Tea Party Patriots Ordinary citizens reclaiming America's founding principles.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The only people supporting Obamacare are exempted

Harry Reid and his team of progressives voted to throw a CR, which includes Obamacare funding, back into the lap of the House.
In the middle of the night last night (Saturday), the House voted on that CR, with the following amendments:
1. Defund/Delay Full Implementation of Obamacare until 2015
2. Continue current government spending levels through December 15, 2013 (the bill that passed the Senate changed the date to Nov. 15 - this bill changes it back to Dec. 15)
3. Repeal the Medical Device Tax

The final vote on the House Amendments to the Senate Amendment to H.J. Res. 59 was 231-192, with 2 "Republicans" defecting, and 2 Democrats joining. Click here for a complete roll call.
The other vote was a unanimous vote for H.R. 3210. This legislation will ensure the military gets paid in the event that the Senate doesn't act to keep the government running. 
Important note: Members of Congress would continue to be paid if a shutdown occurs.
Please take a moment to call your Congressman and thank him/her for standing with the American people.

Who's Responsible?
Framing the Message
It's important when discussing this issue, people understand that the House, twice, has passed resolutions to continue funding the government.  The Senate has voted against funding the government once: will they do it again?  
They voted against the majority of Americans who now believe Obamacare is bad for the country.  The voted against funding the government because the resolution did not include the perks previously carved out for themselves and their big business and union buddies.
Senator Ted Cruz continues to hit the nail on the head:
  • The only people supporting Obamacare are exempted.  
  • Everyone not exempted, wants to delay it for a year  
  • Reid is willing to shut down government over refusal to compromise
Please continue to call your Senators and ask them not to vote for a government shutdown, but to vote in support of the American people.
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The 'Secret Playbook' for Congress' Budget Battle

From former Congressman Ernest Istook via Washington Times --

WASHINGTON, September 28, 2013 — Did you miss the hidden-ball trick play the Senate pulled on Friday? Is the House running trick plays of its own?

The budget game is confusing, so let me share part of the playbook I learned during my 14 years as a Congressman.

Game Situation

To start, Friday’s 68-30 Senate vote “waived the provisions” (Congress-speak for “broke the promises”) of the budget rules. The 2011 budget deal promised spending cuts in exchange for adding over $2 trillion to the debt ceiling.

Now Senators voted to free themselves from that 2011 promise. Expect them to offer new promises (to be broken at some future date) to justify another increase in the debt limit.

The Senate vote went mostly unnoticed because reporters focused instead on the vote on cloture. Every Democrat, aided by 12 Republicans, approved the waiver of budget rules; the roll call is online here.

Now the House counters by proposing a 1-year delay in Obamacare. Or would their plan delay only part of Obamacare? The difference is crucial.

More confusion and trick plays are coming, so prepare yourself with these excerpts from the Secret Playbook that Congress uses in times like this:

Punt, Pass and Kick

Congress does what football coaches cannot: Changes the rules to extend the game. They buy time, procrastinate.

Passing short-term legislation is a punt. It briefly takes pressure off politicians by kicking deadlines into the future. Extensions may last just a few days, or several months. Current authority to spend expires October 1st; on Friday the Senate voted to move that to November 15. Since 2001, Congress has passed 50 continuing resolutions that extended spending approval.

They buy bigger chunks of time by raising the debt ceiling. Deficit problems are pushed a year or two into the future by allowing the Treasury to borrow more. We’ve reached the current limit of $16.7 trillion and the Administration has designated October 17 as the date when their accounting gimmicks won’t work anymore. Without raising the debt ceiling, our government must make do with the measly $2.7 trillion it gets from tax collections.

Trick Plays

Football’s trick plays aren’t new and neither are Congress’.

The Senate’s hidden-ball play worked because other votes got all the attention instead of the vote on waiving the budget rules.

Other classic trick plays include:

The Time Shift: A great example is House Speaker John Boehner’s pledge that every dollar of borrowing must be offset “one for one” with a dollar of spending cuts. The $2 trillion borrowed under the 2011 deal is all spent. The spending “cuts,” like the sequester, are actually reductions in growth of spending and not reductions in spending levels. Those cuts are spread out over 10 years.

Calling this “one-for-one” is like trading 100 dollars for 100 pennies. It’s one item for one item, but they’re not equivalent. Promises of future spending cuts are unreliable. But politicians praise them as though they are real and they are spectacular.

Conditional Approvals: Congress will direct that something be done “unless” the president or a Cabinet secretary certifies that it should not be done. Congress brags about advancing projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline, while still letting Presidents do the opposite.

