Tuesday, July 21, 2009

You Go First, I Dare Ya

VWV Note: It's getting interesting to see how Americans, no matter what their party affiliation, are speaking out to the elected officials that are supposed to represent them. Perhaps, the players in Washington are beginning to realize that maybe, just maybe, their hometowns don't want to be taxed to death for alleged global warming and they don't want rationed health care decided by the government? And now some House members think the Senate should go first in the vote? Afraid, are they? But of whom?

I'm still trying to determine how the counseling for the end of life alternatives will go if the health care reform bill is passed as is. Not only will I lose my private healthcare insurance, but will I be "counseled" just to go on in the backyard and shoot myself? Will they have someone waiting to do it for me? Or will euthanasia be mentioned? And speaking of global warming, it's been so nice for so much of the country to be so cool this summer. Hmmm, maybe the masses of scientists who say the earth is in a normal cycle of heating and cooling will be heard? Has anyone told the sun it needs to increase its sun spots so more heat is generated? Perhaps, perhaps.......

Dems Continue to Face Backlash on National Energy Tax, Fear the Same Repercussions on Health Care

House Democrats continue to face blistering attacks back home for voting to support Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax that will punish their constituents by increasing electricity bills, raising gasoline prices, and shipping more American jobs overseas to places like China and India. And now, as Roll Call notes this morning, they fear a similar backlash on health care:

“[Rep. Mike] Ross [D-AR] said the talks focused on outstanding policy differences, but House leaders and negotiators are also weighing political considerations as they eye the slow pace of action in the Senate.”

“Vulnerable House Democrats want the Senate to go first so they can avoid a repeat of the bruising they suffered over the July Fourth recess after edging a controversial climate change package over the line.”

House Democrats are right to be worried. The Senate has already signaled that it will not act on Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax anytime soon, if ever. Many House Democrats were famously “BTU’d” by former Vice President Al Gore and House Democratic leaders when they were forced to vote for a massively unpopular energy tax that the Senate completely ignored 16 years ago. Here’s just a few recent examples of the heat Democrats are facing back home:

- Rep. Zack Space (D-OH): “The General Manager of Rosebud Mining, Mike Jamison, told NEWS9, ‘I am very angry because the people I live and work with and my community, I think, are at risk because of that legislation. ….Jamison said he has reached out to lawmakers including Rep. Zack Space. ‘His district has 14 coal bearing counties. He has thousands of constituents that make their living from coal and he has turned his back on them when he voted for Cap and Trade.’” – (“Coal Industry Could Suffer With Cap And Trade Bill,” WTOV-TV 9, Steubenville/Wheeling)

- Rep. John Boccieri (D-OH): “‘He’s not really representing me anymore,’ Charles Stockdale, 18, of Bethlehem Township, told Trevena. ‘I don’t feel John Boccieri is listening to us,’ said Jim Stanley, 62, of Jackson Township. ‘He’s listening to (U.S. House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and the power brokers in Washington.’ Stanley referred to Boccieri’s June 26 vote for the climate and energy bill or cap-and-trade bill, which would set limits on plants on carbon dioxide emissions that are blamed for global warming.” – (“At least 140 People Protest Congressman’s Vote Outside Boccieri’s Office,” Canton Repository)

Now, the President and Democratic leaders are stepping up pressure on rank-and-file Democrats to support a costly government takeover of health care financed by a small business tax. With memories of the national energy tax backlash fresh in their minds, many Democrats are bracing for the same type of backlash on health care:

- Rep. John Adler (D-NJ): “When I spoke to Adler before the hearing, I assumed that as a Democrat he had been spared the wrath of the right wing for his positive vote on cap-and-trade. That was not the case. He told me that on a visit to Ocean County a few days prior he had been nearly attacked by a cluster of concerned citizens. One lady actually gave him a shove, he said... But the reaction from the Toms River crowd, I suspect, will make him think twice about voting the same way on health care as he did on cap-and-trade.” – (Paul Mulshine, “Health care reform: Taking a Shot at Controlling Costs,” The Star-Ledger)

- Rep. Dan Maffei (R-D-NY): “Hecklers, opposed to expanding taxpayer-funded health programs, repeatedly drowned out a panel of New York health care experts whom Maffei asked to discuss how America should provide insurance to 47 million uninsured people and cut the cost of health care.” – (“Central New York Crowd Fired Up Over Health Care,” Syracuse Post-Standard)

With Americans still outraged by rank-and-file Democrats supporting Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax, the furor may grow even more intense if Democrats walk the plank again to vote for a government takeover of health care that is bankrolled by a small business tax, would force millions off of their current plans, and would put bureaucrats – not doctors and patients – in charge of personal medical decisions. Are Democrats ready to face the wrath of their constituents again? Or will they join Republicans in seeking better solutions to expand Americans’ access to affordable health care?

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