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Monday, September 30, 2013

Dent, Cartwright on Looming Government Shutdown

Ever deal with a little boy who decides he's going to hold his breath until he gets what he wants? The tea party faction in the U.S. House reminds me of that, except they're threatening to suffocate us all unless they get their way.

Because Congress and the President have been unable to adopt real budgets for the past several years, they've been funding government operations through what is called a "Continuing Resolution." That alone should be a signal that something is wrong. Very wrong. The most recently adopted continuing resolution dies today.

The House voted yesterday to add two amendments to a continuing resolution that will keep the government going past the witching hour.

The first of these imposes a one-year delay on the implementation of Obamacare, and passed by a vote of 231-192. The second, a repeal of the medical device tax, passed 248-174. Finally, the House unanimously agreed that, in the event of a government shutdown, the military must still be paid.

The one-year delay on Obamacare and repeal of the medical device tax were supported by all Republicans in Pennsylvania's Congressional delegation, and opposed by all Democrats.

The Senate will pick up these amendments sometime today as the brinksmanship continues.

No hurry.

LV Congressman Charlie Dent expects the Senate to reject the language delaying Obamacare, and that seems to be fine with him because he is not among those Republicans who likes to hold his breath.

He explains:

"I oppose shutting down the government. I am also deeply concerned about the impending implementation of the Health Care Law – Obamacare – with exchange enrollment beginning on Tuesday. The House recently attempted to defund Obamacare. While I oppose the Health Care Law, I had concerns about the defunding tactic, but wanted to get a government funding bill (Continuing Resolution) to the Senate for action. The Senate then acted, as was expected, and voted to strike the defunding provision.

"While a more substantial delay of the Health Care Law is needed, and several major provisions have already been delayed administratively, I expect the Senate to reject the delay language in the House Bill. It is worth noting however, that Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia recently expressed some support for a delay.

"It will be much harder for the Senate to reject the repeal of the Medical Device Tax. In March, as part of a non-binding budget resolution, 45 Republicans, 33 Democrats and Independent Senator Angus King (ME) voted to repeal this job-killing, innovation stifling boondoggle. The bipartisan measure passed the Senate overwhelmingly 79 to 20. Repealing the medical device tax also received broad bipartisan support in the House which previously passed a repeal bill by 270-146 with 37 Democratic Representatives supporting the measure.

"On Thursday, Senator Harry Reid called the Medical Device Tax “stupid.” I agree. The Medical Device Tax is stupid – and destructive. The Senate should seize this opportunity for a win-win. They can vote to stop a government shutdown while also preventing the loss of tens of thousands of good-paying jobs for workers across the country.

"By voting for this new Continuing Resolution, which does not contain the defunding provision, the House has offered a reasonable path to a timely resolution to the current impasse. The Senate must now act to avert a government shutdown.

"Like most Americans, I wish to end the current stalemate so Congress can get on with other important work that the American People expect."

According to The Morning Call, Dent is pressuring House leadership to just pass a no-strings-attached spending bill. He claims the votes are there, too.

In an interview on MSNBC, the Lehigh Valley's other Congressman, Matt Cartwright, called the process "aggravating. We're here on a weekend. We're not learning anything new. We're here because a certain faction of the Republican conference are throwing a temper tantrum because they didn't get their way. ... At some point, you've got to stop arguing and realize it's time to move on."

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

The greatest fear of the Republicans is not the evil of Obamacare but that it will work. Once in place it will show Americans once more how out of touch the Republican baggers are with everyday Americans.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I think Obamacare should be renamed Obaminationcare. It is the law, but I preferred the incremental approach that Dent advocated. Even the AFLCIO is now concerned.

Bill Cokeer said...

Obamacare is kind of of like "Save Gracedale", we all think it's great until the real costs come forth.

Anonymous said...

The baggers are desperate. Even before the ACA is fully implemented they blame floods and forest fires on it.

Noting worse then having a law pass that middle America will find beneficial. The baggers fear the support of this Bill over the next few years as it will once again show them as the Party of No ideas, No help and No future!

The Republican Party has taken the position that a law the President ran and won on, a law passed by Congress, a law that has gone through the Supreme court is now still subject to their ideological purity test.

Their motto is we will destroy the country in order to save it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Cartwright had to work the weekend. The Affordable Care Act is a disaster in the making. No one knew what was in it when they passed it, few know what to expect when it impacts them. The ASD could be negatively affected, higher administrative fees and Cadillac penalties could raise costs to the valley's poorest school district.
None of these concerns are worth Cartwright working the weekend.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

my three year old behaves better than this

Anonymous said...