Blue-Ribbon Panels: The last budget deal established a commission with supposed authority to fix budget problems. Except the commission couldn’t get the necessary consensus any better than Congress could. Plus the real authority stayed with Congress anyway.

Procedural Gimmicks: Internal rules are created so the House and/or Senate restricts itself from certain actions. Later they can simply vote to waive these rules. That’s what the Senate did on Friday.

Promote Consolation Prizes

This part of the playbook teaches politicians to treat a loss as at least a moral victory because you get a little something. It’s the equivalent of a football coach who brags after a defeat:

“We got more first downs than they did.”

“We outscored them in the third quarter.”

“At least we weren’t shut out,” or

“I saw some things today that will lead to victories in the future.”

House Republican leaders tested this approach. First they suggested Members should support current spending levels, without de-funding Obamacare, so long as they got a consolation prize. That got shot down so now it’s hard to tell what revised changes are major and what are minor.

For example:

Delaying the individual mandate: If the entirety of Obamacare were delayed, it helps the country. Yet if “delaying Obamacare” only means putting off this mandate, it could make Obamacare harder to repeal in the long run. Sure, delaying the individual mandate sounds good. But meantime workers keep losing hours and losing coverage while Obamacare’s other mandates wipe out affordable private insurance.

A mandate delay splits the united opposition and lets the law’s supporters posture as moderates. Fixing an ugly wart doesn’t fix the many things broken by Obamacare.

Eliminate the medical device tax: This placates one segment of Obamacare, putting them to sleep so they’re less likely to support future efforts to repeal or defund the rest of the law.

Medical malpractice reform: Again fixing a wart but ignoring broken bones.

Another consolation prize often offered is language expressing “the intent of Congress” to do something, or requiring the White House “to propose a plan.”

These are political jukes.

It’s like a runner who makes a stutter step or gives a head fake to avoid a tackler. Provisions like these don’t change anything; they just confuse the public.

Watch Out For The Referees

The referees don’t call it fair in this budget game. These refs rarely blow the whistle on Obama and his team. They’re allowed to commit personal fouls, cheap shots, late hits and unnecessary roughness. They can freely accuse Republicans of throwing temper tantrums, being terrorists, arsonists, juvenile, crazy, etc.

In politics, the referees also moonlight as cheerleaders.

Running Out the Clock

Although Congress can buy time, the time advantage remains on Obama’s side. Once millions of Americans are forced to get their health coverage through Obamacare, the law becomes harder than ever to reverse.

The President and Democrats don’t need to score to win. They established their lead when Obamacare was passed in 2010. Because it received ten years of guaranteed money for overhead, the program is not shut down even if other parts of government are.

The Pep Talk

The Left claims that conservatives oppose Obamacare because they fear that it will work. Not so. The fear is that millions of Americans will be trapped in an expensive boondoggle because Obamacare has wiped out their alternatives.

Too many employers have already cancelled coverage. Insurers are still banned from offering policies except the full-featured, high-priced coverge mandated by Obamacare. Delaying other features won’t change this.

Repealing pieces of the law would make it harder to repeal the many bad parts that remained.

Congress is predictable in its legislative stunting, but the current political standoff has no good and easy outcome. And neither does Obamacare itself.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What next? Graves amendment could delay Obamacare

2 Days to Obamacare : If you have not yet signed the online petition Don’tFundIt, go here. You will receive an email to confirm that you intended to sign the petition. As of noon on Sat., Sept. 28, there were over 1,900,000 signatures, and counting. We need to get this over 2 million. Sen. Cruz has said all along he needed to see a grassroots tsunami effort to get the Senate to listen!!!

Last week, 25 "Republicans" (listed below, scare quotes intentional) voted for ending debate on the CR on Friday, even though they knew that it would result in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attaching an amendment to it, that would allow funding for Obamacare.  
In simple truth, the vote for Cloture was a vote to fund Obamacare. They knew that if they voted on Cloture and allowed Harry Reid to strip the defunding measure out of the bill, that it would easily pass on a 51 vote simple majority. 

A New Species of Invertebrates

Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, along with a few others, have worked tirelessly to stand up for the American people and have proven that the majority of the "ruling elite" Republicans are not listening to their constituents.  These "Republicans", instead, have proven themselves to be a new form of invertebrates.  If they once had a spine, it is now gone, and has been for quite some time. 
These invertebrates have pushed the burden back to the House, which did the right thing when passing a CR to fund the government, but not Obamacare.

