Friday, May 5, 2017

House finally passes "repeal and replace" -- but bill expected to be DOA in Senate

Jubilant House Republicans finally got to claim that they had voted to "repeal Obamacare," as they climbed on waiting buses to take them over to the White House for a celebration with President Trump.

Never mind that it has very slim chances of passing the Senate and becoming law;  and never mind, if it does, it will cause great harm to millions of American people.  And never mind that very few people understand how bad the bill is -- because part of the Republican strategy was to muscle it through before the Congressional Budget Office had a chance to score it.

No, this was largely a symbolic vote, passed by the slim margin of 217 to 213, with all Democrats and some moderate Republicans voting against it.  But they will take it as license for bragging rights.   It was a political must-win for Paul Ryan and President Trump, as well as the fulfilling of an empty promise the Republican Party has been making for seven years.

And, even though he seemed not even to understand what was in the bill, Trump did turn out to be a pretty good clinch salesman, working the phones, appealing to some holdouts with repeated entreaties of "We really need you on this."

So let them have their day to celebrate.  Their craven duplicity will catch up with them, and the gnashing of teeth will come later.  They will pay at their town hall meetings back home next week;  and it will hurt them badly at the polls in 2018.


PS:  It's already started:   Bernie Sanders tweeted this:  "Donald Trump and Republicans just celebrated voting to let thousands of Americans die so that billionaires get tax breaks.  Think about that."

And Peter Daou joined in:  "This celebratory atmosphere over stripping health care from the sick is one of the most obscene political spectacles I've witnessed."

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