Since Cartwright left the Benghazo hearings (choosing masturbation to internet porn or something over listening to Benghazi murder victims' families), he has no moral authority to speak on anything. He's lower than slug shit, a real waste of human cells.

Parthenology said...

25 years ago we had Ronald Reagan, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope

Today we have obama, no cash and no hope

Bernie O'Hare said...

Scott, I opposed Obamacare, but would not shut the government down over it. Cartwright is absolutely right to be annoyed by people throwing a temper tantrum. You need to get a grip on the lunatics within your own party.

Anonymous said...

I see no harm in delaying Obamacare for another year. We can all agree there are still more questions than answers about this legislation of unwieldy proportion.

The very fact that several special interest groups, even Congress itself, are exempted in some form should be troubling to EVERY citizen.

I suspect many people still believe Obamacare is "something for nothing." They'll take some!

What they miss is the beginning of much higher Co-pays and Deductibles. They also are not considering the impact of LOWER QUALITY of care.

Clearly, there is much to discover about this albatross. A one year delay is the proper course.

A one year delay should be EASY to accept, even by the likes of Harry Reid types. The ball is in non-negotiable Harry's hands. If the government temporarily shuts down (as it has many times before) HARRY made it happen.

Anonymous said...

This has been debated, legislated, voted on in a general election, and deemed ok by the Supreme Court yet these idiot Repubs won't let go.

You should be loving this, BOH. OBamacare is soooo terrible - it's Socialized Medicine! Amirite?

Anonymous said...

Since Cartwright left the Benghazo hearings (choosing masturbation to internet porn or something over listening to Benghazi murder victims' families), he has no moral authority to speak on anything. He's lower than slug shit, a real waste of human cells.

You derelicts are still beating the Benghazi drum? (Note spelling.) Give it a rest. Why not start caring about the 4000+ other dead people from Bush's war.

Anonymous said...

even Congress itself, are exempted in some form

Stop. Just stop.

Fact Check: False.

Anonymous said...

the impact of LOWER QUALITY of care

Oh no!! Some minority is going to get an appointment before you!

Anonymous said...

9:00am-

Congratulations, you have managed to play the race card early in the discussion. Please try harder to keep this a mature analysis of an important topic.

Anonymous said...

8:59am -

Forgot to mention, you must be missing the fact that Congress and its employees will receive a 75% subsidy toward the cost of their plans. How much will your subsidy be?

I also assume you are OK that Nevada (Harry Reid) is exempted, but not Pennsylvania.

Anonymous said...

Um, most employed people with health insurance are subsidized by their employer? Do you know so little of this issue? Obamacare is for those - and I'll say this slowly for you - who have no healthcare.

Get back to me when you have some basic understanding of what you are blathering on about.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, you have managed to play the race card early in the discussion. Please try harder to keep this a mature analysis of an important topic.

Wait, wasn't that a major theme of the Repubs campaign last year? The "takers" and the "makers"?

Anonymous said...

Ok, now I see. Anyone who currently has a healthcare plan from an employer is EXEMPT from the effects of Obamacare.

This includes the big increase they have seen in their premiums, plans being eliminated for some, working hours being reduced, new taxes kicking in next year, higher co-pays and deductibles, etc. Life is good!

The last word is now yours. Enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

SHUTDOWN THE GOVERNMENT?! BUT HOW WOULD WE EAT OR BREATHE?! This is a warning to Ted Cruz and all his ilk: If the government stops operating for even one day - chaos and cannibalism will reign in the streets. Mark my words. Yeah, a government shutdown would only impact "non-essential" federal government functions. And, yeah, some might even argue that the government should only be doing the essential things in the first place. But that will be of little solace when you're bleeding on the ground, being eaten alive by the starving masses. I can scarcely imagine the horror. If non-essential government agencies and departments are forced to close for a short period of time, that means we'll have to find a way to go without the Administration on Aging, and the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, and the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. WHERE WILL I GET MY TRANSPORTATION STATISTICS?! You're playing with fire, conservatives. Civilization is bound together by the strong, steady hand of bureaucracy. If you loosen its grasp, you risk plunging us all into a dark, perilous land of individual responsibility and liberty. Our Founders fought and died to rescue us from such a fate, and I'll be damned if I sit here and let you undo their efforts."

Bernie O'Hare said...

