“At 5:45 p.m. Friday,” Examiner reported, a petition called “Don’t Fund It” — set up to allow Americans to show their support for the Republican House effort to defund Obamacare – “had 1,892,126 signatures.”
While Red State reported Sept. 2 that the petition — established by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee — had broken the one million mark, Sunday’s tally showed the petition is rapidly approaching two million signatures.
As of 9:30 a.m. Sunday, 1,906,634 Americans had signed their names in support of defunding the “signature healthcare legislation” they have long hated – and have wanted to repeal — since the day President Barack Obama signed it into law three years ago.
Following Cruz’s “epic” 21-hour speech — World Net Daily’s Garth Kant reported Wednesday that, “either voters made so many calls to establishment Republicans” – specifically Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. John McCain, who did not stand in support of Cruz – “that their phone lines melted, or those GOP leaders took their phones off the hook.”
Unable to get through by phone, Americans took to their respective Facebook pages to express their outrage.
“While some were left scratching their heads when Cruz followed up his 21-hour speech to defund Obamacare with a vote to move ahead with the spending plan,” Examiner noted further Friday, “there was an element of reason behind what others saw as madness.”
“While his marathon speech did not constitute a filibuster,” Voice 4 America’s Chau Phung noted Wednesday, “it was intended to rally opposition to the Senate’s expected amendments that would restore the Obamacare funding.”
Considering Friday’s vote, the endeavor obviously failed to procure the “intended” results.
On Friday, Sara Marie Brenner reported for The Washington Times that the Senate “successfully voted in support of cloture” on the “bill that defunds Obamacare” – “by a supermajority of 79 – 19” – “moving the legislation forward in the Senate.”
“During his floor speech” Friday morning, Brenner further noted that “Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) explained that he would not oppose cloture because he wants to ‘keep this process alive.’ Coats insisted “that a vote in support of cloture” was “indeed supportive of defunding Obamacare.”
‘Clearly,” Brenner concluded, “Coats failed to comprehend the magnitude” of Friday’s vote.
As Cruz explained, supporting cloture allows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to “fill the tree,” by adding funding of Obamacare back into the bill and then pass it “through the Senate with 51 votes.””
“It is this simple majority vote that Cruz has been trying to avoid,” Brenner noted.
However, handing the bill that passed the Republican-controlled House to the Democrat-controlled Senate, did force those elected representatives to make their vote a matter of public record, and — while Cruz’s initial plan “failed to procure the ‘intended’ results” — it did set in motion an avalanche of unintended consequences for those senators who voted in support of cloture and will be seeking reelection in 2014.
As “Don’t Fund It” noted when posting the “Obamacare Vote Results” on the petition page, “there were 25 Republicans who voted for cloture’ to give the Democrats the power to fund Obamacare.”
These Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell (R-KY), are responsible for funding the implementation of the law.
RED = Voted FOR Obamacare GREEN = Voted AGAINST Obamacare
Since then, the Facebook pages of Republican Senators like John Boozman of Arkansas, Missouri’s Roy Blunt and Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn have been bombarded with comments from irate Americans and constituents who vow to exact revenge at the voting booth.
While Examiner also noted Friday that Americans have been leaving a few choice comments on Reid’s Facebook page, some are making their way to Obama’s Facebook page, which is run by Organizing for Action.
Amid the expected vacuous comments from Obama fans like Shannie Blake — “I love you Obama” – the predictably supportive comments from people like Michele Thomas — “Hold steady Mr. President. The law is on your side and the GOP will LOSE in this standoff” – and the equally anticipated vulgar suggestions from tolerant people like “Demigod Reign” – “Go Obama you tell those Christians to go f*ck themselves” – Americans like Monty Bracken are expressing their anger over his healthcare law and his ongoing refusal to acknowledge how much they loathe it.
You have failed, we do not want you, and we do not want Obamacare. Stop lying to America. You were “elected” to work for we the people. Not rule us. You are only a dictator in your own mind.
“Mr. Obama you have ruined this country,” wrote Jean Gilbert.” You have spent twice as much money as Bush ever spent.”
We don’t want your Obamacare. What needs to happen is that you, Pelosi and Kerry and Biden all need to take a pay cut–no more free health insurance for any of you–you all need to be made to go on Obamacare. The American public does not need someone like you who doesn’t love our country.
As David Lawder reported for Reuters Aug. 7, “U.S. lawmakers and their staffs will continue to receive a federal contribution toward the health insurance that they must purchase through soon-to-open exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.”
The decision by the Office of Personnel Management, with Obama’s blessing, will prevent the largely unintended loss of healthcare benefits for 535 members of the Senate and House of Representatives and thousands of Capitol Hill staff.
“When Congress passed the health reform law known as Obamacare in 2010,” Lawder explained, “an amendment required that lawmakers and their staff members purchase health insurance through the online exchanges that the law created. They would lose generous coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.”
