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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

House GOP Willing To Fund The Government With Obamacare — In Exchange For Some Sabotage

House GOP Willing To Fund The Government With Obamacare — In Exchange For Some Sabotage

House Republicans have signaled that they are willing to pass both a short-term resolution to fund the government past September 30 and an increase that will allow the U.S. to pay its debts when the Treasury hits the debt limit in mid-October, without defunding Obamacare.

But they will demand painful cuts to make the deal acceptable to their base.

GOP leaders have confirmed they want a continuation of the so-called sequestration, which includes cuts to Medicare and regulators charged with overseeing Wall Street and implementing the Affordable Care Act.

“Over the past three decades during times of divided government, increases in the debt limit have been accompanied by major spending, fiscal, and regulatory reforms and I expect that model to play out once again,” House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wrote in a memo released Friday.

Politico‘s David Rogers and David Bresnahan write that Republicans are specifically targeting the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which will play a key role in the oversight of the health care exchanges that launch on October 1:

The president had requested $4.82 billion last year for the CMS “program management” account but then settled for $3.8 billion last spring. Through the summer, the Department of Health and Human Services was able to bridge the gap by tapping other resources, including $453 million from a preventive care fund. But the CR now would put Obama back at square one and at least $1.4 billion below his request for 2014.

In addition, Republicans want to keep sequestration cuts to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which oversees the stock market, even though it is self-funded from fines it receives from companies — along with cuts to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, charged with a major role in regulating the derivatives market, would go into its fourth year of being effectively frozen at more than a third below the president’s request,” Rogers and Bresnahan report.

“I would say our enforcement resources are tiny compared to the size of the markets,”  CFTC chair Gary Gensler told the Senate Banking Committee earlier this year. “You know the American public put $180 billion into AIG [the insurance company taxpayers bailed out], that’s 600 times what the president asked for [to fund] our agency. Our enforcement folks are only about 150 of our people. And unfortunately we’re trying to make the best decisions but often we have to delay justice because we don’t have the right resources.”

The cost of inadequate regulation of Wall Street can be counted in trillions of dollars to the economy and eight million jobs lost in the financial crisis. The sequestration cuts have been largely ignored as their effects are hard to quantify and generally only directly impact the poor. But their effects on kids in Head Start, those in public housing and federally funded research punish the vulnerable and may drive scientists overseas.

The fact that House Republicans have been willing to use a debt default disaster as a threat in the past has given them an advantage. This time they’re beginning the negotiations by admitting that it is a threat they don’t intend to carry out.

Cantor’s memo suggests that President Obama’s hand in these negotiations is stronger than it has been in the past.

Photo: Medill DC via

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  • docb

    Screw these little repub bagger white popinjay DO NOTHINGS and the crazy jackass they rode in on.
    Ignorant fools! Call them out 1.866.338.1015 or 1.866.220.0044 They are Finally back at work for a 1/3 day after 5 weeks of hiding…cowardly cockroaches.

    • dpaano

      docb: Tell us how you REALLY feel!!! However, I have to agree with you wholeheartedly!!

      • docb

        Sorry, it was early and I had not had enough coffee! Thanks for agreeing !
        These putrid louts need to be castigated hourly!

        • Russell Byrd

          I thought you had already had too much coffee, but very well said all the same.

  • Lynda Groom

    It is way past time to give up this crusade to defund ObamaCare and start working to improve the law and provide more coverage.

    • Dominick Vila

      One of the most interesting parts of the latest proposal is the amount of money the GOP wants to sequester indefinitely. $4B is like a drop in a bucket when compared to the size of the entire Federal government budget. Another interesting part of their proposal is that the cuts are directed at regulatory institutions, not only MEDICARE-CMS, but the regulatory institutions that monitor Wall Street. Why should responsible leaders support the ability of the crooks that brought our economy and our country to its knees, to continue their fraudulent or ill advised practices, and why do they oppose effective Obamacare oversight? Is it because they depend on donations from crooks to fund their campaigns and be elected?