Although Cartwright's supposed walk out during the Benghazi hearings has nothing to do with this topic, let me address it. Cartwright, along with numerous House members from BOTH parties, had to leave for a vote and had other matters besides that hearing. I did look into this, and a House member took a pic of one largely empty side of the room without taking a picture of the other side, which was just as empty. There was no walk out. There was a set up, done dishonestly, and it is being perpetuated anonymously here .

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is completely ridiculous to tie the continuation of government operations to a delay in Obamacare. I'd love to see it delayed, but it is completely childish and irresponsible to tie government to it.

Anonymous said...

"Benghazo hearings"

That about sums them up. The Republican party is no ;longer about the good of the nation but rather just a group of pissy whiners will no ideas other than those of a two year old.

The baggers have destroyed its creditability.

Anonymous said...

Tying Obamacare's implementation to the budget debt is entirely appropriate. It's a hated law that was passed without any bipartisan support. The law is a mess and exemptions are being handed out to political friends. Businesses are getting a delay and individuals are stuck. Best to wait a year at least. The current maneuver is the only tactic left to derail a bad and unpopular law. It's ugly. But so was passage of the hated and bad law.

Anonymous said...

Spell check. Benghazi or Benghazo... Clinton lied. Guys died. Cartwright pissed on their graves and said fuck you to the families. That's Progressive.

Anonymous said...

The Republican Party is being consistent. They have and still do oppose Social Security, Medicare, voting rights Act and affordable healthcare.

This law was vetted by all and passed. On the wrong side of the vote, that is life. Even Republican think-tanks have stated it will save money over the long run by reducing medical care costs. It will keep people out of unnecessary visits to expensive Emergency rooms and get them into earlier primary care.

It is the an even weaker plan than offered by Pres. Nixon and pushed by the Republican Heritage Foundation.

There is one point to the opposition, "Barak Obama", ever since the Zulu picture carrying teabaggers made "him" the issue, Republican leaders have bragged they will get him defeated, they failed. He ran on his healthcare plan and won decisively. So the tactic now is to vote no on everything and try to re-write any laws he pushed.

No delays, the Bill is Law and it is time. We are a Nation of Laws. If you hate the Law get it thrown out, if you don't have the votes move the f on. Instead you will shut down the government over obtainable and affordable healthcare that civilized nations have had for decades.

The baggers don't want the benefits of this law to be realized since that will finally put the nail in the crazy teabagger coffin.

Anonymous said...

Wait a year, then two then five, then ten. Sure, maybe then you will support it. What a crock of crap.

Crazy Cruz said it best,"Our plan is to let the market work it out". The "market has had fifty years and it has failed. Time to move on.

As the South said in the 1950's and 1960's about civil rights, you can't rush these things, give us time.

Anonymous said...

"and said fuck you to the families"

Antoehr big lie. The kind you folk just love to run with. As Bernie explained it was not true, just another deceptive set-up. But sdon;'t le the facts stop your irrational hatred.

The new bagger controlled Republican Party motto," Onward to the Dark Ages"

Anonymous said...

News Flash -

Harry Reid and the Senate just voted to shut down the government.

Anonymous said...


This includes the big increase they have seen in their premiums, plans being eliminated for some, working hours being reduced, new taxes kicking in next year, higher co-pays and deductibles, etc. Life is good!


So you are pointing out how employers are now using Obamacare as an excuse to fuck over their workforce? Because this is not universal as I'm sure you know.

Anonymous said...


Tying Obamacare's implementation to the budget debt is entirely appropriate. It's a hated law that was passed without any bipartisan support. The law is a mess and exemptions are being handed out to political friends. Businesses are getting a delay and individuals are stuck. Best to wait a year at least. The current maneuver is the only tactic left to derail a bad and unpopular law. It's ugly. But so was passage of the hated and bad law.


The only maneuver left after Romney was soundly defeated running on a REPEAL platform? Got it.

Anonymous said...

So the Repubs think we are all stupid. They are trying to blame the shutdown on Harry Reid and the Senate. The reality is the House will shut down the government unless the Senate gives them a delay to a law that has been debated, legislated, vetted by SCOTUS, and is law of the land. Now these Repubs come marching in at the 11th hour trying to stop it? Harry Reid said fuck you.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Harry Reid and the Senate just voted to shut down the government. "

This, like the Cartwright walk out, is more disinformation. The Senate voted to reject the House spending measures, as everyone knew they would. This pouts the ball back in the House, and it's time for them to act like grown ups and pass a spending bill.

RS said...

I think if you check, Dent voted for everything the House sent to Senate that the Senate cleaned up and bounced back.

