There’s Much More Than Just Obamacare in the House Hostage Note

Ransom Note

What do the following two statements have in common? Hint: Both press releases from the Nevada Republican representatives in Congress would give a person the distinct impression that the House GOP wants to hold the debt ceiling hostage in order to get a one year delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Flashback: 9/20/13 “The coming 10 days will give the American people a clear view on who stands with the middle class, small business owners, and seniors, among others, in opposition to the implementation of the ACA and ongoing fiscal practices that undermine the economy.” [Rep. Mark Amodei]

Flashback: 9/20/13: “During the August work period, I heard from constituents throughout the district who made their wishes clear: keep the government open and alleviate the burdens placed on them, their families, and their businesses by the flawed health care law. The CR passed today by the House reflects those priorities – it keeps the government open, controls spending, and defunds an unworkable law. The House has heard the voice of the American public and it is now time for the Senate to act.”  [Rep. Joe Heck]

However, according to the House Appropriations Committee that’s not the only hostage being held at knife point:

“In return for a one-year suspension of the debt ceiling, House Republicans are demanding a yearlong delay of Obamacare, Rep. Paul Ryan’s tax reform plan, the Keystone XL pipeline, more offshore oil drilling, more drilling on federally protected lands, rewriting of ash coal regulations, a suspension of the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate carbon emissions, more power over the regulatory process in general, reform of the federal employee retirement program, an overhaul of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, more power over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s budget, repeal of the Social Services Block Grant, more means-testing in Medicare, repeal of the Public Health trust fund, and more.”  [WaPo/NtlRev] [NtlRev] (emphasis added)

In short, what the House Republicans are demanding isn’t JUST a delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but the adoption of their entire Tea Party Agenda — without delay — and all this for a one year extension of the debt ceiling.

All of this makes the statement of Representative Dina Titus (D-NV1) much more sensible:

“With just days remaining before the end of the fiscal year, Republicans continue to put politics ahead of the economy by risking a government shutdown for the sake of their flawed ideological principles. This continuing resolution is not a real plan to fund the government; it is a destructive attempt to deny health care to those who need it the most. It’s time for Republicans to get serious, stop playing political games, and finally start working for the American people.”

Right, this hostage taking is anything but a ‘real plan.’  The House GOP is essentially saying that unless they get everything on their agenda they will gleefully try to blame the Senate and the Administration for their own obstructionism.  Further, this isn’t an exercise in Checks and Balance government — this situation IS a prime example of a willful minority throwing a tantrum unless they get everything they want when they want it.

There’s more considered opinion  from Rep. Stephen Horsford:

“Not only does this irresponsible continuing resolution lock in deep and irresponsible sequester cuts, it also will raise Nevadans’ health costs and deny them the health coverage they need.

“It’s time for all parties to come together to find a way to stop sequester cuts and find a responsible compromise that funds our vital social programs. Nevadans cannot afford to be caught in the political games of the Tea Party. We cannot afford to continue lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis. We should work to reduce our deficits and debt in a fair and responsible way.”

Rep. Horsford adds the sequestration cuts to the mix and correctly observes that this is, in almost every categorization possible, part of “the political games of the Tea Party.”

The Tea Party Faithless are perfectly happy to make health care insurance less readily available to millions of Americans, content to brush aside the potential calamity of a  national default on our credit obligations on international markets, and all merely to advance an agenda devoid of proposals for realistic solutions to both immediate and long term problems.

We do, if fact, now understand that the GOP has become the party of the selfish, the self-centered, the polluters, the exploiters, and the Big Banks and hedge funds … it’s all in the Hostage Note.

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