      • Larry Burrell

        Yes. It insures continued “paydays”.

  • Dominick Vila

    What the Tea Party really wants is to preserve Ronald Reagan’s socialist ER freebies, and use the funding needed to pay for part of the Obamacare costs to give more tax breaks to the wealthy and offset the effects of the loopholes and subsidies they enjoy. The intent is to minimize the impact of transferring public funds to the private sector and the elite by eliminating social programs that benefit the middle class, small business owners, and the poor.

    • TheSkalawag

      In other words, Upward wealth redistribution is good. Lateral and downward redistribution is bad.

      • Dominick Vila

        Exactly. One of the largest redistributions of wealth from the public to the private sector in recent years was the Iraq war, when companies owned by Friends of Bush got sole source contracts for jobs that were seldom completed.

        • TheSkalawag

          And in some cases the work was so shoddy it was responseble for killing a number of our troops in Iraq.
          Funny how nobody was charged and the republicans never said a mumbling word.

  • irishtap

    Well, considering their “base”, is comprised of FOX watching, Limbaugh listening, aging white racists, I hope the Obama and the Democrats tell em all to go “FOX themselves”. The radical GOP is fully in the grasp of willful ignorance/hatred/intolerance, and haven’t an ounce of regret for all the harm they’ve done and seek to do. Filthy sociopaths is what they’ve become. And corporate money give this sect of mindless rage their platform.

  • elw

    I just wish the Republicans would put as much effort into stopping the bad behaviors in the financial and private sectors as they do in defunding ACA and Medicare. It is getting almost painful watching them always take the road to their own death as a Party. Trying to defund and underfund the agencies and programs that benefit the Middle Class will not help them win hearts or votes, but they are too busy counting the money from their financial and large corporate donors to see that.

    • Russell Byrd

      I once watched Mitch McConnell give a speech where he claimed that “every Liberal program ever instituted has failed.”

      What I observed was whole-hearted approval. My point is the Repubs will do what they always do . . . LIE. They have at least an even odds chance that they will succeed in convincing the not-too-bright “average” American citizen their corruption, and commitment to increasing poverty, etc. are somehow their oppositions fault.

      At the risk of being castigated, that “average” citizen is rather mediocre in intelligence and very receptive of the simplest arguments that can be made. The idea that the machinations of the Repubs and the wealthy are behind most of our problems is just too complicated to appeal to them. So much simpler and more satisfying to find some other simple souls to blame. All the while, as they continue kissing the feet of the rich and powerful, waiting for the trickle down that they are sure they, and they alone, deserve.

      Remember, these are the people that think intelligent and educated are synonymous with stupid, and ignorance is common sense.

      • elw

        I would argue that the continued reduction in the number of people who vote Republican and the increasing number who are leaving the party shows that the average American is not as dumb as people would like to claim.

        • Russell Byrd

          Unfortunately, if the average American was anywhere as smart as they think they are, we would either have said bye, bye to the Repubs forty years ago, or we would have a much, much more reasonable party.

          I would have to add that average means just so-so and does not mean brilliant. I would also advance the notion that the Repubs are not likely to disappear anytime soon. Even though they are losing strength rapidly, the majority of whites, those people that think they are “real Amerikans,” still vote for the Repubs. Maybe, not by much, and not in all states, but over all.

          • elw

            Ok it is pretty bad when we start going back and forth when we actually mean the same thing. First of all no one is as smart as they think they are. And I would agree that average is not brilliant, what I also know is brilliant does not mean the person has one bit of common sense and average does not mean stupid. I personally do not care if the Republican Party never completely disappears, only that they lose enough power that they cannot control the agenda and what gets passed. I planned to help in that fight in the next election and do what ever else I can to help Republicans lose.

