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Liveblog – House Floor Debate on Health Care Bill (Two)

Jesse Jackson Jr bringing the gavel today.

Demanding the YEAs and NAYs on 15-minute vote on point of order.

CSPAN has now cut away to the kill-the-bill demonstrations on the Capitol grounds today.

We’ve now come back from the “fifteen-minute” vote.

Based on the earlier schedule, the House appears to be taking two hours for every hour allotted to debate.  We are at 4pm eastern, when they scheduled this to be completed at 3pm eastern.

On MSNBC, awaiting the arrival of the Forced-Birth King, Bart Stupak, who will tell us what deal he’s agreed to for his vote for this bill.  Unless he’s going to vote against it!

Lawrence O’Donnell now lauding his MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews for understanding ten months ago that health care reform would all come down to abortion.  No mention of Matthews berating Alan Grayson for saying earlier this year that reconciliation would be the parliamentary method used to pass health care reform.

The House is not waiting for the conclusion of Bart Stupak’s press conference.   JJJ at the gavel again.

Louise Slaughter relating yesterday’s events: spitting, racist comments, homophobic comments.  “Anger is not just contained to the Capitol Grounds — last week someone threw a brick through my office window in my district!”

Slaughter recalling FDR’s language on good health being essential to the safety and security in our nation.  Inequality of health care by region, economic status. “to prevent and care for sickness and disability, loss of ability to work among workers, care for children and mothers” — this is a reminder that the eyes of history are watching us.  This should be our guidepost.

Truman, Clinton invoked now, along with Richard Nixon’s efforts.  “Our final bill may end up being less progressive than the one Nixon proposed many decades ago” — sing it, Louise!

Slaughter giving the broad strokes of the majority’s views of the bill, CBO score, coverage expanded.  That 1.3 trillion in the second decade is a talking point they absolutely love.

“We are here today to do our job — I consider the Rules Committee to be the kitchen of the House of Representatives, and I am proud to be the cook.”

Dreier up now: “what happened yesterday on the grounds of the Capitol was totally unacceptable.”  Is this the first GOP denouncement of actions of the teapartiers against Cleaver, Lewis, Carson, and Frank?

Dreier: “We will hear story after story that is a tragedy — this ill-conceived bill is such a lost opportunity for a bipartisan solution.  Speaker Pelosi argues that the American people care more about the product than the process.  And she is right!  The public was outraged by tactics to avoid an actual bill, but people are really outraged by its effects!”  [we won the battle on deem-and-pass, so we’re back to hating on the bill itself]

Dreier says this will gut Medicare and Medicare Advantage, cut HSAs until they are worthless.  Do the GOPs understand that, you know, the Louisiana Purchase  is already actually a, um, thing?

Dreier discussing the majority’s efforts to avoid an up-or-down vote.  “Majority ignored demands from the American public, but when Democratic members protested, the leadership removed this plan”

Cannot bring himself to congratulate the leadership for holding an actual vote on what he calls a terrible bill.  Says debate has been closed down, which doesn’t really account for his current speech.  Reconciliation bill was only available last night, violating the 72-hour rule.  No transparency, no accountablility.

“Will the Senate health care bill become the law of the land, and will the reconciliation bill be sent to the Senate?”

Points out that, today, only the Senate bill will become law.  “Leadership claims the reconcilation bill fixes everything, but it doesn’t.  Putting aside that hard truth, the reconciliation bill will be picked apart like everything else send to that body”

[Playing on House’s natural distrust of the Senate]

“Only thing to be sent to the President is the Senate bill which almost no one supports.”

Cornhusker Kickback, Gatoraid, Louisiana Purchase, Bismarck Bank Deal — these are all in the Senate bill we are being asked to vote into law today.


Slaughter recognizes James McGovern of Massachusetts.

“real meaningful health insurance reform — end the abusive practices of companies, close the donut hole, biggesst deficit reduction package of the past 25 years.”

Invoking Ted Kennedy now.  Going through the advantages for Massachusetts, tax credits, medical research centers, community health centers, no longer necessary to subsidize care for out-of-staters who don’t have health care.

“I regret deliberate GOP obstruction.  They opposed Social Security, they opposed Medicare.  Ted Kennedy was right, the work goes on, the cause endures.”

Diaz-Balart of Florida now, from Dreier:  “Raids medicare, genuinely painful medicine, social convulsion, inevitable catastrophe, majority and the President went with dogma instead.”

[I have to wonder what bill the GOP thinks they are voting on — did someone slip them H676 instead?  When did empowering insurance companies become Democratic party dogma?]

Slaughter yields to Alcee Hastings of Florida.  “I was working to save the lives of the 45,000 Americans who die every year because they don’t have health insurance.”

Rebuts Newt’s “grand and radical social experiment” language.

“Put me in the radical column!”  [This may not be the best soundbite, Congressman]

Hastings says “Ronald Reagan was an icon by all standards”  — something I think no Democrat should say from the floor of the House.

