Thursday, March 17, 2011

Obamacare Slush Fund: Why are the Republicans fighting?

Let's see how this plays out....

About two weeks ago Rep. Michele Bachmann discovers $105 billion dollars slush fund in the Obamacare bill. First BRAVO, Rep. Bachmann for bringing this to light and despite Politifact claiming it was "barely true", the reason they stated was because Rep. Bachmann said is was a "secret" but the number was right.

But the liberal media has been attacking her for calling it “hidden” funding. In reality, Rep. Bachmann said that “practically no Member of Congress even knew that $105 billion of funding was” in the bill.

FactCheck says that this funding was known to “those who read the bill … including members of Congress.”

But does FactCheck really believe that any member of Congress read all 2,700 pages of the bill?

Do they have any evidence at all that any member of Congress knew about the $105 billion figure before CRS published their report this February?

But more importantly, in their attempted take down of Rep. Bachmann, PolitiFact, FactCheck, and The Washington Post Fact Checker all confirm her underlying charge:

the $105 billion exists.

So now we know that the slush funds exist, what to do about it? As the March 18th deadline for the current continuing resolution approaches, there was a call from Rep Bachmann and Rep King for Republican Caucus not support the next the CR unless it included the defunding of the Obamacare slush funds. Sounds good in theory but, it was discovered that the 105 billion dollar slush funds could not be defunded by including it in the CR:

From Fox News Blogs:

At the House Rules Committee Monday, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-K., told his colleagues that it is impossible to "defund" the $105 billion in mandatory spending approved for the health care law that Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. and Steve King, R-Iowa, are demanding.

Rogers says the problem is that the temporary spending bill is an appropriation bill, not an authorization bill. And you cannot take away "authorized" money on an appropriations bill.

"These are authorizations," Rogers said. "We can't do those on appropriations unless the authorizers pave the way for us."

Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee cautioned his colleagues against spending time on the $105 billion argument by Bachmann and King.

"The chances of this [health repeal] are De minimis at best," Dicks said.

Even with this 54 Republicans broke with leadership and voted against the continueing resolution, which it cut federal spending another $6 billion dollars.

The latest House continuing resolution cuts or eliminates 25 programs, many already identified for elimination by the White House in its budget for FY 2012. In addition to $3.5 billion in program cuts, the House plan also zeros out $2.6 billion for member projects or earmarks. It cuts in three weeks what Senate Democrats proposed cutting over six months. The current two-week continuing resolution cut $4 billion from 2010 levels.

“Enactment of this short-term measure would mean $10 billion in cuts in just five weeks, which is $10 billion more than the Democrats who run Washington originally suggested,” said Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio, in a statement after the vote. “But if we’re serious about ending uncertainty for small businesses and helping them get back to creating jobs, we need to cut a lot more.”

O.k. so that takes care of the CR, we still have the Obamacare slush fund to deal with, what about that Speaker Boehnor????

Oh, so there will be separate legislation to deal with the defunding of the slush funds. It's a procedures, it is strategy, it making sure things are done right. It seems to me that Rep. Bachmann and Rep. King should probably have know this, wonder why they are organizing against leadership, Are they grandstanding? Well, it they are it seems that the tea party movement is biting hook, line and sinker.

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