He may talk the talk, but the walk is still with the tea party.

I guess I should be happy that he's at least got enough courage in his gerrymandered district to say compromise is good.

Bernie O'Hare said...

He did vote for all the GOP measures, and I have noted that. But as he explained to me and is now saying to national news sources, it's time to just adopt a no-strings-attached CR.

Anonymous said...

"Blogger Bernie O'Hare said...

Scott, I opposed Obamacare, but would not shut the government down over it. Cartwright is absolutely right to be annoyed by people throwing a temper tantrum. You need to get a grip on the lunatics within your own party. "

Bernie,

If the government is shut down the Democrats are equal partners. In this there is no doubt. The constitution gives the House control of the purse strings. The framers did this for a reason; to prevent the executive from domineering the other two "co-equal branches of government.
By the way, the real extremists here are the president and the Democrats. They are the ones forcing a very unpopular government health care plan on the nation.

Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

Scott, You can pitch that tune, but nobody is buying it. Most Americans will blame the GOP, and for good reason. It is time to rein in your Joe Hilliards.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

It is not a tune it is the truth. The Democrats and the president are using brinkmanship by refusing to negotiate with the Republicans. Therefore the fault is coequal.
I for one thank the Republicans for bringing this important issue to the front and center.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Cartwright walked out before hearing the victims families. He can only claim the lowest of ground no matter his shitty deed is spun by defenders of Joe Brennan and John Edwards and other pillars of decency. Cartwright is one good wife beating of sordid away from being another one of Bernie's stellar examples of political decency. Please.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are just flat out lying. It was an Issa set up and has been debunked. Though unthinking idiots like you will pass on this nonsense as Gospel, it just 'taint true. Instead of just puking tea party propaganda, you should at least try to find the truth. 24 Rs and 17 Dems are on that committee. About 6 Rs listened to the benghazi families. Does that mean the other 18 are traitors? Why do you think no reputable news source went with this?

Drop the nonsense.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/09/20/darrell_issa_almost_successfully_trolls_democrats_for_not_caring_about_benghazi.html

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I for one thank the Republicans for bringing this important issue to the front and center."

Of course you do. You are a partisan Republican, unwilling to acknowledge the shortcomings within your own party. It's how idiots like Hilliard or Simao get started.

Anonymous said...

I smell another shiftless no-show like McClure and Gilbert. Peg Ferraro mailed it in for a while, as well. If you cannot serve, for whatever reason, put the county ahead of your or your family's interests. You chose to serve, after all.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I do think you are being disingenuous to claim the recent move by Harry Reid was NOT a decision to shut down the government. That's exactly what he chose to do!

Harry decided to choose a government shutdown over a one year delay in a law that simply is not ready for prime time. He truly should have accepted the delay to better explain how good the legislation really is, at least in his mind.

But, like any car salesman, one must never let anyone walk. If you do, you lose.

Here's an idea, now that it's been bounced back to the House, let's have the House bounce it right back to the Senate! Let's play a game of "hot potato." We have a few hours left. This way, the last side holding the ball at 11:59PM can take all the blame for shutting the government down.

By the way, shutting the government down in some areas is not nearly as painful as some would like us to believe. It's been done, what, 17 times before?

If someone believes a law is bad, why just accept it now, rather than delay. A delay is better than nothing, no?

This is one of the reasons why I will not be voting for a weak Charlie Dent next time. He tries too hard to stay on the fence.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I thank the Republicans for bringing this issue to the front and center because it is in America's best interest. I am no more a partisan Republican than you are a partisan Democrat.
Thanks(note satire) for the insult.


Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, Scott, I am pretty much an Independent who supports as many Republicans as Democrats. I think Obama is a disaster as President, especially in the way he handles Syria. But this latest move of shooting yourself to prove a point is just plain ridiculous. Moreover, most Americans see it that way and your party will pay a price for its intransigence.

As for the anon commenter who won't be voting for a "weak" Dent next time, there is nothing weak about standing up to bullies, whether in Congress or the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Sometimes doing the right thing is hard, harder than doing nothing just to stay out of trouble.
Sad that someone trained in the law fails to understand this.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Let's try it this way . . .

Is a one year delay in the individual mandate a bad idea?

If yes, why?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is a bad idea when you make the continued existence of government dependent on it. In fact, it's idiotic.

Anonymous said...

OK, than in this instance, I must admit I am glad to be an idiot.

Have a good night, Bernie!

Anonymous said...

then is it also idiotic to "make the continued existence of government dependent" on not negotiating with the Republican on a Bill that is clearly unpopular, very likely bad for the economy, and detrimental to quality health care in general?

