In addition, ABC News is reporting that,
* The health care battle is just beginning. Next, the Senate will try to enact the House's "fixes" to the original Senate bill. Some Senators say that won't happen. If not, then President Obama has the option of signing the original Senate bill--now passed by the House--Cornhusker Kickback and all. I assume he would do that, but the resulting blowback from House Democrats, not to mention the American people, would be something to behold.
* The health care bill's taxes will go into effect promptly, but its substantive provisions are, for the most part, deferred for four years. This means that we have plenty of time to repeal the legislation. Sure, it will take a new Congress and new President. But repealing this disaster of a bill will by a rallying cry for the American people for years to come. Moreover, even if the Republicans only take over the House in November, and not the Senate, won't it be possible to throw roadblocks in the way of the bill's implementation? Won't budget appropriations be necessary to sustain the various federal tentacles the bill seeks to establish? What will happen if the House simply refuses to fund them?
* I've never been prouder to be a Republican. The party's Congressional leaders have fought this battle to the end on behalf of the American people--with intelligence, toughness, persistence and good humor. The contrast between the parties has never been starker than in today's debate. If any intelligent Democrats were watching--there must be some left--they had to be embarrassed for their party.
* Paul Ryan has emerged as one of the conservative movement's strongest spokesmen. In the years to come, I think we will hear the words "I'm a Paul Ryan Republican" with increasing frequency.
* The health care debate has energized the conservative movement and awoken the sleeping giant, that is, the American people. The Democrats misinterpreted their electoral victories in 2006 and 2008 as a mandate for socialism. Now a majority of voters are intent on disabusing them of that misapprehension. Just about all of the political energy today is on the right--a remarkable fact, only sixteen months after the Democrats' high-water mark in November 2008.
* Barack Obama has used his political capital--pretty much all of it--on unpopular legislation that will continue to rile the voters for years to come. As a result, Obama is a remarkably unpopular second-year President. And he hasn't even experienced any bad luck yet. It is hard to see how he will be able to regain his footing.
So, be of good cheer. To paraphrase a great American, we have not yet begun to fight.
Senate Republicans say they can get the whole package of reconciliation fixes – the fix-its that make the Senate plan palatable to House Democrats – thrown out with a trump card procedural motion. And they say Democrats are slow-walking a decision from the parliamentarian until the House passes the Senate bill…Yes, this feels like a Hail Mary. But hey, it worked for Doug Flutie, right? There's also the likelihood of an onslaught of litigation as 37 states are either considering, or have passed legislation seeking to counteract the behemoth Obamacare plan.
This afternoon Senate Republicans say Democrats won’t meet with them and the parliamentarian – a charge Democratic staffers call “absurd”…
For an appetizer, take a look at Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Judd Gregg’s statement tonight.
“Immediately after receiving the final reconciliation bill language, Senate Republican staff was ready and willing to meet with Senate Democratic staff and the Senate Parliamentarian to discuss the fact that the House reconciliation bill may be brought down by the 310(g) point of order in the Senate. Senate Democrats are mysteriously unavailable until after the House votes on the health care bill tonight. The Senate Democrats appear to be pushing off this meeting so that House Democrats will remain in the dark about what is likely to happen to the reconciliation bill on which many have staked their careers in Congress. House Democrats should be alarmed by this latest development, since the survival of the reconciliation bill is clearly at risk in the Senate.”
So don't give up yet. I'm convinced that this nation, founded on the principles of freedom by inspired men, will yet prevail. But it will require an extraordinary amount of effort on our part. And maybe that is exactly what this country needs: a concerned and involved citizenry. Most of us have stood on the sidelines for far too long. Maybe we felt inadequate, or that our efforts wouldn't matter. Well, now's our chance to change that. Get involved. Be persistent. Whatever it is that you feel you need to do, DO IT. Stop talking, and DO IT.