What Next?
Rep. Graves to Offer "Fairness Agreement" to Senate CR

The Fairness Amendment, which has 61 House Republican supporters, would delay Obamacare until 2015. Rep. Graves issued the following statement about the amendment:
"A simple and reasonable way to ensure fairness for all is to provide every American the same one-year Obamacare delay that President Obama provided for businesses and others...our amendment rejects the Washington-style special treatment for the privileged few and demands fairness for all... as we continue working to keep the government open and protect our constituents from the harmful effects of Obamacare."

The Fairness Amendment to H.J. Res. 59  enforces a delay of Obamacare until 2015:
  •  All of Obamacare's taxes, fines, Medicare cuts and other key provisions would be delayed until 2015.
  •  Exempts CHIP from the delay.
  •  CHIP, a health insurance program for children, became law 1997 and was folded into Obamacare.
Please  click here for the text of the amendment. 

For the record, here are the 25 GOP/RINO Senators who caved on the Cloture vote:
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
John Barrasso (R-WY)
Roy Blunt (R-MO)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Jeff Chiesa (R-NJ)
Daniel Coats (R-IN)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Bob Corker (R-TN)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
John Hoeven (R-ND)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Ron Johnson (R-WI)
John McCain (R-AZ)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
John Thune (R-SD)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)


Friday, September 27, 2013

Vitter Introduces "No Washington Exemption from Obamacare" to CR

3 Days to Obamacare : If you have not yet signed the online petition Don’tFundIt, go here. You will receive an email to confirm that you intended to sign the petition. As of 10 am on Fri., Sept. 27, there were over 1,859,000 signatures, and counting. We need to get this over 2 million. Sen. Cruz has said all along he needed to see a grassroots tsunami effort to get the Senate to listen!!!

Senate President Harry Reid has scheduled the votes on the Continuing Resolution (HJR to start at 12:30pm today.
The weak GOP Senators want to have it both ways by voting for the Clotures with the defunding of Obamacare language still in the CR, knowing it will be removed by Harry Reid after the votes are taken. 

Our position has been and will remain -- 
any vote for cloture is a vote for Obamacare.

Your phone calls, emails, etc.... are working!  In making your calls through the week, many of you may have noticed the phones at the Senators office have either been turned off or you have been sent directly to voice mail. (That's a good sign!)

If the establishment elite in the GOP want to play games and try to dodge your calls -- we are going to show them we will not be deterred and we will get around their attempts to block and ignore our calls.

To continue applying the pressure, as part of this Action Alert we have included a link (Click Here) that has the email contact information for the Chief of Staff and Media Spokesperson of these Senators, (Click Here).

And in something we have been lobbying for privately the last week, Senator David Vitter (R-LA), tried offering an amendment to eliminate the exemptions and public-financed subsidies D.C. staffers and Congress will receive under Obamacare.  Senator Harry Reid, while allowing the amendment to strike defunding language, is trying to block Vitter's Amendment 1983 to eliminate D.C. exemptions and subsidies.

While we are standing strong on voting no for cloture, it is very important we force the Democrats and weak GOP Senators take a stand alone vote on Vitter's Amendment 1983 to eliminate the D.C. exemptions from Obamacare.

Passion to Action

As usual, and as expected, Senator Rob Portman, while claiming to be against Obamacare or funding Obamacare has yet to sign on and join the conservatives in the Senate standing strong against the funding of Obamacare.

Knowing that when Senator Portman says he is against something, it doesn't mean he is really against it, we need to continue our calls to his office in attempts and hopes that he will, at least for once during his term, stand with people that elected him.

Our other Senator from Ohio, Senator Sherrod Brown, a hero with the Union leaders, who are more and more coming out against Obamacare, also needs to be targeted.  Claiming to be "for the working man" surely Senator Brown would not want his exemptions and subsidies for himself, his wife Connie Schultz and his staff to be paid for by the working man he claims to support

Please contact Senator Portman and Senator Brown:
  • Tell them to vote NO on both cloture votes
  • Support Senator Vitters Amendment 1983 to eliminate D.C. exemptions and subisidies from Obamacare.
Senator Portman
DC Office: (202)224-3353

Portman's Chief of Staff
Rob Lehman 

Portman's N/E Ohio District Representative
George Brown
PH: (216)522-1095
Senator Sherrod Brown
D.C. Office: (202) 224-2315
Brown's Chief of Staff
Mark Powden

For email and phone contact information for all the Senators, please click here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thank you Ted Cruz! #MakeDCListen

Sen. Ted Cruz is walking the walk (and reading Green Eggs and Ham to his kids at bedtime!!), while the GOP establishment withholds its support of his principled actions - and whines and whines and whines. From Tea Party Patriots:

. . . Senators, Congressmen, and their staff want to force us to pay for and live under this law,  yet they have exempted themselves from Obamacare. . . .No man is above the law in America. America was founded precisely because our founders did not want to live under kings and tyrannical rule, and now we have a Ruling Class in DC forcing us to live under laws they do do not want to abide by.  (BTW, the staffers on the floor of the Senate Chamber who are watching the filibuster really, really do not like having that pointed out to them. As we were watching the debate in the Senate you could see body language change in the Senate Chamber as soon as the exemptions and the Ruling Class is mentioned.)

