So, last week, after 150-plus days in office, President Trump finally had a full cabinet. Even with a Republican-controlled Senate and only needing 51 votes, it took this long for his nominees to be confirmed.
We were introduced to them last week and as they went around the table introducing themselves, they all had kind words to say about their new boss. Within minutes, the media was saying Trump made them say those nice things. Understandable, from their point of view. After all, being that Trump is such a reprobate, how could any of these distinguished people, on their own, have anything nice to say about our president? Haven’t they been reading and listening to what we have been saying about him for the last year-and-a-half? Obviously, Trump had to have a pre-meeting and demand they say how great he is and how honored they are to work for such a person.
Problem is, if such a meeting had occurred before, it would have been leaked before the televised meeting. The deep state anti-Trumpsters would have been on speed dial with their contacts in the media. We have seen this played out over and over again. Still, despite every cabinet member interviewed denying they were prodded into these kind words, this is what the media ran with all day.
While the media was following this shiny object, the real news was not covered at all. Trump said during the cabinet meeting that “Mitch McConnell is going to pass our healthcare bill.” When I heard this, I passed it off thinking that it is just Trump trying to move the process along. McConnell and the Senate are not going to do anything. After all, did he not just say that he did not think he could get the votes to pass the House version? Well, I have to admit I have egg on my face.
According to a story I read the next day in the American Spectator, while we were being riveted by our TVs, watching former FBI Director James Comey doing whatever you want to call what he was doing, how he and he alone was surrounded by superiors trying to undermine his investigations, the Senate parliamentarian issued a critical ruling. In the story, it said, “The Senate parliamentarian ruled that repeal can be passed via reconciliation.” You know, the same way the Democrats passed Obamacare on Christmas Eve 2009, without anyone reading the actual bill, without one Republican vote. Wow! Does this not sound exactly like what the Democrats are saying the Republicans are doing? As I have said before, projection. Problem is, we did read the House bill. I even wrote a column on it.
What this recent ruling meant is that they do not need 60 votes to repeal it. They just need 51. According to the story, “Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fast-tracked the process by invoking ‘Rule 14.’ This is the Senate rule that permits it to skip laborious committee hearings; hearings that Democrats planned to use for protracted grandstanding. They would have been all over the media, just like they are now telling us the Republicans are going to kill our seniors and children.
It is amazing. Trump’s proposed budget is going to kill seniors and children. Repealing Obamacare and replacing it with Trumpcare is going to kill seniors and children. Is it any wonder why a deranged killer took it upon himself to try and take out Republican Congress members?
So, according to the story, “Moderate Republicans are coming around on proposed changes to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion about which they had expressed reservations.” Again from the story, “In other words, the Republicans are only a few modified provisions from a bill that will satisfy the concerns of the party’s moderates and meet the requirements of the Senate parliamentarian. Next week, they will seek a score from the Congressional Budget Office.” Even Ohio Gov. Kaschih is fine with the revisions.
Here is the problem with the CBO and why it should be ignored. The CBO does not analyze anything other than what they are given. They do not do dynamic analysis of anything. It is a zero sum game. If the government spends X amount of dollars, that means we lose it. In other words, in their world, there is no way any other calculation generates income to make up for whatever is being spent. No rate of growth. In the case of healthcare, people not being covered are just people not being covered. Even if they chose to drop out because the mandate has been eliminated. Even if they are now allowed to self-insure. No! They are just not covered. No context. No increase in revenue because rates have decreased and more people are working. Again, no context.
According to an opinion from the writer of the story, David Catron,“When the whip count reaches 50 or more, as it probably will before July 4, the Obamacare repeal and replace bill will go to the floor.” He goes on to opine, “No Republican senator will risk their career by casting the vote that prevents it from reaching President Trump’s desk. There will be no braying about ‘Obamacare Lite,’ only a struggle to get in the shot when he signs the bill into law.” It is an opinion I agree with. It makes perfect sense.
So even though last week I was bemoaning the Republicans because I felt they were doing everything to stop Trump’s agenda, I may have been premature. Apparently, it may not be the case here. I say this with caution. I will wait for the end result. However, when the parliamentarian says you only need 51 and you have got 52, and the vice-president, if needed, then you have no excuses not to pass it.
This is what I say. What say you?