Posts Tagged ‘senate majority leader’

One Third of Americans Say Obamacare Had Negative Personal Impact

March 3, 2014 Leave a comment

Nearly sixty percent say they view the law unfavorably

Source: Kurt Nimmo

The results of a Rasmussen poll released on Monday show that a large number of Americans would have been better off without Obama’s mandatory healthcare plan.

Thirty three percent of respondents to the survey say the law has hurt them. Earlier this year, 29% said the law had negatively impacted their healthcare plans. Only 14% say they plan helped them. In January, that number stood at 16%, according to Rasmussen.

Nearly sixty percent say they view the law unfavorably, while those who favor it reached an all-time low of 36%.

Last week the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, claimed horror stories about the failures of Obamacare are not true. “There’s plenty of horror stories being told,” he said. “All of them are untrue, but they’re being told all over America.”

Reid’s remarks resulted in a firestorm of criticism leveled at the Nevada senator and added to the growing ire the mandatory healthcare law has created.

“These people across America, who are losing their insurance, whose jobs are being lost, are not making this up. And no amount of Harry Reid calling everybody a liar changes the facts,” Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said in response.

Missouri Senator Roy Blount said the plan has so far been a disaster in his state. “I guess you think the active imagination of Missourians is just running wild because they’re contacting our office constantly telling about higher premiums, higher deductibles, insurance they used to have that worked, and insurance that doesn’t work,” he said.

In addition to canceled policies and significantly higher premiums, the Congressional Budget Office discovered that Obamacare will result in small businesses paying higher rates.

Despite shutdown threat, House passes spending bill that delays Obamacare for one year

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. Heat is building on balkanized Republicans, who are convening the House this weekend in hopes of preventing a government shutdown but remain under tea party pressure to battle on and use a must-do funding bill to derail all or part of President Barack Obama's health care law. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

The House approved a spending bill early Sunday morning that would fund the government through Dec. 15, but tacked on amendments that would delay the federal health care law known as Obamacare for one year and repeal the medical device tax, a move that sets up a showdown with Senate Democrats and increases the probability of a government shutdown Tuesday.

The Obamacare delay amendment passed 231-192, and the vote on the medical device tax, which would help cover the costs of Obamacare, was 248-174. The House also unanimously passed a bill to fund the military in the event of a shutdown.

Congress must agree to a federal spending bill by Tuesday, or the federal government will partially close down until members can find a compromise solution. The Republican-led House and the Democrat-controlled Senate disagree over whether the bill should include the health care law. Last week, the House sent a spending bill to the Senate without Obamacare funding , and the Senate responded by returning the bill on Friday with the funding inserted.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Saturday after the Republicans announced their spending plan that the upper chamber would reject anything short of a bill identical to the one passed by the Senate, and the White House issued a statement saying that the president would veto the House bill.

“Today’s vote by House Republicans is pointless. As I have said repeatedly, the Senate will reject any Republican attempt to force changes to the Affordable Care Act through a mandatory government funding bill or the debt ceiling,” Reid said in a statement. “To be absolutely clear, the Senate will reject both the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax.”

The White House also responded by reiterating the president’s call to pass a spending bill without riders attached.

“The President has shown that he is willing to improve the health care law and meet Republicans more than halfway to deal with our fiscal challenges, but he will not do so under threats of a government shutdown that will hurt our economy,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. “Any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a shutdown.”

Before the vote Saturday, House Republicans held a private meeting where leaders presented the plan to delay Obamacare and listened to opinions from rank-and-file members. Lawmakers emerged from the meeting to say that the conference was united behind the proposal.

With a Republican conference full of conservative lawmakers with little interest in conceding to Senate Democrats on Obamacare, House Speaker John Boehner faced a difficult choice. He could have either passed a funding bill with Obamacare amendments and risk a shutdown, or pass a “clean” bill like the Senate with help from House Democrats and risk facing the wrath of furious Republicans. He chose the former.

Now that the bill has passed the House, it will be sent to the Senate, which is scheduled to reconvene Monday afternoon.

“We will do our job and send this bill over, and then it’s up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government shutdown,” House Republican leaders Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers said in a joint statement.

The Senate bill that passed Friday would extend current spending levels only through Nov. 15. Democrats say that time frame would provide a month for Congress to pass a larger budget deal before the end of the year and replace the automatic, sequestration cuts now in effect.

