Here in my home district (MO-04) we have been sending Ike “the Skeleton” Skelton to represent us in the U.S. Congress. He has duped us with claims of being an independent voice for us in congress, but the fact is he has voted with Speaker Nancy Pelosi 95% of the time. Due to his “Pelosi lap-dog” status he is getting huge amounts of campaign funding to defend his seat, but we are fighting back. Despite the false attack ads Skelton continues to run he and his challenger, Vicky Hartzler, are in a virtual tie, according to the polls.
This coming Wednesday is Vicky Hartzler’s birthday, and in honor of this occasion her campaign is holding a moneybomb, “$20.10 for victory in 2010.” (This is also the point of the awesome new graphic on the sidebar of this blog.) This your chance to help us “clean the ‘skeleton’ out of our closet!!!
And from her campaign, ”As a special treat for the moneybomb, Vicky Hartzler is counting down the days this week with the Top Five Reasons to Spike Ike this November:”
Reason #4: The Health Care Bill of 2010
Congressman Skelton is fond of telling voters that he voted against the disastrous health care bill signed into law by President Obama. What he doesn’t tell you is how he assisted its passage before he voted against it.
Let’s go back one year to the fall of 2009. House Democrats had introduced several competing health care proposals and various committees were debating which provisions would go into the actual legislation. Senate Democrats had different ideas than the House Democrats. Because the Senate cannot introduce spending bills, the House had to pass a “fake” bill that the Senate Democrats could then gut and replace with their preferred health care legislation. Who co-sponsored this bill with the innocuous-sounding title of “H.R. 3590: The Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act” and voted to pass? Why, none other than Ike Skelton!
Later, once Nancy Pelosi had decided on a legislative framework, the Democrats offered a resolution (H. Res. 903) that would set the rules for debate. This resolution stated that Republicans would be absolutely prohibited from offering any amendments to the legislation, and would limit discussion on the bill to just four hours . The final bill clocked in at over 2,200 pages and is intended to completely revolutionize an industry that takes up one-sixth of our economy, and the Democrats intended to debate it thoroughly … in just four hours. Who voted to bring these debate rules to a floor vote? Why, none other than Ike Skelton !
Mr. Skelton did ultimately vote against the substance of that House bill in November 2009. But, if you’ll recall, the Senate refused to pass the House bill (see “Stupak Amendment”). The Senate passed its own version of health care legislation, now titled “H.R. 3590: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, in a late night vote on Christmas Eve 2009. Ordinarily, when the two houses of Congress pass different legislation on the same topic, the bills have to go through a “conference” where representatives of both houses hash out compromise language and then each house votes on the conference bill. House Democrats had planned to pass a new House bill in response to the new Senate bill and then work out the differences between the bills in conference.
But shortly thereafter, Republican Scott Brown won a special election to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Mr. Brown won his Senate seat by promising to filibuster any conference healthcare legislation. Nancy Pelosi now needed a solution that would allow her members to amend the Senate bill but keep the bill out of conference. She decided to use a process called “reconciliation” where only budgetary differences could be discussed and the resulting bill could not be filibustered in the Senate. In order to do this, the House had to pass the exact language of the Senate bill along with a so-called “sidecar” bill containing only budget matters.
A lot of House members, however, didn’t want to cast a vote in favor of the Senate bill without the sidecar legislation (see “Cornhusker Kickback”). So Nancy Pelosi had old friend and fellow Democrat Louise Slaughter introduce a resolution that would suspend the usual rules of debate and simply pretend that by voting for the resolution, the House had voted to pass both the Senate language and the sidecar bill. This tactic was popularly referred to as the “Slaughter Strategy”. House observers agreed that it would be unconstitutional to avoid a direct vote on the legislation. It would also be unconstitutional to hold only one vote on two separate bills. But the House Democratsdefeated a GOP attempt to force separate votes on the two bills and passed the Slaughter Strategy anyway (H. Res. 1190).
The nation reacted with such outrage to the Slaughter Strategy that Nancy Pelosi ended up not using the tactic. The House instead voted in the usual manner to separately pass the two bills. But who voted in favor of using the unconstitutional Slaughter Strategy? Why, none other than Ike Skelton !
Mr. Skelton also voted on several procedural questions to proceed with debating thelegislation and to reject GOP efforts to table the bill. He even voted for the “Medicare Doc Fix” (H.R. 3961), which increased the amounts paid to doctors under Medicare. The “Doc Fix” was deliberately passed after the healthcare bill so that the Democrats could use the lower pre-“Doc Fix” amounts to estimate the bill’s cost, thereby concealing the true cost of the legislation.
The Democrat healthcare bill is far too complicated, leaves far too many details to the whim of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and places far too many onerous and unconstitutional burdens on citizens and small businesses. We should have been focusing on common-sense reforms that help ordinary people cope with catastrophic health care bills without bankruptcy and that reduce the role of insurance companies in ordinary preventive care. I would have stood against every procedural and substantive vote on this bill. Every. Single. One. I would have done everything I could to prevent passage. Mr. Skelton did not. He has a habit of helping Nancy Pelosi and the national Democrats when push comes to shove. Even when he votes with his constituents, he often waits until Nancy Pelosi has enough votes for passage before he casts his vote. His actions speak for themselves.
If Skelton’s health care votes have you seeing red, please send $20.10 to help us to Vick-tory in 2010!
This can also be found here.
See part 1 here…