James Beattie — January 6, 2015
Even though Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was re-elected to a third term as Speaker of the House of Representatives Tuesday, over two dozen of his Republican colleagues defected and chose other candidates instead.
Boehner received 216 votes of 408 cast, while Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) received 12 votes, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) received three votes, Reps. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) received two votes apiece, and Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), along with Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), received one vote. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell also received one vote.
In all, 25 GOP votes were cast against Speaker Boehner, who was sworn in Tuesday. In 2013, only 12 such votes were cast, according to The Hill, which on Monday predicted as many as 17 could defect from Boehner.
The Washington Post noted this was the “biggest revolt” at a speaker vote in at least a century:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) received 164 votes, with nearly every Democratic vote going her way. A dozen Democrats in New York’s delegation were not present as they were attending the late former Governor Mario Cuomo’s funeral at St. Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan, noted Politico.
Some on Twitter were being comical, tying in the Baseball Hall of Fame announcement for the Class of 2015, which took place at the same time.
When he testified before Congress this week, Jonathan Gruber downplayed his involvement in drafting Obamacare legislation. But, another video of Gruber hyping his involvement has emerged. Dr. Gruber told students in Principles of Microeconomics at MIT that his role in drafting the healthcare albatross may cause him to be biased while lecturing on the topic.
“Full disclaimer, I am going to describe it objectively, but I helped write it. I’ll be objective. I’ll try to be objective, but just full disclaimer, I was involved in writing the legislation. So, there is some bias involved here.”
Multiple videos have emerged of Gruber saying the public was intentionally misled and the bill was fashioned in a “tortured” way to take advantage of the “stupidity” of the American voter. He said that if it were written transparently, the bill would never have passed.
After the videos began to emerge, President Obama and Nancy Pelosi denied Gruber’s importance in writing the legislation. Pelosi at one point even denied knowing who Gruber was. Then video surfaced proving both of them lied.
Ironically, the man who helped write Obamacare and was paid millions of dollars to help implement it, may be the catalyst in its demise simply by being honest.
Will Gruber’s comments be the final straw for Obamacare? Please comment below.
Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) — On “With All Due Respect,” Mark and John debate whether the president’s endorsement of a big ol’ spending bill has backfired. (Source: Bloomberg)
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House-Senate negotiators neared agreement Sunday on the last pieces of a $1.1 trillion spending bill designed to avert any shutdown this week and put most government agencies on firm footing through next September.
Gruber visited Obama’s office as the Democratic Party’s “most influential health-care expert”
MIT professor Jonathan Gruber served as the key health care consultant to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and even visited Obama’s office to sell the idea of the “individual mandate,” which Obama later championed, according to a 2007 news article.
Gruber, who said Obamacare passed due to the “stupidity of the American voters” and their “lack of economic understanding,” was described by the Washington Post as the Democratic Party’s “most influential health-care expert” who “consulted with the three leading Democratic campaigns about their health plans,” including Barack Obama’s.
He pressured the Obama campaign to support the “individual mandate” he helped developed for Massachusetts’ state-run health care, which forced people to buy insurance or face a penalty.
“Gruber championed this idea in Massachusetts, and … he did the same in Obama’s office, on the phone with [John] Edwards and in conversations with Chris Jennings, Hillary Clinton’s health policy guru,” reporter Perry Bacon Jr. wrote, adding that Gruber had to warm up the Obama campaign to the idea of the mandate.
He told Obama’s advisers that a mandate was necessary.
“[Gruber] said that without (sic) the mandate, Obama’s plan would shrink the number of uninsured from 15 percent to 6 percent,” Bacon reported. “Obama’s aides said that they think they could achieve universal care without a mandate, but that they would add one if they did not.”
Yet Obama has been attempting to downplay Gruber’s role in Obamacare over the past week after Gruber was caught on video displaying his disdain for American voters.
The president even claimed that Gruber was “some adviser who never worked on our staff,” but it’s quite obvious that Gruber had undue influence in shaping not only Obamacare but also Obama’s overall health care policies.
Obama even admitted this in 2006 when he mentioned Gruber as one of the “brightest minds from academia and policy circles” he had “stolen ideas from liberally.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also made reference to Gruber repeatedly while campaigning for Obamacare in late 2009, but last week she tried to claim she didn’t know who he was in the aftermath of the Gruber videos.
Steven Rattner, a former Obama administration adviser, told MSNBC host Joe Scarborough that Gruber was “the guru on health care” and that he “was certainly viewed as an important figure in helping to put Obamacare together.”
“I think if you go back and look at the Washington Post or the New York Times or anything from that period, you will find Jonathan Gruber’s name all over it, as both someone who’s the leading expert on health care quoted by everybody, and as someone who the White House was using,” Rattner said.
And the Washington Post’s 2007 article proves Rattner right.