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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dent: Slaughter Rule an Act of "Political Cowardice"

In a telephone news conference with LV Congressman Charlie Dent this morning, he denounced the Slaughter rule, which Speaker Pelosi is considering for a controversial health insurance reform package affecting 16th of the nation's economy. It's a procedural sleight of hand under which House members will vote on some fixes to the Senate bill, and then deem the bill passed. Its purpose is to give Democratic House members "plausible deniability," Dent said.

Congressman Dent called this "deem and pass" an "arrogant manipulation of our legislative process in order to shelter their members from casting a straight up-or-down vote." He noted that the Capitol switchboard is jammed with angry calls from people who compare the process to cheating. "They are using procedure to avoid discussing policy," Dent said, referring to the tactic as an act of "political cowardice."

Somehow, GOP leaders have forced a floor vote today on rejecting the Slaughter rule, although Dent candidly admitted it will likely fail.

As of this moment, the Lehigh Valley's elected Representative in Congress still has not seen the actual reconciliation language that he will be asked to vote on by week's end? He has not yet seen the latest CBO numbers on cost, which were just released.

But he made clear that he opposes the package being foisted on the House because it will raise income taxes by a half trillion dollars, will slash Medicare by a half trillion dollars and result in an average $2300 tax increase. "This is not the reform people want," Dent added.

So does Dent prefer the status quo? No. He prefers an incremental approach to health care insurance reform, dealing with separate issues like malpractice, and pre-existing conditions.

Speaking of political cowardice, Dent also had some harsh words for his opponent John Callahan, who has yet to take a position on health insurance reform, which Dent called "the most consequential piece of legislation in our generation."

"He is hiding. No more hiding behind his campaign manager," Dent noted, adding that "leaders lead" while Callahan is a "follower of Nancy Pelosi."

Dent then paid a rare compliment to former opponent Sam Bennett, pointing out that she at least took positions on the issues.

"That worked out well for her, didn't it?" zinged Morning Call reporter Scott Kraus.

Dent then told a story about a meeting with LV auto dealers a few weeks ago, who are losing millions as a result of the recession. Senatorial candidate Pat Toomey was there, and addressed their concerns. But when it was Callahan's turn to speak, he was unwilling to discuss their concerns or any other national issue. He instead spoke about the architecture at the Sands Casino.

Looks like Callahan would fit right in with Pelosi. Is that what you want?

Update: Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli has just told Speaker Pelosi that the “deem and pass,” or “self-executing rule” procedure is unconstitutional. Virgina has already passed a law prohibiting the federal government from imposing an individual mandate on Virginia citizens.
Update #2: As predicted by Congressman Dent this morning, an anti-Slaughter Rule resolution has been narrowly defeated in the House, 222-203. Twenty-eight Democrats joined every Republican in voting against this procedural manever.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

keeping campaign contributions from a pay to play scheme is an act of political cowardice.

dent isn't giving me a good reason to send him back without returning that money. i might vote for towne instead. these pay to play schemes cost taxpayers money.

but that's okay, b/c everybody does it.

Anonymous said...

I pay over $7000 for private insurance and have nothing wrong with me. Even if a $2300 tax increase was true, that's a good deal for me. Dent, you're $37,000 away from getting half a million in contributions from the insurance companies. YOu can do it!

Anonymous said...

Expand healthcare to 32 million more people? Save $10 billion in the next ten years? Make Americans' healthcare taxpayer paid like Dent and his families' is? Free up more cash for small businesses to retain employees, hire more, and invest more in their own companies? This is outgrageous! Fight it Dent! Fight it! This is totally ruining the course of self destruction we were on the last eight years.

Jacob said...

I actually agree with Charlie, that doesn't happen everyday.

This bill does not cover more people until 2014.

Jacob said...

I actually agree with Charlie, that doesn't happen everyday.

This bill does not cover more people until 2014.

Anonymous said...

I love when a politician complains that thier opponents are not doing things as they feel they should, as if he has the best interest of his opponent in mind. Then he actually has the balls to say that the callahan campaign should follow a losing game plan.

Well guess what charlie, the callahan campaign will do things on it's schedule. You will be sunshined into showing who you really are and the citizens of the 15th will have a clear picture of where Callahan stands on all the issues. You don't dictate the rules, but I sure hope your big bold words will still hold true when debates are requested. Charlie is going to get his hat handed to him, and he knows it.

How moronic is it to in one sentence to say I don't know what's in the bill or how much it costs (or saves as is the case), but then say I'm against it and demand others to take a stance who are not privledge to even the information he has.

Charlie, Millan, O'hare....three peas in a pod....as obama would say silly season has begun

Jacob said...

I voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Something about change and transparency. This process reads like something out of the Cheney play book...and at the end of the day, you don't reduce uninsured rolls till 2014 while collecting new taxes next year. Which is the fact the White House doesn't want people to know before a vote.

As far as Callahan goes, he'd vote for the bill. Biden is coming to the area. Biden wouldn't be coming if he thought John wasn't a team player.

Anonymous said...

What a crock. "Deem and Pass" doesn't mean they're not voting on it. They're combining the Senate bill and the reconciliation fix into one and voting on that. What's cowardly about that? Totally fake controversy.

Anonymous said...

"Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli has just told Speaker Pelosi that the “deem and pass,” or “self-executing rule” procedure is unconstitutional. Virgina has already passed a law prohibiting the federal government from imposing an individual mandate on Virginia citizens."

Well good for him. Too bad that as a state's AG he has no authority over the matter, only a legal opinion. Additionally, Virginia cannot pass a law prohibiting the federal gov't from doing anything. They must think that the nickname "Dominion State" means that they actually hold dominion over that which they claim. Not so. But the posturing is cute, nonetheless. Seriously, this would be akind to a state passing a law prohibiting the federal gov't from collected FICA. Contrary to popular belief, states do not govern the feds.

Jacob said...

Hey if Virginia wants to secede, I'm in full support of that...maybe PA could join them.

Jacob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

How come Dent never spoke up when Republican's used the self-executing rules?

http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/03/13/self-executing-rule/#ixzz0iH9R6Cx8

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, Dent has made his aversion to sel executing rules quite clear. He explained that he is not opposed to them when they are used to conform a bill or for technical laguage, but opposes their use for substantive changes in the law.

By the way, moral equivalence is no defense. If something is wrong, it's wrong.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Virginia cannot pass a law prohibiting the federal gov't from doing anything. They must think that the nickname "Dominion State" means that they actually hold dominion over that which they claim."

Actually, Virginia has been joined by Idaho. Two of the 50 states have told the feds they will resist having a public option shoved down their throats.

And guess what? States do happen to have rights under our constitution. Perhpas you should read it some time.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"They're combining the Senate bill and the reconciliation fix into one and voting on that. What's cowardly about that?"

Your description of the deem and pass rule is inaccurate. If the full House votes to approve a legislative rule that contains such a provision, the House then deems a second bill as also approved without requiring a separate vote, as long as that second bill is specified in the rule. That is, if the vote on the rule passes, then the second bill is passed as part of the rule vote.

What's cowardly about is is it gives worried House Dems wiggle room. They can claim they only voted for the rule, not the monstrosity being shoved down our throats.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, moral equivalence is no defense. If something is wrong, it's wrong"

true, but it does speak to the credibility of the speaker

Bernie O'Hare said...

Only if he himself participated in what he now condemns.

Anonymous said...

Every day, 6 American veterans die because they are denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions or they can't afford it. 80% of American bankruptcies are people WITH insurance who can't pay their medical bills. THis reform gives Dent's constituents the same healthcare HE has. If it's good enough for Dent and his family, it's good enough for mine. No more "Let them eat cake" attitude please, Charlie,

Donald said...

1- The presidency is a different branch of government and has not control over how the house, senate or courts run their operations SOO he can't tell congress how to organize their voting process

2- I am pretty sure Dent voted YES on these types of votes in the past - good enough for the GOP but not good enough for the Dems.

3-When the GOP takes control back in the future will Dent still oppose such methods? Doubtful

4- Once the Democratic nominee is decided by the voters he will become more vocal on his issues if Charlie Dent thinks he can bully Callahan he is clearly mistaken -

5-I am not sure Dent has the stomach for the race he is about to face in the fall - he has never had a close race and this one is going to be a barnburner - Dent is going to have to really work on this and the lame press releases about government spending & the VP visits are going to only influence his core voters. Most votes view those comments as part of the political silly season.

6- Spending is a losing issues for Dent since he participated in the highest debt increase in 43 Presidencies & even though he voted against this years spending a first for him I believe he is taking credit for the money the federal goverment is spending here.

7- Dent can't claim to be an outsider he has been living off the public pay check since his 20's

8- He is not running against a carpet bagger, a last minute candidate or a dilettant - he is running against the personal choice of two of the smartest and best politicians in the country - Rendell and Biden - Biden would not waste his time coming here if they thought Callahan was not going to win or at least have a very good chance.

9 - Hold onto your seat Bernie - your boy had beter come up with better issues than this or it's going to be a long hot summer and really chilly fall - this district may buck the national trend by going red to blue.

Thanks for the opportunity

Jacob said...

