Prominent Republican Senator Judd Gregg has a new battlecry: Repeal health care reform. Of course there is a teenie-weenie problem:
Health care reform hasn’t even passed yet.
A top Republican senator on Wednesday proposed the possibility of repealing any healthcare law that is passed by congressional Democrats using the reconciliation strategy.
Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said it is not surprising that Democrats would use reconciliation to pass their healthcare bill. The parliamentary technique would require only 50 votes plus a tie-breaker by Vice President Joe Biden, instead of the 60 votes that would be required instead.
Gregg said Senate Democrats are pursuing the conventional wisdom strategy of persuading House Democrats to pass the Senate bill, and then making requested changes in a Senate bill pushed through under reconciliation.
“The purpose is to buy votes from the liberal constituencies in the House who won’t vote for the big Senate bill because it isn’t liberal enough — even though it’s a huge bill and a massive expansion of government — and the result will be, if they’re successful, that the Senate bill will have to be signed and passed by the president,” Gregg said.
“So you’d have this huge expansion of the government in the area of spending and bureaucracy — all the problems that the health care system has now will then be law. I think that would be a real affront to the American people. The main effort then would be repealing it.“
Two issues are raised by his new battlecry (which will either be taken up by talk show radio hosts or perhaps it has been already asserted by talk show radio hosts and he is just echoing it — there IS a blur these days):
1. If health care reform is passed — no matter how it is passed — and a large chunk of the public decides it likes the changes or concludes that it was not as catastrophic act as some GOPers suggest (no grandmas dying due to death panels, no Socialist flag flying over the White House or hospitals, seniors not finding they have little government health insurance benefits, they don’t lose the insurance they have etc). then it will be tough for the GOP to repeal it in the future without taking a huge hit UNLESS opinion polls show overwhelming sentiment to do so.
2. It’s a new approach to policy making: call for the repeal of legislation before it is actually passed.
It could lead to a new trend. We could see some politicians soon issuing:
–A call for the end of America’s war against Yemen, Iran, and North Korea. (Oh, what the heck, let’s throw in Upper Volta to make it four demands.)
–A call for an end to euthanasia (even though young people are the same in Asia and in the United States).
–A call for an end to gay marriage (OOPS! That’s already being done..)
–A call for an end to heterosexual marriage.
–A call to impeach President Sarah Palin and Vice President Scott Brown.
It could also encourage people to file pre-meal lawsuits against fast food chains for causing weight gain, or pre-drink lawsuits against fast food chains for coffee spills that are goig to scald them.
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Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.