You may be wondering, "How can I help?  How can I get involved in this historic moment to stop Obamacare from becoming the entrenched law of the land?"  Here is what is needed next:

Join the fight on Twitter TONIGHT and throughout the week.
Please use your Twitter account to weigh in on this debate.  The Senate offices are paying attention to Twitter and the hashtag #MakeDCListen is trending #1 on Twitter tonight.  We are making a difference on social media and on Capitol Hill! A list of the Senators twitter ids is below. Contact both Republican and Democrat Senators. While tweeting, ask your senators the list of questions below, give them a map of the Capitol in case they have forgotten how to get to the Senate floor, and let them know you are watching. Be sure to tell the Senators you do not want a vote for cloture to close the debate (which is likely to happen on Friday or Saturday) until there is a guarantee of a clean vote for the House CR. That is our next milestone in defunding Obamcare.
Here is a list of all Senators and their Twitter Handles.
The ones with #ThankYou spoke on the Senate floor today in support of Cruz and Lee. The ones with #MakeDCListen have not shown their support on the Senate floor.

State Name Twitter Handle Party Tweet
AK Lisa Murkowski @lisamurkowski Republican #MakeDCListen
AK Mark Begich @SenatorBegich Democrat #MakeDCListen
AL Jeff Sessions @SenatorSessions Republican #ThankYou
AL Richard Shelby @SenShelbyPress Republican #MakeDCListen
AR John Boozman @JohnBoozman Republican #MakeDCListen
AR Mark Pryor @SenMarkPryor Democrat #MakeDCListen
AZ John McCain @SenJohnMcCain Republican #MakeDCListen
AZ Jeff Flake @JeffFlake Republican #MakeDCListen
CA Dianne Feinstein @SenFeinstein Democrat #MakeDCListen
CA Barbara Boxer @SenatorBoxer Democrat #MakeDCListen
CO Mark Udall @MarkUdall Democrat #MakeDCListen
CO Michael Bennet @SenBennetCO Democrat #MakeDCListen
CT Richard Blumenthal @SenBlumenthal Democrat #MakeDCListen
CT Chris Murphy @ChrisMurphyCT Democrat #MakeDCListen
DE Tom Carper @SenatorCarper Democrat #MakeDCListen
DE Chris Coons @ChrisCoons Democrat #MakeDCListen
FL Marco Rubio @marcorubio Republican #ThankYou
FL Bill Nelson @SenBillNelson Democrat #MakeDCListen
GA Saxby Chambliss @SaxbyChambliss Republican #MakeDCListen
GA Johnny Isakson @SenatorIsakson Republican #MakeDCListen
HA Brian Schatz @brianschatz Democrat #MakeDCListen
HA Mazie Hirono @maziehirono Democrat #MakeDCListen
IA Chuck Grassley @ChuckGrassley Republican #MakeDCListen
IA Tom Harkin @SenatorHarkin Democrat #MakeDCListen
ID Mike Crapo @MikeCrapo Republican #MakeDCListen
ID Jim Risch @SenatorRisch Republican #MakeDCListen
IL Mark Kirk @SenatorKirk Republican #MakeDCListen
IL Dick Durbin @SenatorDurbin Democrat #MakeDCListen
IN Dan Coats @SenDanCoats Republican #MakeDCListen
IN Joe Donnelly @SenDonnelly Democrat #MakeDCListen
KS Pat Roberts @SenPatRoberts Republican #MakeDCListen
KS Jerry Moran @JerryMoran Republican #MakeDCListen
KY Rand Paul @SenRandPaul Republican #ThankYou
KY Mitch McConnell @McConnellPress Republican #MakeDCListen
LA David Vitter @DavidVitter Republican #ThankYou
LA Mary Landrieu @SenLandrieu Democrat #MakeDCListen
MA William (Mo) Cowan @SenMoCowen Democrat #MakeDCListen
MA Elizabeth Warren @elizabethforma Democrat #MakeDCListen
