Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I Bet The Senate Never Votes On TrumpCare-- At Least Not This Version The House Takes Up On Thursday


Ted Cruz thought he was going to be president last year-- he really did. And except that he got rolled by a Times Square clown with a jacket filled with fake Rolexes, he nearly won his party's nomination. I guess he came in second. Now he really doesn't want to be the first Texas Republican to lose a reelection bid to a Democrat since James Flanagan may have been beaten by Samuel Maxey, formerly a Confederate Brigadier General, in 1875. So... with El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke breathing down his neck, Cruz has announced he isn't voting for the extremely unpopular Trumpcare bill Paul Ryan, Mike Pence and Tom Price concotted. Sunday he told a Face the Nation audience that he "cannot vote for any bill that keeps premiums rising." He and fellow right-wing anti-healthcare fanatics Rand Paul (KY), who seems offended by the $100 million insurance industry bailout in the bill, Tom Cotton (AR), Steve Daines (MT) and Cruz's only actual Senate friend, Mike Lee (UT) are all committed to voting against the bill because it isn't awful enough for their standards. More mainstream conservatives Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Cory Gardner (CO), Rob Portman (OH), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Dean Heller (NV) and Bill Cassidy (LA) are saying they're ready to vote against the bill because it takes away coverage from too many Americans by rolling back Medicaid expansion.

If the Democrats stick together in their opposition to TrumpCare-- and the most Republican-like of them, Joe Manchin-- has already already said he's a no vote, McConnell can only afford to lose 3 Republicans. That first paragraph counts 11. That's more than 3. But none of them expect there's even going to be a vote in the Senate. That's because it will never make it out of the House. In Senator Cotton's own words on This Week (March 12): As it’s written today, this bill in the House of Representatives cannot pass the Senate. And I believe it would have adverse consequences for millions of Americans and it wouldn’t deliver on our promises to reduce the cost of health insurance for Americans. So, I would say to my friends in the House of Representatives with whom I serve, do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote... I’m afraid that if they vote for this bill, they’re going to put the House majority at risk next year... And I don’t want to see the House majority put at risk on a bill that is not going to pass the Senate."

A couple of days later, after the devastating CBO report came out, Cotton told far right radio host, crackpot Hugh Hewitt that "There is no three-phase process. There is no three-step plan. That is just political talk. It’s just politicians engaging in spin."

But Ryan says he's going to force a vote on Thursday. He and Trump have been targeting recalcitrant Republicans with negative TV ads and robocalls and threatening them with primaries. Yesterday they offered some weird, amorphous  $75 billion sweetener that I don't know who's going to like. Ryan's got Pete Sessions (his newly vulnerable House Rules Committee chairman tinkering with the bill to make it more acceptable to extremists figuring they can afford to lose a handful of mainstreamers if they can rope in a couple of handfuls of far right sociopaths). My GOP staff contacts in the House say its probably not going to work.

Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows claims his own whip count shows 40 definite no votes. That would kill the bill as long as Ryan doesn't cut a deal with the New Dems and Blue Dogs, which looks unlikely at this point. On public record in opposition as of now:
Justin Amash (MI)
Mark Amodei (NV)
Dave Brat (VA)
Mo Brooks (AL)
Ken Buck (CO)
Warren Davidson (OH)
Charlie Dent (PA)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL)
Brian Fitzpatrick (PA)
Tom Garrett (VA)
Louie Gohmert (TX)
Paul Gosar (AZ)
Darrell Issa (CA)
Walter Jones (NC)
Jim Jordan (OH)
John Katko (NY)
Steve King (IA)
Raúl Labrador (ID)
Leonard Lance (NJ)
Tom MacArthur (NJ)
Thomas Massey (KY)
Mark Meadows (NC)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL)
Mark Sanford (SC)
Daniel Webster (FL)
Rob Wittman (VA)
Ted Yoho (FL)
If they vote for it, as they more or less claim they are going to as of now, these are probably the dozen Republicans most likely to lose their seats in the 2018 midterms just because of this one vote. Most of these Members voted to advance the bill in either the House Ways and Means Committee or the House Energy and Commerce Committee. I expect more than a few of them to panic on Thursday when they stare political mortality in the eyes... and vote against the bill:
Ryan Costello (PA)
Carlos Curbelo (FL)
John Faso (NY)
Bill Johnson (OH)
Jason Lewis (MN)
Patrick Meehan (PA)
David McKinley (WV)
Erik Paulsen (MN)
Tom Reed (NY)
Dave Reichert (WA)
Peter Roskam (IL)
Mimi Walters (CA)
And yes, of course, there is something that could save each and every one of them-- incompetent 2018 DCCC candidate recruitment, something more and more Republican incumbents have come to rely on cycle after cycle. That could, once again, make the lot of them safe no matter what they do. Although not safe from Trump. He was on Capitol Hill today telling Republicans that they'd better vote for TrumpCare or "many of you will lose your seats in 2018." He smilingly threatened Mark Meadows, who he made standup before the whole crowd before dressing him down: "Mark, I'm gonna come after you." Among those who buckled under and raised the white flag today were Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Martha McSally (R-AZ), who polls show will lose her seat if she votes for TrumpCare.

The Undertaker-- GOP Austerity Health Care Act

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At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe tomorrow.

One might expect a single democrap to remember his FDR and filibuster drumpfdeath... but they didn't filibuster sessions and won't likely filibuster gorsuch -- looking like senate democraps might sell out on the lying sack of shit pretty easy. So... roll over again it is.

Fortunately, drumpfdeath doesn't kill people fast enough to satisfy the "freedom cock-US" and they're holding to their principle (killing poor people).

So maybe the senate democraps won't get the opportunity to betray voters on this one.


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