Every day, 6 American veterans die because they are denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions or they can't afford it. 80% of American bankruptcies are people WITH insurance who can't pay their medical bills. THis reform gives Dent's constituents the same healthcare HE has. If it's good enough for Dent and his family, it's good enough for mine. No more "Let them eat cake" attitude please, Charlie,


OK, here is the democratic game/flat out lies on this bill.

The first statement is probably true on based on some study, uninsured military vets are a problem.

Second statement is true.

"THis reform gives Dent's constituents the same healthcare HE has."

This statement is a boldfaced lie, and the anonymous DNC shill coward who posted it knows it.

I am no fan of Charlie Dent, frankly I can't stand the man. However making up lies about the democratic bad bill is about equal to Bush/Cheney's lies told in 2002 about the war in Iraq.

This bill provides piss poor coverage for people in 2014 that they will be mandated to pay, or be forced to pay a fine collected by the IRS when they file their tax return. Until 2014, there is no real expansion in coverage. That is in your damn CBO report, which in itself is full of optimistic projections.

I was a strong democrat this past election cycle. I no longer consider myself one anymore, and the anonymous coward who wishes to flat out make things up about this bill, I hope has to square this with their creator someday.

Stop the lying democrats, and I'll rejoin you, you are behaving like Bush supporters right now

Anonymous said...

by the way are penna. taxpayers still paying for charlies healthcare? Whats wrong with the federal plan hes entitled to.

Anonymous said...

by the way are penna. taxpayers still paying for charlies healthcare? Whats wrong with the federal plan hes entitled to.

Jacob said...

Bernie,

I just want to point out, that Donald says nothing about policy. I wonder if he even understands the candidates before he votes on them at election time, I could change some words in Donald's 9 point rant and it would sound like Parkland kid's gearing up for a fight with Central Catholic in a high school football game.

Anonymous said...

I think it is safe to assume that Callahan's silence on this demonstrates a clear lack of outrage and rather indicates acquiescence to the Slaughter usurpation.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Seriously, folks. Dent wins in another laugher. His more serious threat will be in the primary. And he's doing his best to use the health care debacle to neutralize the right flank, while making a monkey out of Callahan at the same time. D's will be lucky to hold the majority this year, let alone unseat popular incumbent Rs.

Anonymous said...

Tommy Douglas, the Canadian politician and minister who brought universal healthcare to Canada was voted "The Greatest Canadian" by the Canadian people as part of a nationally televised contest. Only 3% of Canadians polled wish they had our health system. Americans spend $1 billion every year in Canada buying American pharmaceuticals that are 1/10 cheaper across the border because of the buying power of a government system. They spend half what we spend on healthcare, live 4 years longer and have the 30th best system in the world according to WHO where we are the 37th. Canadian companies are more competitve on the global market because companie don't have to bear the burden of providing insurance. Tens of thousands of Americans sneak across the border daily to pose as Canadians to get care that is denied them in the US, this includes Sara Palin and her parents for at least a six year period of time. Everyone agrees, including the Republicans that our health system is unsustainable and will bankrupt us not to mention is directly responsible for the deaths of 50,000 Americans each year. In the 60s the Republicans were against Medicare. They came around. They'll come around again, after the Democrats lead them out of the darkness of the cave as usual.

Anonymous said...

1- Will Callahan ever have the balls to take a stand on something? Does Callahan favor the current health care legislation and does he approve of making it into law via the Slaughter Rule? Why won't he speak out on the most important domestic issue of our generation?

2- No further questions.

Jacob said...

To new anonymous person 9:20, what the hell does this bill if anything have in common with Canadian Single payer.

Mandated Private Insurance, with bad co-pays and premiums that goes into effect in 2014 is comparable to the Canadian universal health care system?

Anonymous said...

I think it is safe to assume that Callahan's silence on this demonstrates a clear lack of outrage and rather indicates acquiescence to the Slaughter usurpation.

Scott Armstrong

Jacob said...

Scott,

The democrats are rushing passage, because once people find out their taxes go up, and there is no real addressing to the uninsured problem till 2014, the White House would lose this battle legislatively.

The goal is to isolate and intimidate the doubters. It is a technique mastered by Dick Cheney and W in the 2000s.

Anonymous said...

Deem and pass might as well be considered "representation without participation"...

Anonymous said...

“It would really call into question the credibility of the House.”' -Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) regarding the use of the "deem and pass" procedure.

Callahan supporters have nothing to criticize Dent for (and no positions from Callahan to support), so they attack Dent for taking a stand that even Democrats and a majority of Americans agree with. If Callahan supporters are any indication, it is clear that he would represent only the far left fringe.

Donald said...