MD Barbara Mikulski @SenatorBarb Democrat #MakeDCListen
MD Ben Cardin @SenatorCardin Democrat #MakeDCListen
ME Susan Collins @SenatorCollins Republican #MakeDCListen
ME Angus King @SenAngusKing Independent #MakeDCListen
MI Carl Levin @SenCarlLevin Democrat #MakeDCListen
MI Debbie Stabenow @StabenowPress Democrat #MakeDCListen
MN Amy Klobuchar @amyklobuchar Democrat #MakeDCListen
MN Al Franken @alfranken Democrat #MakeDCListen
MO Roy Blunt @RoyBlunt Republican #MakeDCListen
MO Claire McCaskill @clairecmc Democrat #MakeDCListen
MS Roger Wicker @SenatorWicker Republican #MakeDCListen
MS Thad Cochran @SenThadCochran Republican #MakeDCListen
MT Max Baucus @MaxBaucus Democrat #MakeDCListen
MT Jon Tester @jontester Democrat #MakeDCListen
NC Richard Burr @SenatorBurr Republican #MakeDCListen
NC Kay Hagan @SenatorHagan Democrat #MakeDCListen
ND John Hoeven @SenJohnHoeven Republican #MakeDCListen
ND Heidi Heitkamp @SenatorHeitkamp Democrat #MakeDCListen
NE Deb Fischer @SenatorFischer Republican #MakeDCListen
NE Mike Johanns @Mike_Johanns Republican #MakeDCListen
NH Kelly Ayotte @KellyAyotte Republican #MakeDCListen
NH Jeanne Shaheen @SenatorShaheen Democrat #MakeDCListen
NJ Jeffrey S. Chiesa @ChiseaNews Republican #MakeDCListen
NJ Bob Menendez @Menendez4NJ Democrat #MakeDCListen
NM Tom Udall @SenatorTomUdall Democrat #MakeDCListen
NM Martin Heinrich @MartinHeinrich Democrat #MakeDCListen
NV Dean Heller @SenDeanHeller Republican #MakeDCListen
NV Harry Reid @SenatorReid Democrat #MakeDCListen
NY Chuck Schumer @ChuckSchumer Democrat #MakeDCListen
NY Kirsten Gillibrand @SenGillibrand Democrat #MakeDCListen
OH Rob Portman @robportman Republican #MakeDCListen
OH Sherrod Brown @SenSherrodBrown Democrat #MakeDCListen
OK Jim Inhofe @jiminhofe Republican #ThankYou
OK Tom Coburn @TomCoburn Republican #MakeDCListen
OR Ron Wyden @RonWyden Democrat #MakeDCListen
OR Jeff Merkley @SenJeffMerkley Democrat #MakeDCListen
PA Pat Toomey @SenToomey Republican #MakeDCListen
PA Bob Casey, Jr. @Bob_Casey Democrat #MakeDCListen
RI Jack Reed @SenJackReed Democrat #MakeDCListen
RI Sheldon Whitehouse @SenWhitehouse Democrat #MakeDCListen
SC Lindsey Graham @LindseyGrahamSC Republican #MakeDCListen
SC Tim Scott @SenatorTimScott Republican #MakeDCListen
SD John Thune @SenJohnThune Republican #MakeDCListen
SD Tim Johnson @SenJohnsonSD Republican #MakeDCListen
TN Lamar Alexander @SenAlexander Republican #MakeDCListen
TN Bob Corker @SenBobCorker Republican #MakeDCListen
TX Ted Cruz @tedcruz Republican #ThankYou
TX John Cornyn @JohnCornyn Republican #MakeDCListen
UT Mike Lee @SenMikeLee Republican #ThankYou
UT Orrin Hatch @OrrinHatch Republican #MakeDCListen
VA Mark Warner @MarkWarner Democrat #MakeDCListen
VA Tim Kaine @timkaine Democrat #MakeDCListen
VT Bernie Sanders @SenSanders Independent #MakeDCListen
VT Patrick Leahy @SenatorLeahy Democrat #MakeDCListen
WA Patty Murray @PattyMurray Democrat #MakeDCListen
WA Maria Cantwell @CantwellPress Democrat #MakeDCListen
WI Ron Johnson @SenRonJohnson Republican #MakeDCListen
WI Tammy Baldwin @tammybaldwin Democrat #MakeDCListen
WV Jay Rockefeller @SenRockefeller Democrat #MakeDCListen
WV Joe Manchin @Sen_JoeManchin Democrat #MakeDCListen
WY Mike Enzi @SenatorEnzi Republican #ThankYou
WY John Barrasso @SenJohnBarrasso Republican #MakeDCListen

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