On Wednesday, CNN’s “fact check” ruled the assertion that “President Obama exempted members of Congress from Obamacare” as false.
When Obamacare was passed into law, Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican, attached language to the bill that mandated members of Congress and their staffers would have to buy health insurance on the newly created health insurance exchanges. What nobody accounted for at the time was that members of Congress and their staffers currently have health insurance through their employer – the federal government. No other employer has been legally required to drop its employee’s health care plan and have them buy coverage on the exchanges.
What CNN failed to understand is “that members of Congress and their staffers” are employed — and subsequently paid — by the American people, not “the federal government.”
A man “employed” by voters in the Sunshine State seems to understand that concept.
As Newsmax reported Friday, Florida Republican Rep. Dennis Ross “plans to introduce an amendment that subjects members of Congress and their staff to the same rules of the Affordable Care Act as the rest of the country.”
“We have to do everything we can in our power to prevent Obamacare,” Ross said in a phone interview on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
But if we can’t, then the least thing we can do is subject ourselves to it 100 percent the same as the American public will have and experience the same pain.
Furthermore — while the Office of Personnel Management ruled at Obama’s request that the government will still use taxpayer dollars to fund subsidies or contributions for healthcare benefits for Congress and members of their staffs – Ross contends “there’s no basis” for that ruling.
If this is going to happen, then Congress must enact it themselves to allow for this contribution to happen.
“No Republicans voted for ObamaCare,” William Bennetta and Christopher Beach noted for The Wall Street Journal Set. 23. “Yet it appears that some of them support the exemption President Obama approved on his own—so they would not have to go on record with a vote for or against it.”
This is the height of hypocrisy, and worse, a trampling of the Founders’ code of equal application of the law.
“As close observers of history and human nature,” Bennetta and Beach explained, “James Madison and the other Founders of the U.S. Constitution knew that the equal and unbiased application of the law to all people, especially elected officials, is essential to freedom and justice and one of the primary safeguards from authoritarianism and oppression by a ruling class.”
And so, referring to the members of Congress:
[T]hey can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.
Ross is not the first Republican to propose a bill to force himself and other members of Congress – and their staff members – to swallow the same Obamacare pill being shoved down the throats of Americans.
On Sept. 10, Florida freshman Rep. Ron DeSantis introduced a bill — H.R. 3076 – called the “James Madison Congressional Accountability Act.”
Although many members of Congress don’t like it,” DeSantis said in an Aug. 26 press release prior to introducing his bill, “the text of ObamaCare makes members share the same fate as the millions of Americans who will see their employer-based health insurance arrangements upended due to this ill-conceived law.”
The Obama administration cannot override the law and grant special subsidies to members of Congress and their staffs. It is also patently unfair — and contrary to our founding principles — to grant special relief to members of the governing class while leaving the rest of America to bear the costs.
While H.R. 3076 was “referred to committee” on Sept. 10, it has been given only a “2% chance of getting past committee” and “0% chance of being enacted.”
Most likely that’s because the members of Congress who would be voting on this bill – effectively forcing “themselves to the share the same fate” they are forcing “millions of Americans” to endure – are the same members of Congress who pressured Obama to exempt them from the law.
On April 16, National Review launched a petition to allow Americans to say how they feel about that.
“You told me we had to pass Obamacare to find out what was in it,” states the petition, addressed to Senate Majority leader Reid and fellow Democrat House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
With the implementation of Obamacare, you have found a way to save yourselves.
You passed the law — now live with it like the rest of us. Or overturn the whole rotten thing!
As of Sunday, National Review’s petition had “7,309 supporters.”
But there’s a little glitch.
As Politico reported Jan. 16, Macon Phillips — the White House director of digital strategy – said the Obama administration “first raised the threshold [in 2011] — from 5,000 to 25,000.”
“Citing increased participation,” the White House again “raised the threshold from 25,000 to 100,000” in January.
However, while the hike was implied to be an effort to curb an onslaught of frivolous petitions – like the one to have Piers Morgan deported – the White House also effectively “quadrupled the number of signatures required for an official response” to petitions signed by Americans voicing their opposition to actions the president and members of Congress take, which have a direct affect their daily lives.
So, while National Review’s petition has well over the 5,000 signatures required prior to the Obama administration’s first 2011 signature requirement hike, January’s increase means the petition needs 92,691 more signatures before it can find its way to the desks of Reid and Pelosi and/or to qualify “for an official response” from the White House.
Curiously, as the petition set up by Cruz and Lee approaches the two million mark, the White House has failed to even acknowledge – let alone “issue an official response” – to the soaring number of Americans who want to defund Obamacare.
As of 3:00 p.m. Sunday, at least 1,907,852 Americans were waiting.