Dreier recognizes Sessions (TX): “This would be against the law in Texas, it is deceptive trade practice.  The other 23 million who won’t be covered.  Neither will the 500 trillion in physician reimbursement.”

[that’s what he said]

Cheering when he calls Hastings a radical.

Slaughter recognizes Mrs Matsui (CA).

“This is the day we get to do something monumental, control costs, reduce the deficit, change people’s lives.  Gives people in my hometown in Sacramenta control over their healthcare, takes it away from insurance companies who deny them care.”

Matsui: “the current system is not working for them, and it’s not working for me.”

Dreier: Virginia Foxx.  Oh this might be good!  “most offensive pieces of social engineering legislation in the history of the United States.  Majority is arrogant, assumes they and washington knows best.”  We agree with the liberal Democrat chairwoman of the Rules COmmittee, this bill doesn’t reform health care.  Start over!

[remarkable restrained for Foxxy]

Slaughter: Mr Cardoza (CA): “My wife has been a family doctor for 20 years, has patients who are denied care by the same companies who want to kill this bill.  She was trained to practice medicine, not to fight insurance companies to get treatment for her patients.”  Brother runs a small family business for 50 years, their insurance rates are going up 70%, insurance company denied his wife the three extra days the doctor wanted her to spend in the hospital.”  Talks about a constituent’s child who died because he couldn’t get her into the hospital that could care for her.  Talks about EMK’s hearings 20 years ago, when he was an intern on Capitol Hill.

“We have waited for this day for far too long, this debate can’t wait another generation, this is desperately long overdue.”

Dreier yields to former Rules member, Mr Cole: “This rule sets a deplorable precedent, silences millions of voters, cuts 500 billion dollars from Medicare, 55 members filed amendments, none of these were even considered.  Democrats turning a blind eye to the future.  Bill flawed, urge a no vote.”

Slaughter yields to Mr Perlmutter, of Rules & Colorado: Marks a historic time for our country, takes reasonable steps to make health care available.  There’s lots more work to be done.  The status quo is not an option.  THis issue touches every person.

Dreier yields to another former Rules member, Gingrey of GA: “I left behind my medical practice to come to Congress — I brought 5200 lives into this world.  Raiding Medicare is not reform.  Cornhusker is not reform.  Turning the IRS into enforcement agents on health insurance is not reform. There’s a Dear Colleague letter being passed around on the floor from 1993 telling members they would be helped if they voted for the Clinton tax increases — they are ALL GONE!”

Slaughter yields to Pingree: “Here’s what I hear from Maine — 23% oincrease from Anthem for a small business owner.  A man named Mark pays 1/3 of our income for health insurance.  Ron tells me about living on the edge, as an out of work cardiac patient.  These people wrote to me from Maine, but this happens all over America.  Today we will change that — strengthening Medicare., closing the donut hole, making health insurance available to small businesses and individuals.

JJJ: Don’t traffic the well while others are speaking.

Dreier yields to Lee of NY: “I have heard from thousands of western NYers who are afraid of this govt takeover.  Air Force veteran says if you want to try his govt health care, you are welcome to do so. This is just another govt entitlement program.  Not what the American people deserve

McGovern recognizes Polis (CO) “Honored to be a new member of the Rules Committee — strong product, bends cost curve, reduces deficit, tax credits for business [this guy doesn’t really sound like a Democrat — no mention of coverage].  [Now railing on undocumented immigrants, we can’t subsidize a doubling — “this nation can’t afford undocumenbted immigratnts]

[WOW, that was a DEMOCRAT]

Dreier yields to Dr Broun of Georgia: “The simple truth is, this health care bill is a killer.  It kills jobs, kills freedom, kills the family budget, kills our future, allows taxpayer funded abortion.  You can never call yourself pro-life again if you vote for this bill, no EO can change that.  We can do this without killing our economy, we must kill this bill.

McGovern reserves balance of time.

Dreier unprepared for next speaker, requests how much time (11 GOP, 6 Dems)  Connie Mack of FL (husband of Cher’s exhusband’s widow, really!)

“Unconstitutional power grab, arm twisting, let’s see who’s back here in November!”

Dreier yields to a bunch of GOPs who want to revise and extend their remarks (submit written objection) all of whom [surprise!] oppose this bill.

JJJ notifies all members that they may not “embellish their revise/extend remarks with oratory” and that further remarks will be charged against the GOP.

Dreier continues to recognize what McGovern calls a “conga line” of revise/extenders.

[I am not going to name each of these, as you can imagine it is the usual suspects]

Each of them does get one word of oratory in, as they all call it “this flawed health care bill.”  Perhaps Dreier has put the talking point on the podium.

Dreier introduces “the newest Republican” Parker Griffith from Alabama!

Continuing with revise/extenders in opposition to “this flawed health bill.”

Dreier wants to know, at the end, if any time was actually consumed.  JJJ responds that they were charged five seconds, which Dreier wants back.  JJJ laughs, notes he has ten minutes and 25 seconds remaining.

Continues with revise/extenders.  Reichert, Issa.