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

The Republicant's don't like a real passed ;law and want to negotiate paying for it. What doesn't make sense here? Oh yeah the teabaggers.

The last time the government shut down was when Clinton was president and it was again shut down by Republicant's.

they are so predictable. Bless their simple little hearts.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Armstorng has an opinion on the other hand we have law. What should we do?

Anonymous said...

slavery was once the law.

Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

The Bill was adopted, uphelf in the courts, and a presidential election came and went and the person who supported the Act embraced having it called Obamacare. It is unpopular, but only by a very slim margin. It is, I repeat, idiotic to hold government hostage to a law that has been upheld by the courts and that has gone through the Democratic process, even a law with which i disagree.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"slavery was once the law"

Do you really want to make this ridiculous analogy?

Anonymous said...

Then you are applying a double standard.
I will make the analogy because defenders of the law have defended it just because it is a law. So the logic is clear. The supreme court also upheld slavery and I'm sure slavery's defenders were proud of that decision as well.
When a law is bad for the common man and the country in general why not oppose it?

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Slavery, really??? Sure Scott, why not Nazis, like Rush and Beck like to throw around.

By the way your modern Republican Party is founded on old angry Southern Democrats who went with Nixon in 1968 using the "Southern Strategy" of anger over the Civil Ri9ghts Acts of the 1960's. As far as the political map looks they are still there.

So lets use your absurd analogy to its extent. Slavery was around for close to one hundred years after the constitution was signed. Let us let the ACA be in effect for just ten years and then have another vote on it.

That is the real problem here. It is not the fear of a national disaster but a fear of a bill that finally addresses are upside down and out of control healthcare system in the is country., The fact that this is a very small step in addressing that scares the BEEJESUS OUT OF TYOU TEA PARTY TYPES OR REPOUBLCIANS SAME THING AS THEY CONTROL YOUR Party.

YOU FEAR SUCCESS NOT FAILURE. SINCE THE SUCCESS OF THIS BILL MEANS THE FAILURE OF YOUR PARTY OF THE 1890'S.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Caps tab stuck.

Anonymous said...

8:09,

Some people are worth disagreeing with because they have the temperament and insights to make it worthwhile.
Clearly you fall far short in these.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

No. Make Ds go on record supporting Obamacare again and again. They passed the law with no bipartisan support, lying that it wasn't a tax; then, argued to SCOTUS that it was a tax. If Ds hadn't lied all along, they wouldn't be facing the current maneuvers to stop a hated law signed by a hated president (check his polls). That the ACA is being fought in a budget battle is the fault of Obama and Reid for not passing budgets. They haven't led. They've sneaked and lied. If the government shuts down, one third of dead weight will stay home for a few days. Everybody will get paid unles Obama decides to use them as examples and punish them while he plays yet another round of gold while not talking to anybody about the budget for the fifth straight year. Obama is also lying about default. This battle has nothing to do with default. Why does he keep repeating this lie? Ds haven't operated in good faith and shouldn't expect an easy ride to more money wasting. Matt Cartwright is repeating these same lies. But that's what he always does.

Anonymous said...

Our local school district cut the hours of all school bus drivers to 26 to comply with Obamacare and avoid paying benefits. They now outsource the extra hours to another school district, which also pays no health care. Meanwhile Obama has already delayed parts of Obamacare, the employer mandate, with little fanfare. Yet republicans who wish to delay other parts of the act are extreme anarchists. I see a double standard, and Reid says he will not accept Republican delays to the act while they already gutted parts of the law. If there is a compromise to be had, Democrats must agree, but Reid said they will accept none. I see this a battle over jobs and working hours, so yes it is important, and I hope the Democrats put forth something which will require the most onerous parts of the law be corrected. Their zero negotiation is causing our shutdown. No negotiation is not negotiation! -nlv

Anonymous said...

Keep spewing that teabagger bile. You can shine and shine your bullshit but it is still bullshit.

The Republicants will let their bagger masters take the ball and shut down the government because they are mad they can't have their way.

Oh, and I almost forgot, the worst part. he is still black.

Love Sanity!

Anonymous said...

I see, and who is spewing hate and bile? You proved exactly my point. Thank you -nlv

Let's Go To The Tape said...

The Tea Party is astroturf and really doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

The teabaggers are anti-American. Nothing but two bit anarchists. Shameful!

What is income protection insurance said...

Government shut down is inevitable if the officials running it has their personal agendas.