Back to the Susan Collins bipartisan plan

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by gatordowneast, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. gatordowneast
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    gatordowneast Premium Member

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    Is this where we end up? Looks like a reasonable compromise.


    "Republicans would support a continuing resolution that funds the government for six months at the “sequester” levels of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which was produced by that year’s debt-ceiling negotiations. Republicans would also support raising the debt ceiling to enable the government to borrow enough to finance the substantial deficit spending involved in even sequester-level spending. (The sequester’s supposed severity does not come close to balancing the budget.) Republicans also would grant agencies greater flexibility in administering the sequester’s cuts.

    In exchange, Collins asked for only two things. First, a mere delay, and for just two years, of Obamacare’s medical-device tax, which is so “stupid” — Sen. Harry Reid’s characterization — that bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress favor outright repeal. Second, enforcement of income-verification criteria for those seeking Obamacare’s insurance subsidies — criteria the administration wrote but waived."

    Can Boehner get enough House Pubs and a few demos to support this if the Senate can pass it?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...b32a70-34e3-11e3-be86-6aeaa439845b_story.html
  2. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    The Senate is going to move without the House and wind up passing something similar to, but probably not exactly that plan.

    A whip count in the House isn't going to be the problem, actually getting anything to the floor without costing Boehner his speakership is going to be the issue. Pretty much anything on this issue that can get through the Senate will have the raw votes to pass the House if it gets to the floor, but it's unclear whether the votes exist in the House Republican Conference to bring anything at all to the floor without just waiving the Hastert Rule (or structuring the bill-specific rules for that legislation to allow someone other than Republican leadership to bring a privileged motion to vote on the Senate plan unamended).
  3. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Looks like the framework is a short term funding (till December) and a hike of the debt ceiling until February, the idea being that conference reaches a budget deal. The only other sure thing looks to be "income verification" (something of a misnomer, as that is already law) on the healthcare subsidies. Essentially with the failure of a House alternative, you need something that will pass with D votes, in House, Senate and something the president will sign.

    Boehner's more or less signaled his intent to allow a vote on the Senate plan. He even sent a "message" which will allow a quicker Senate vote, and Pelosi is urging the House to vote on the Senate plan first and send it to the Senate to make it even faster than having it originate in the Senate.
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  4. MichiGator2002
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    Collins lining up to give away the store, of course. The medical device tax will be the same economy hurting, industry hurting steaming pile of imbecilic statist horsesqueeze in two years that it is now. No reason that shouldn't be an unequivocal give-up by the Democrats. Hell, that should be opening offer type stuff on their part. Beltway-institutional Republicans are about as spineless dealing with their nominal counterparts in Washington as Obama is with his international counterparts. You can't get much in a deal unless the other guy believes you are willing to walk away.
  5. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    This would be a consolation for the House GOP so I don't think they'd take it.
  6. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    FWIW, the House GOP also killed repealing/delay of the Medical device tax on their failed bill yesterday on grounds of being labeled "crony capitalism."
  7. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    I guess I don't understand the medical device tax as a "BIG ISSUE" suddenly. If you say "we're leaving Obamacare intact except for this 2% sales tax on medical devices" aren't you basically saying you want to put Obamacare even more in the red?

    I don't understand this line of thinking at all. It's a face-saving gesture and a stupid one. Either shoot for the stars (delay of Obamacare) or walk home with your tail in between your legs, but don't make Obamacare even worse. Infuriating.
  8. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Yeah, if you claim to care about debt or spending, repealing/delaying part of a the funding mechanism for a law makes things worse debt/spending-wise. Really, only the industry's lobbyists were pushing real hard for it to be gone/delayed. It did have some tepid bipartisan support for that reason.
  9. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    I largely agree. When you think it through, "Obamacare is an expensive boondoggle, better get rid of some of the revenue recapture provisions that lessened the net budgetary impact" is wholly nonsensical.

    At the same time, it's "winning" on something having to do with the ACA in this fight and has largely been offered up as cover to the House so they don't have to get "we created this giant fight and got nothing even related to what we wanted out of it" hung around their necks. The appeal in grasping on to that kind of throwaway political cover is pretty clear.
  10. tim85
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    tim85 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting read along those lines here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/14/this-is-why-the-medical-device-tax-is-in-so-much-trouble/
  11. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    Tim,

    I get that argument (although curiously it was absent during the construction of the law), but wouldn't the big fish make sense here? The big fish saves money, ostensibly represents the "will of the people." The little fish lets the big one get away and get even fatter.

    This was a stage to truly challenge Obamacare and they're trying to trade in their tickets for the fake mustache instead of going for the RC car.
  12. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    (wanted to jam at least two awkward analogies into that post)
  13. tim85
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    tim85 Well-Known Member

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    I think they're just split over it, and I completely get your line of thinking. I think some of them would rather go for the big fish, but view it as nearly impossible, so they're going to take whatever they can get. If they can't get the biggest fish, they'll try to get the biggest little fish(More analogies!).
  14. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    I get this too, but it's the part that's upsetting. Saving a little face but making Obamacare even worse. I'd rather they just say "well, we tried, America."
  15. MichiGator2002
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    MichiGator2002 VIP Member

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    Which is as incoherent as it is spineless. How is repealing a new, asinine, and unjustifiable tax that is like ten minutes old crony capitalism? In any context?
  16. mdgator05
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    That is a pretty reasonable argument. It does seem to be a bit of a face saving gesture (considering that Republicans started in a position they never were even going to approach), but one that stands a relatively high likelihood of being successful.

    As Ben pointed out, this does push Obamacare into having less revenue, hurting its impact on overall budgets. Republicans, probably rightly, think that this is an advantage for them as they can then claim that Obamacare was less successful from a budgetary standpoint, and Democrats aren't going to fight back by saying that it is only that way because Republicans insisted on getting rid of this particular tax.

    Its sort of a win/win for Republicans. They can try to gain some additional support from this industry for killing this tax (and only for a couple of years allowing them to go to the industry for political contributions in order to keep fighting for them) while at the same time not looking like they got nothing, saving face, and getting to hammer Obamacare as less budgetarily (I think I just made up a word) sound. This will be a big win for the most ambitious of those in this fight (such as Cruz) without them even needing to support it (they can maintain their hardline, have their actions stop shutting down the government, which has been hugely unpopular, and gain all of the above advantages when they run for higher office).
  17. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Because delaying an existing tax is pretty much a gift to the industry. Not to mention it undercuts their whole argument about Obama granting "special favors" to people.
  18. tegator80
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    tegator80 Well-Known Member

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    I try to keep it simple: the motivation for any congressperson is...to get re-elected. You do what you can to get good spin for that objective. Small wins in a "crisis" is good spin.


    But crappy for the country.
  19. MichiGator2002
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    No, averting a retarded tax is taking a stupid boot off an industry's neck. It isn't doling out sugar and candy to your favorites, it is cancelling an idiotic idea that hurts business and citizen alike and can't be rationally defended in the first place.
  20. gatordowneast
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    My guess is the house and senate members who would vote to get rid or delay this are in districts/states with med device manufacturers who are cutting jobs due to the tax. 2% doesn't seem like a lot does it....unless it is on $10 B in sales. Then it represents $200 M. That is a lot of jobs.

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