Government Shutdown Imminent As Republicans Add “Obamacare-Delay” To Funding Bill

September 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Source: Zero Hedge

It appears investors (CDS markets, VIX, T-Bills anxiety) were on to something as each side in the  looming government shutdown debate seems mired in their own belief that the other has more to lose. House Republicans are aiming to hold a vote today on a bill to extend government funding through December 15th and ensuring the military gets paid on any shutdown, but…


And as the WSJ reports, Harry Reid has already stated that “we are going to accept nothing as it related to Obamacare,” before adjourning the Senate until Monday afternoon (narrowing the gap for a shutdown-avoidance vote). The shutdown-blame-game has begun as it seems the ball is back in the Senate’s court…




Via WSJ,

The strategy keeps House Republicans on a collision course with Senate Democrats. “We are going to accept nothing as it relates to Obamacare,” Mr. Reid said after the Senate approved its spending plan.

Senate Majority Leader Mr. Reid on Friday added to the pressure on the House by adjourning the Senate until Monday afternoon, narrowing the window of time for any last-minute legislative volleys between the chambers.

The president is now demanding that we increase the debt limit without engaging in any kind of bipartisan discussions about addressing our spending problem,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.), who gave the address on behalf of Republicans. “He wants to take the easy way out – exactly the kind of foolishness that got us here in the first place.”

If the House acts today and sends the measure to the Senate, fresh pressure will fall on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) to call the Senate back in session quickly. Mr. Reid said Friday that the Senate would accept no changes or amendments to the funding bill it approved on Friday. He scheduled the Senate to return Monday afternoon, hard upon the Monday midnight deadline for Congress to come to agreement on a funding plan.


June 12, 2013 Leave a comment

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blocked a vote on the border security amendment to the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill offered by Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

Grassley was pushing for an up-or-down vote by the Senate on his amendment, which would have required the border to be secured for six full months before any legalization of illegal immigrants in America began. Reid objected to Grassley’s motion, effectively implementing a 60-vote threshold that completely blocked any attempt at a fair vote on the amendment.

Grassley protested Reid’s plan, which the Senate Majority Leader laughed off. “I’m somewhat surprised at this request,” Reid said in response. “How many times have we heard the Republican Leader say on this floor and publicly that the new reality in the United States Senate is 60?”

So I just thought I was following the direction of the Republican Leader. I mean, this is what he said. That’s why we’re having 60 votes on virtually everything. And with this bill, with this bill, no one can in any way suggest this bill is not important and these amendments aren’t important. So, I care a great deal about my friend, the ranking member on this committee, but I object.

Grassley responded with fury to Reid’s obstruction. “Well, it’s amazing to me that the majority has touted this immigration bill process as one that is open and regular order, but right out of the box, just on the third day, they want to subject our amendments to a filibuster like a 60-vote threshold.”

“So I have to ask, who is obstructing now?” Grassley said. “There is no reason, particularly in this first week, at the beginning of the process, to be blocking our amendments with a 60-vote margin that’s required when you suppose there is a filibuster.”

Grassley said the Senate should “at least start out” the immigration process with “regular order.”

“Otherwise, it really looks like the fix is in and the bill is rigged to pass basically as it is,” Grassley said. “Bottom line, you should have seen how the 18 members of the Judiciary Committee operated for five or six days over a two-week period of time.”

“Everything was open, everything was transparent,” he explained. “There was a complete cooperation between the majority and the minority, and there is no reason why we can’t do that out here in the United States Senate right now and particularly at the beginning.”

“This is a very provocative act,” Grassley warned.

Grassley was not the only senator who expressed dissatisfaction with the process Reid was using on the Senate floor. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who voted in favor of the bill coming out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said during a floor speech that he is concerned votes on his amendments will be blocked as well.

“I was promised by leaders in the Gang of Eight they would work with me, that they would help me to get these things done,” Hatch said. “I consider those promises to be very important, and yet I’ve had some indication over the last few days that maybe they’re not going to work with me.”

“I don’t think anybody’s acted in better good faith than I have,” Hatch claimed. “As I’ve said, I’d like to support the bill, and make no mistake about it, I don’t want people stiffing me on things I consider to be important without even talking, without even working with me to resolve any problems they may have. And, I’m not the kind of guy who takes that lightly.”

Hatch went on to say he thinks there is “too much partisanship around here anyway.”

