Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 4, 2011

THE MISGUIDED REPEAL CRUSADE PICKS BACK UP.... House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) lectured President Obama last week during an interview with ABC. "It's time to grow up and get serious about the problems that face our country," Boehner said.

With that in mind, Boehner's House Republican caucus returned to work yesterday after a two-week break, ready to "get serious about the problems that face our country." What's up first? Maybe a jobs bill? Ideas to lower gas prices?

No, the first order of business was passing a bill to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans insist the health care repeal effort hasn't jumped the shark -- but even they admit the bills they're pushing through the House Tuesday aren't exactly the biggest repeal votes they've taken.

The bills are getting smaller and narrower -- going after shrinking slices of President Barack Obama's health care law, rather than the whole thing. The main one on Tuesday's agenda, which passed the House 238-183, repeals the mandatory funding for the state-based health insurance exchanges.

Today, they'll follow up, voting to repeal funds for building school-based health centers.

There are a few problems with this. First, House Republicans are working hard on legislation they know can't pass the Senate and won't be signed by the president. Second, it's tricky pretending to "get serious about the problems that face our country," while at the same time ignoring actual problems and investing time and energy in bills that won't become law.

"They come back this week and instead of focusing on jobs they're going to be voting to take away more Americans' health care and do nothing to grow our economy," a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said.

And third, if Republicans were somehow successful in this little endeavor, and they cut off funding for state-based health insurance exchanges, the result would be increased federal control over the exchanges -- which is presumably the opposite of what the GOP wants.

Indeed, the whole effort is pretty odd. The bill isn't going to pass anyway, but just looking at it on the merits, the Republican measure would eliminate grants to help the states establish health insurance exchanges. But if states fall short in creating exchanges, the executive branch steps in to do the work for them.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it's not the president who needs to be reminded about "getting serious about the problems that face our country."

Steve Benen 10:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (19)

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As if they weren't stupid enough before, the OBL mission really makes the republicans' lectures about seriousness look foolish(bordering on comedy) in hindsight.

Posted by: Holmes on May 4, 2011 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

I would love to be present every morning on capitol hill when the clown car rolls up and starts disgorging this collection of fools. Just when you think they can't embarrass themselves more, they take it to a new level. I certainly look forward to our ever diligent mass media to bring this to the attention of concerned Americans everywhere.

Posted by: John R AKA Mr. Serf Man on May 4, 2011 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

God these fucking idiots are nothing more that buffoons that have been turned into corporate automatons ...... they should rename the House of Representatives to the House Of The Buffoons ...

Posted by: stormskies on May 4, 2011 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

serious question: why not call their bluff and pass it?

Posted by: eric on May 4, 2011 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

GOP, the do nothing party. All they have are dumb ignorant people yapping endlessly, never accomplishing anything that benefits the nation, collecting money from their benefactors and then bashing the crap out of people that really do work and want to work. They are quite the disgusting example of poorly raised adults in the United States.

Posted by: Silver Owl on May 4, 2011 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

SOSDD - Same Old Sh*t, Different Day.

Party uber country.


Posted by: c u n d gulag on May 4, 2011 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Boehner, being a K street head, and not so much a politician, wants more profitable health care for big insurance.

Apparently its not enough that health insurance doubles every eight to ten years and wages have been fairly stagnant for decades.

Posted by: Kill Bill on May 4, 2011 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

The GOoPers are looking more and more like a group of wingless, retarded penguins who never learned how to swim stuck on an ever-shrinking chunk of ice.

The ground under their feet is disappearing and they are powerless to find a way of escaping so they flap their useless flippers and crow loudly.

Posted by: Bo on May 4, 2011 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

The best thing we can do to lower oil and gasoline prices in the US is what the Democrats have been doing all along: prevent any more domestic oil production, and discourage the use of any enhanced recovery techniques of existing fields through. A good example of this would be to outlaw "fracking". Another thing we could do to lower gasoline prices would be to support President Obama's initiative for much higher gasoline taxes. All of these things will show how we Democrats have many ideas to lower energy prices.

Posted by: Mr R on May 4, 2011 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

These votes are the legislative equivalent of Special Order speeches. They aren't done to accomplish anything, they are done so they can tell the folks back home they voted against Obamacare. As what they vote for will never come to fruition, it is win-win for them.

That's what growing up and getting serious is all about to them.

Posted by: martin on May 4, 2011 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

The worst thing about the stupid Republican bastards trying to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act is their idiotic complaint that it's unconstitutional. How can it be unconstitutional to have free health care for everyone? Idiots!

Posted by: Mr R on May 4, 2011 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Boner is still working off the Tea Party "to-do" list. That would appear to be his plan going forward. Constantly working to pass bills that are certain to be DOA in the Senate, while ignoring important things is beginning to be recognized by the average Joe.
I saw a newspaper article alluding to this today. The increasing irrelevance of the Republican Party is getting pretty obvious.

Posted by: T2 on May 4, 2011 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Steve raises the question about why the republicans want to do away with state based health exchanges. It's been more than obvious for the last several months that the republicans want to INCREASE government control of the nation, not decrease it. They're micromanaging everything they can get their hands on, mostly to the detriment of the people involved. Ask Washington, D.C.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on May 4, 2011 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Ok. I am certainly not a health care expert - but ... one of the first three states, according to The Hill, to develop an exchange is ... Utah, along with CA and MA, and I think all 3 were signed into law by ... Republicans - though only one is a real so called conservative governor. I don't really understand health care policy beyond the idea that Americans should have access to HC and many do not, but if Utah develops a model that may work, what does this say about the republicans in congress?

Posted by: bigtuna on May 4, 2011 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

I think Eric had the right idea. Pass the law eliminating funding for the state exchanges so that either the states have to come up with their own money, or the feds take over. Then when people scream, make sure they are reminded whose law it was in the first place.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on May 4, 2011 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Boehner, WHERE'S MY F*CKING JOB?!?!?!?!

Posted by: c u n d gulag on May 4, 2011 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Republican ideas on American health care are D. O. A.

Even the Rasmussen poll this morning finds less than 50% hoping for repeal, and as we know among them are those who want single payer instead.http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/04/972755/-Public-support-for-health-reform-repeal-waning,-even-in-Rasmussen-poll?detail=hide

Republicans are authoritarians who use libertarian rhetoric to put in horrendous, unthinkable government controls over our most private lives.

Throw the rascals out. They now are fully exposed in their hypocrisy and ludicrously self-contradictory actions.

Posted by: jjm on May 4, 2011 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Remember when Sharrrron Angle said that she wasn't interested in creating jobs as a senator? Sounds like she was talking the party line there.

Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy on May 4, 2011 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Really not surprising. The Republicans continue to show they have no interest/capability to govern. This is all f(_)cking theater to them. A lot of motion/activity, for nothing, to show the folks back home how serious they are. Of course, these is no time for actual, constructive legislation (aside from the fact they couldn't do it) because they have been so busy with their health-care rewrite.

Absolutely inexcusable.

Posted by: Ken on May 4, 2011 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK
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