Jacob - you are right I did not mention policy my points were not about policies - had I chosen to discuss policies I would have. The post of Bernie's that I read was not really about policy but was about politics and procedures -

I admit I went off topic a bit but thank you for pointing out something that was never my intent - please make no assumptions about what I should or should not be posting on this excellent site - I am pretty clear about what I want to discuss

Bernie O'Hare said...

Donald, You are always welcome here, and are most welcome when you're giving me the devil. You may be right and I may be wrong. I believe these discussions, and the contributions from Jacob and you, help us all.

Anonymous said...

Canadians fill Plattsburgh, NY hotels by the busload (literally, just look at the parking lots) seeking health care for cash rather than endure the often deadly Canadian system. French is spoken throughout the town and the old Gap and Tommy Hilfiger outlet stores have been replaced with border-hugging medical campuses. Don't listen to Americans who think they know Canadian health care. Don't even listen to Canadians. Watch what they do with their lives, their health, and their loonies and two-nies. Lots and lots of them, every day. Even Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams came to the US in February for his heart surgery. He wasn't betting his life on Canadian health care. We shouldn't either. Not that the currently proposed scam has much semblance to Canada.

Anonymous said...

Morning Call

Anonymous said...

"-I am not sure Dent has the stomach for the race he is about to face in the fall - he has never had a close race and this one is going to be a barnburner"

Are you saying that Callahan is particularly tested? He's run unopposed in the last two elections. Maybe Dent has had poor opposition, but he has had opposition. These are just bad arguments against Dent that try to divert attention away from the real issues. Why dont you talk about Callahan v. Dent's positions on the issues?

Jacob said...

Donald,

Only suggestion, explain why John is better, making guttural threats to the Dent campaign about how they are going to get it, really is no different than me and a NY Giants fan arguing before kickoff.
I've seen Charlie campaign, you guys should probably drop the cocky act.

I'm for Jake Towne, because I agree with many of his economic positions concerning the federal reserve, and also with his position on reducing our military involvement in the world.

I also want to send a message to both the GOP and the DNC that the times of acting like monkeys throwing pooh at each other is over. Fix what you broke since 1980 or be relegated to the dustbin of history.

Cheerleader politics, is part of the problem in the United States.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:31, your points have been addressed time and time again. Let's do a quick review again. The vast majority of Canadians by every poll done prefer their healthcare system to that of the US. Canadians who live or have lived in the US and those who utilized US healthcare, still overwhelmingly prefer their system. Why?

This is not a pro-Canadian healthcare commercial or rant but it just trying to shine a light of sanity on the right-wing zealotry of illogic that spews on this topic.

There are waiting lists for "non" life threatening procedures in Canada. Some Canadians prefer to cross the border and pay to have these procedures done more rapidly. They site convenience, and not wanting to wait and worry. None say lets dump our system. When polled they still prefer their Canadian plan and admit for overall ongoing care and major illness they could not afford American health care.

Next "famous" Canadians(British) and others will come to America for highly specialized service. That is very true. Since the US healthcare system is geared not to primary healthcare but expensive specialties there are more specialists in America and quicker access to highly specialized service. As with anything else in life if you have the money and power you can jump the line and get the best.

Let us suppose as an American with an American Insurance plan you find you have Cancer. You can go to Easton Hospital but you want to go to Sloane Kettering in NY because they are one of the best oncology centers in the world. Your Insurance carrier will deny your request and laugh after they hangup the phone. Now if you are rich enough you can go to Sloan.

See were this is going. The American health system up until the mid to late 80's was affordable with many primary care physicians. People had an ongoing relationship with their doctor. Specialties were the exception. However in our new ass backwards system there is no incentive for primary care medicine and the real money is in the specialties.

The US is a country that proportionally has more specialists than primary care or "family doctors" as a percentage of population.

We treat the end result of illness and disease and not the causes. We have a system that will pay for three or four heart bypasses but not a structured health club, smoking cessation, or weight loss membership.

We are not on the healthcare business we are in the expensive medical procedure procurement business.

To continue the jingoistic head in the sand view of American healthcare vis-a-vie, the rest of the world is the ultimate comparison of apples to oranges. This is also not a complete and absolute endorsement of Canadian and British systems, they have their flaws and limitations, just as the American system but they all have one thing in common, "flaws". Our flaws will wipe out your life savings, leave you penniless, homeless and still sick. Come on people Republican or Democrat it is time to really read your history independently study the issue and think.

Veritas

Donald said...

Jacob
Whereas I am a Callahan supporter & a liberal & a Democrat I am not beyond holding my candidates accountable just keep watching you'll see.

Thanks for the civilized discussion and not calling me names.