will be able to purchase health insurance just like large businesses do. They’ll be given options. And some small businesses will actually be eligible for tax credits and for funding to help them purchase that health insurance. So I think there’s a lot of positives here that I want to encourage small businesses to reach out to my office and we can certainly help with information.” (Kay Hagan, WCCB Interview, 8/27/13)
According To HHS’s Report On Premiums In The ObamaCare Exchanges, A 27 Year Old In North Carolina Will Pay An Average Of $186 A Month For The Lowest Bronze Plan – An Increase Of 342% Over Average Premiums Currently Available. (Office Of The Assistant Secretary For Planning And Evaluation, “Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums For 2014,” HHS, 9/13; John E. Dickson, Director Of Health Care For The Government Accountability Office, Letter To Honorable Orrin G. Hatch, 7/23/13)
A North Carolina Business Owner Is Facing Over $100,000 In Costs Associated With ObamaCare. “Kerns said he decided long ago to cut health care for his 81 employees, because rates skyrocketed and it cost the company too much. He would be penalized under the new plan. ‘The tax would be over $100,000,’ said Kerns. He said he would have to hire people to keep up with paperwork required by the plan.” (Ken Lemon, “Uninsured Families Meeting In Gaston Co. About New Health Care Act,” WSOC, 8/12/13)
Triad Organizations Are Reducing Weekly Hours For Part-Time Workers, Including At Wilkes Community College Which Is Limiting Adjunct Professors And Faculty Costs. “The new federal definition of a full-time employee is leading some Triad organizations to reduce weekly hours for part-time workers so they do not become eligible for health insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act says that by Jan. 1, 2015, employees have to work only 30 hours a week to be considered full time and eligible for coverage. … Wilkes Community College is responding to the mandate by limiting additional ‘fixed costs’ associated with faculty and staff, such as part-time adjunct professors.” (Richard Craver, “Some Employers Cutting Hours For Part-Time Workers To Avoid New Insurance Mandate,” Winston Salem-Journal, 8/19/13)
“Some School Districts Are Reducing Teacher Aides, Administrators, Secretaries, Bus Drivers, Gym Teachers, Coaches And Cafeteria Workers To Part-Time Status.” (Richard Craver, “Some Employers Cutting Hours For Part-Time Workers To Avoid New Insurance Mandate,” Winston Salem-Journal, 8/19/13)
In March, Landrieu Said She Was “Proud” Of Her Vote For ObamaCare, And “Glad” She Voted For It. “And the last thing she’s worried about is having Republicans attack her for supporting Obamacare. ‘I am proud of my support for the Affordable Care Act, whether my opponents want to call it ACA or Obamacare, I voted for it. I’m glad I voted for it,’ Landrieu said.” (Ginger Gibson, “Mary Landrieu’s 2014 Playbook Is Her Own,” Politico, 3/29/13)
According To HHS’s Report On Premiums In The ObamaCare Exchanges, A 27 Year Old In Louisiana Will Pay An Average Of $175 A Month For The Lowest Bronze Plan – An Increase Of 376% Over Average Premiums Currently Available. (Office Of The Assistant Secretary For Planning And Evaluation, “Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums For 2014,” HHS, 9/13; John E. Dickson, Director Of Health Care For The Government Accountability Office, Letter To Honorable Orrin G. Hatch, 7/23/13)
Restaurant Owner Frank Dedman: “I Had To Let A Couple Of My Full-Timers Go.” “Frank Dedman, the owner of Frank's Restaurant, told News 2 he made cuts to his staff to be in compliance with the new rules and regulations. ‘We've had people here for quite a few years, majority of them were part-timers," said Dedman. "I had to let a couple of my full-timers go.’” (Brittany Weiss, “Restaurant Cuts Staff, Blames Health Reform,”WBRZ, 6/15/13)
A Lafayette, Louisiana Business Was Forced To Lay off 41 Employees Due To Changes Under ObamaCare.“Effective today, 41 employees at the Schumacher Group in Lafayette, have lost their jobs. According to a company letter, the Patient Financial Management Services division is being cut because of changes to health care law from ObamaCare. A Schumacher Group spokesperson says the department can’t handle an increase in patient needs.” (KATC, 5/1/13)
The American people want the individual mandate to be delayed. A lot of Democrats feel the same way. Sen. Harry Reid and his execrable cadre of left-wingers are the ones truly holding the country hostage. They know that a delay could unravel the whole law, and force Democrats to defend the numerous disasters that will occur when it's fully implemented. It could allow the GOP to retake the Senate, increase their majority in the House, and cost them the 2016 presidential election. Nevertheless, Reid is benefitted from entire so-called news network, which provides his ilk with political cover.
Harry Reid could've avoided this shutdown if he listened to his own ranks about Obamacare.