          • Russell Byrd

            I thought about this carefully, and what is bad is you refer to one comment as going back and forth. As well, I never said anything about anyone particular individual, smart, dumb, or indifferent.

            What is true however, is what I said. The average person is all too willing too throw out anything that makes them think too deeply. That is one of the qualities of being “average.” My ONLY complaint with that is the fact that they desire to be that way. I am not that smart, but I desire to be more.

            As such, my post stands as is. It was not a big deal, except as an attempt at a rational explanation why the Repubs are able to continue swaying a large segment of the populous. For what it’s worth, this is the same nit picking I get from the opposition.

            I will not bother you again. In the future I will redirect my posts elsewhere.

          • elw

            Thank you, I would appreciate that. For what it’s worth, comparing someone whose statement you did not agree with to the opposition is exactly what they do.

          • Russell Byrd

            I would not post to you again, but you seem to be bent on having the last word, even though you refuse to debate the merit of what I have said. You do want to debase what I have said. That is exactly what the opposition comes here to do. Like they do, you must control the conversation.

            Like the right-wingers that come here, you are dedicated to having the last word. That is OK. Please respond again as you wish. I have said frequently, that all I have ever done to the right-wingers is try to deny them control and having the last word. It is not necessary here. There is a subtle difference in method, but a huge gap in actual performance when someone is only trying to deny satisfaction to those that trouble the blog. Having the last word, is in and of itself, no value to me.

            Since you are so happy that I not comment to you again, I hope you realize that this will be binding on both of us. You can post all you want today, but in the future, if you broach the subject, I will reply, as is my right. In other words, you have an obligation not to trouble me, if you wish my promise to be valid.

            What is written between us will explain everything to everyone. You contrived this argument for the purposes of your own ego. Or is it the fear that I am describing you. If so it was inadvertent. If you feel that I am referring to you, that is your guilt, not mine, though I will apologize.

            MY FAULT is NOT IGNORING YOU. Yet, what I have said is pertinent and very important to me. It is a real shame that you have to nit-pick when what you have said disproves not one bit of my points. In fact, you are rushing to exhibit the very behavior that I described. Think about that for awhile. At least just think. Good day and farewell.

      • ralphkr

        I find it very interesting that Mitch McConnell feels that the United States of America, one of the greatest of Liberal programs, has been a failure.

        • Russell Byrd

          Good point, thanks for making my “average” brain work a little. Mitch has worked like a maggot for years to ensure the failure of just about anything Liberal, including our beloved nation. Maybe, Kentucky can turn Mitch into a “Liberal program” this next election. Of course, knowing the “average” and especially more rural Kentucky voters as I do, I am not that confident. Yet, there is always hope.

      • Allan Richardson

        Remember the slogan of the Ministry of Truth in Orwell’s novel “1984” was:

        That third one is the most important part of the Republican platform. More accurately, OUR ignorance is THEIR strength!

        • Russell Byrd

          Allan, that is an apt observation. Their Ministry of Truth is Fox News. I think it may be time for me to re-read 1984, Animal Farm, and the Brave New World books (etc.). Those were the books that really led me to start using my head for something besides a hat rack (or doing mathematics).

  • latebloomingrandma

    Did you know that the elephant is a very near sighted animal and cannot see beyond the end of its nose? Sounds like the republicans have the right symbol.

    • Allan Richardson

      In other words, they do not have good enough vision to be trusted with guns?

  • howa4x

    This proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Wall st banks and trading houses own the GOP. they will sacrifice the old, and young to protect the moneyed institutions. Obama should stand his ground this time and fight them and prevent cuts that would undermine healthcare reform and regulatory oversight. The only choice republicans have is to shut down the government as leverage. They are hesitant to do that because they know the wrath of the public is waiting for them. A stunt like that will drive millions more away from the party. This time we need to take them to the edge.

  • Justin Napolitano

    The Republicans will fund the government as long as the President resigns and Sarah Palin is allowed to finish his term. What a deal!