“If this is going to be a political exercise, count me out,” Hatch said. “If this is an exercise to really try and resolve the amnesty issues, if it’s an exercise to really really try and resolve these critical issues, I can be counted in.”

“Maybe I don’t mean that much in this debate, but if you look at some of the major sections of this bill, I helped work them out and I’ll help work out this bill not only with colleagues on this side but with colleagues on the other side of Capitol Hill. And I don’t want to be stiffed at this time and I’m not the kind of guy who takes stiffing lightly,” Hatch warned.

Obama Demands Vote On 2nd Amendment During Hartford Speech

April 9, 2013 Leave a comment

Source: Kurt Nimmo

Barack Obama traveled to Hartford, Connecticut on Monday and delivered a speech calling for a vote on the Second Amendment. He lashed out at Republicans who plan to resist attempts by Congress to destroy the right to bear firearms.

“Some folks in Washington are already floating the idea that they may use political stunts to prevent votes on any of these reforms,” Obama said. “They’re not just saying they’ll vote no on ideas that almost all Americans support. They’re saying they’ll do everything they can to even prevent any votes on these provisions.”

Obama’s use of the phrase “political stunts” is a reference to the possibility of a Senate filibuster to stop legislation.

On March 22, Republican senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stating their intention to oppose any legislation threatening to destroy the constitutional right to bear arms.

“We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that would oppose on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance,” the letter states. “The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens’ right to self-defense. It speaks to history’s lesson that government cannot be in all places at all times, and history’s warning about the oppression of a government that tries.”

The establishment media, led by the New York Times, has launched a campaign to portray Paul and more than a dozen other senators concerned about the future of the Constitution as obstructionists.

“The gun lobby is spreading the pernicious falsehood that a background check will lead to a gun registry, and a registry will lead to a knock on the front door by a government SWAT team intent on confiscating the nation’s weapons. Mr. Paul and the other signatories who share this belief have promised to filibuster that bill. And given his newfound interest in the dramatic arts, he is probably planning to perform in another C-Span marathon in the weeks to come,” the Time editorialized as Obama gave his speech in Hartford.

Chris Matthews and Rev. Al Sharpton told MSNBC’s diminished audience that most Americans want universal background checks – and hence registration and ultimately firearm confiscation – and demanded Republicans put aside their “partisanship” and allow Democrats in Congress to vote on a bill that will strike a blow to the cornerstone of the Constitution.

Matthews admitted MSNBC has consistently waged a war against the Second Amendment. “I think MSNBC and you and I and a bunch of other people on this network have been keeping up the fight for gun safety” since the Sandy Hook massacre, “not just a few times but consistently every night,” he said.


Feinstein’s Gun Ban Bill Crumbles

March 19, 2013 Leave a comment

California Democrat and influential senator Dianne Feinstein admitted Monday her gun ban proposals will not be part of a Democrat bill to rollback the Second Amendment.

“My understanding is it will not be [part of the base bill],” Feinstein said. “It will be separate.”

Feinstein was told by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about the decision. Feinstein’s bill proposed making illegal 157 models of semiautomatic firearms Democrats characterize as “assault weapons” and outlaw so-called “high-capacity” magazines.

In addition to endangering the larger and more comprehensive Democrat package, Feinstein’s measures would jeopardize red-state Democrats during the 2014 elections.

Senate Judiciary Democrats have approved what they describe as a gun trafficking bill, a measure to expand background checks, and a proposal to increase school safety following the shooting at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut.

The gun trafficking proposal and its “straw purchase” prohibition has Republican support. Democrats plan to use it as a foundation and add amendments to the bill, possibly including some of the stripped Feinstein measures.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy will reportedly introduce the legislation on the Senate floor this week. It is believed he will schedule the bill for a vote in April following a two week congressional recess.

REPORT: Senate plan to omit weapons ban sought by Obama

February 4, 2013 Leave a comment

(CNN) — President Barack Obama on Monday reiterated his call for a comprehensive package of steps against gun violence as the focus on possible Senate legislation appeared to narrow to expanded background checks and limited ammunition magazines, rather than a ban on semi-automatic rifles that mimic assault weapons.

Obama took part in a discussion with Minneapolis officials before telling police officers and others that an increase in gun violence nationwide, including the Connecticut school massacre in December, made it vital to address the issue now.

“No law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe,” Obama said in calling for “basic, commonsense steps to reduce gun violence.”

