Proving once again that they have no priorities other than opposing the President at every turn, the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives wasted taxpayer time and money holding a completely hollow vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Continuing their temper tantrum since the Supreme Court upheld the majority of the health care law, House leaders conducted their 33rd vote to repeal, defund, or dismantle the act. You read that right: 33 votes in 18 months. Let’s look at the facts.
Most significantly, the ACA was passed with bipartisan support. Any effort to impede it will stop at the House, since the Democrat-controlled Senate will stop it cold. Even if by some chance a bill made it through the Senate, what are the odds that the President wouldn’t veto any effort to block one of his signature achievements?
These votes are purely symbolic and very juvenile. The Republicans voted as a block, with every single one present supporting repeal. Oh, and this is the party of fiscal responsibility, right? So why would they spend an estimated $50 million or more holding these votes that they know won’t go anywhere? What price pettiness?
More significantly, the people that these men and women are supposed to represent are not interested in any more “anti-Obamacare” showboating. Two recent polls show that the Supreme Court decision has stabilized the health care debate on Main Street. A Washington Post-ABC poll shows support for the ACA up eight points to a 47-47 dead heat. More significantly a Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that 56% of Americans are done with the debate and want Congress to move on to other matters; only 38% want to pursue efforts to block or repeal the law.
What do the people want Congress to do? Create jobs and fix the economy. How many times has the House as a whole voted on either of these issues? None. The President has put forth proposals that sit as bills languishing in committee. Neither the Jobs Act nor the Layoff Prevention Act have seen even a debate scheduled. Why? Because temper tantrums are more important than people’s lives. So what if the most vulnerable Americans need affordable care, better jobs (or any jobs), and economic stability. They can’t pay for campaign ads, so screw ‘em.
Just to add insult to injury, House leaders made a strategic pick for the spokesman for this vote. Trying to dodge the “let’s destroy the one thing that Black guy in the White House accomplished” label, they picked African-American Rep. Allen West (R – Self Loathing) to speak about the vote. He performed just as well as you might expect if you know anything about his history of nutty ranting.
I don’t think it’s symbolic. Now that we know that the truth is out there that this is a tax, we need to be able to let the American people know where we stand. [...] The American people don’t want this Patient Protection Affordable Care Act. It’s heinous, it’s onerous. They want it gone so we as their representatives are going to continue to do what they sent us up here to do which is every way that we possibly can make sure that this bad policy, this bad law is irradiated [sic] from our rolls.
Taking that simple paragraph apart for all the errors, lies, and abuses of language is just too exhausting. Just remember that Speaker Boehner thought this guy was the best spokesman for their actions. Well, maybe he was right…crazy is as crazy does.