Dreier now yields one full minute to CA Dan Lungren [hi Mary!] who decides to tell a story about King Richard and Wales.  “We’ve worked so hard in the pro-life movement for years and years and years, I beg those of us who joined us to understand that an executive order is NOT law.  The courts have said there is a statutory mandate to provide….”

JJJ gavels him down.

Revise/extenders continue, American Samoa gets some of Dreier’s time charged against him.  Democrats may also have been charged with booing time.

Bachus now — “public funding of abortion of a innocent and defenseless life whose first action by its own government is an action to destroy it.”  [then prays]

dreier yields to Fortenberry (NE): “What if this bill fails, now we have a chance to get health care reform right?  Then we could do things right, without eroding liberty.  We’ve lost sight of the actual effects.  A young boy asked me what country he should move to if this bill passes.”

McGovern yields 1 minute to Butterfield (NC): “Commend Preisdnet Obama and the Dem leadership to stand up to this political opposition.  I have 100,000 uninsured in my district.  My constituents need health insurance reform now!  We are poised to deliver historic reform, historians will record that today we responded to the needs of American families.

JJJ 3.55 Dems; 7.25 GOP

Dreier continues with revise/extend [wow does my gaydar go off when that Aaron Schock gets up and speaks]

[I don’t really understand what talking point these backbencher GOPs think they are getting — doesn’t every one of their constituents understand they oppose the bill?  Do they really need to get up and say so?  Oh…. I get it, this runs out the actual clock without cutting into anyone’s floor time!]

Bachmann changed the script — calls the bill ‘dangerous’ not ‘flawed!!!’

JJJ wants the house in order, stay outta the well when others are speaking!  Gavel time.

More revise/extenders.  King, Burton, Goehmert (“so-called” gets a charge against GOP time)

Slaughter yields to Gerry Connolly of Fairfax County VA:   “This historic bill will bring down costs for families, improve access to care, bring down the deficit.” Quotes Timothy, on the Sabbath.  “Let’s pass this”

Dreier yields one minute to Buchanan (FL): “I oppose this bill, it raises taxes, cuts Medicare.  Increases taxes 540 million, passes costs on to LLCs, real cuts of 504 million to Medicare, it’s not perfect, but we can’t take Social Security and Medicare away”

JJJ: 55 secs Dems; 6 minutes GOP

Dreier: more revise/extenders.  Yields to Blunt, MO.  “80 amendments, none of which were allowed by the Rules Cte, this bill doesn’t improve what works.  We shouldn’t proceed today because this costs too much, the proponents say we’re gonna accumulate a trillion dollars in ten years and spend it in 6.  After that, 200 billion a year.  I oppose the rule and oppose the bill.

Slaughter passes.

Dreier reminds his colleagues he will submit a sub Rule calling for the Chair to call the role on the Rule and on the Bill.

American legion and VFW oppose this bill.

Slaughter talks about Democratic affirmation of VA care, this bill won’t undermine veterans’ care.

Dreier: revise/extend, then yields 1 minute to LA’s Cassidy: “Massachusetts has the same plan, the Democratic treasurer of MA says their plan will go BK in four years.  Democratic leaders want to tell people how to live.  Listen to the American people, not with their leaders!”

Dreier wants to know how many speakers Slaughter has left.  Ten.  Dreier therefore reserves.

Slaughter: Yields one minute to Jerrold Nadler NY:  “This health insurance package, despite real inadequacies, solves real problems.  A yes vote will save 45,000 lives per year.  Bankruptcies will be athing of the past, capping out of pocket expenses, nobody will go broke because they get sick.”

Dreier has some more revise/extenders for unanimous consent, they continue to follow the script “flawed health care bill.”

Slaughter yields one minute to Mr Boccieri (OH), last speaker on their side but her close:  he talks about Natoma “her rates went up 20%, then went up 40%.  Luckily my mom had good health insurance, but she does not.  Nearly 40,000 people in my district lack health insurance.  Every man woman and child in Iraq has health care b/c Tommy Thompson took a billion dollars!”

Cheering hooting and hollering — then gaveling from JJJ.

Dreier: Has Slaughter any more speakers? No.

Dreier closing now.  “Many stories of tragic situations from our constituents.  We all want affordable health insurance. [quotes Dennis Prager now] What is before us, Mr Speaker — job killing tax increases, provisions to hire 18,000 new Internal Revenue agents to police the American people and their health insurance purchases. We believe in bipartisan solutions, we fervently beleive in expanding health savings accounts. Item number five, something the president supports too! — meaningful lawsuit reform.  Our five commonsense proposals have been ignored, they will help Americans now.”

JJJ: Your time has expired (gavels).

Slaughter: Move the previous question.

JJJ: No’s have it, record vote requested.

Somehow, the clerk is now reading a resolution commending Cold War veterans.  Now they are going to vote.

Two fifteen minute votes, then two five minute votes.  The third of these is the vote on the Rule to consider the Health Care Reform bill.

We will pick up another Liveblog after these votes.

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