He added, “if there’s one life we can save, we’ve got an obligation to try.”

Obama emphasized his support for banning semi-automatic rifles modeled after military weapons as part of an updated version of an earlier weapons ban that expired in 2004.

Opponents led by the influential National Rifle Association, oppose any ban on weapons, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated that such a provision faced an uphill struggle.

Reid told ABC on Sunday that he backed expanding background checks to private gun sales at shows and other steps, but he refused to endorse a ban on what are called assault-style rifles modeled after military weapons.

Obama shooting image gets blasted on the Web

A popular version is the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle that can be purchased with magazines holding 30 rounds. A similar weapon was used in the Connecticut school shooting that killed 20 first graders and revived a national focus on tougher gun control measures.

While Obama and some top Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, seek a ban on many semi-automatic rifles, the NRA and politicians from both major parties oppose such a move as an infringement on constitutional rights.

In his remarks Monday, Obama rejected that argument, urging supporters to tell opponents of renewed weapons ban that “there’s no legislation to eliminate all guns; there’s no legislation being proposed to subvert the Second Amendment.”

Obama’s trip to Minneapolis was intended to raise attention to steps taken in the city, including a recent regional gun summit hosted by Mayor R.T. Rybak and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Both cities have experienced mass shootings in recent months, and Obama met with two Minneapolis-area law enforcement officials last week when he discussed the issue with local police and sheriffs department members at the White House.

The NRA and its leading supporters in Congress argue that steps proposed by Obama won’t work and would fail to address the problem.

For example, they say criminals skirt background checks, so expanding the system would miss the main target of the legislation. They also contend that the semi-automatic rifles targeted by Feinstein in a proposal introduced last week are used in a fraction of the nation’s gun violence.

Gun debate: Where is the middle ground?

Obama and other supporters of stronger gun control measures say all possible efforts must be made to address what they call a chronic and growing problem of gun violence, particularly involving vulnerable targets such as students.

Reid of Nevada is the top Senate Democrat, who sets the chamber’s legislative schedule. He said Sunday that he wants the Judiciary Committee to produce a bill that could be debated by the full Senate and would be open to proposed amendments by any senator.

However, Reid signaled that the committee version would lack the ban on assault-style weapons.

“If Dianne Feinstein, by the time it’s through the Judiciary Committee, if she doesn’t have her assault weapons, at least let her have an opportunity to offer this amendment” on the Senate floor, Reid told ABC.

Reid, who noted he owned guns and was a former law officer, said he opposed the Clinton-era assault weapons ban that expired midway through the Bush administration.

He called for expanding background checks and steps to halt federal gun trafficking while saying the Senate should “take a look at” unspecified limits on ammunition magazines.

Asked about backing he has received from the NRA, Reid said that “just because they resist it doesn’t mean we can’t do things.”

Other steps under consideration include better monitoring of people with mental illness to prevent them from obtaining guns.

Democrats have said the background check measure would stand the best chance of garnering bipartisan support, including from some pro-gun Democrats. Even if passed by the Senate, a gun bill would face tougher scrutiny in the Republican-led House.

Obama said Monday that lawmakers in Congress from both parties were working together on plans that would expand background checks to all gun purchases and criminalize “straw purchases” in which legal gun owners buy weapons for people prohibited from doing so.

The faces of America’s gun debate

Guns sold through private sales currently avoid background checks — the so-called gun show loophole.

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said last week that he was in talks with colleagues — including several who are ranked highly by the NRA — on possible legislation to expand background checks on private gun sales.

Sources close to both Schumer and Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma told CNN the two were in serious discussions about co-sponsoring a bill to strengthen background checks. Schumer sits on the Judiciary Committee, while Coburn is a former member.

However, NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre told the panel that the current background check system doesn’t work, so expanding it would only create an unmanageable government bureaucracy instead of reducing gun crime.

During the Super Bowl on Sunday night, a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns broadcast an ad showing the NRA’s LaPierre, in 1999, endorsing the expanded background checks his group now opposes.

Supporters of gun control argue that the constitutional right to bear arms can be limited, for example, by the existing ban on private citizens possessing grenade launchers and other military weaponry.

However, Denver University law professor David Kopel said last week that the Supreme Court made clear that gun control could not include weapons used commonly by law-abiding citizens, such as the top-selling AR-15 that Feinstein’s legislation would ban.

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