March 8, 2012
By Tony Cartalucci
“John McCain might be one the worst politicians in Washington. Here is just one more example of his tyrannical corruption.” –KTRN
Even as McCain deceived the world with his comments in pursuit of overthrowing and destroying the sovereign nation-state of Libya, it was already a matter of record, according to America’s own West Point Combating Terrorism Center, that Benghazi, and much of eastern Libya known as Cyrenaica, served as an epicenter for global Al Qaeda recruitment. Militants hailing from the eastern region’s Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) would end up in both Afghanistan and Iraq fighting Western troops and participating in sectarian violence.
This included LIFG leader Abdul Hakim Belhaj aka Abdul Hakim Hasadi, who first fought alongside the CIA against the Soviets in Afghanistan, then against US and British troops before eventually being captured by the US and handed over to Qaddafi who imprisoned him for 7 years. Upon his release, he would promptly be sponsored by NATO and the likes of John McCain, given arms, money, and training just as he was by the CIA during the Soviet Afghan-invasion, with the addition of NATO close air support in his bid to overthrow the Libyan government.
Belhaj and other militant factions constituting the “Libyan rebels” would go on a genocidal rampage throughout the country, encircling cities like Bani Walid and Sirte, cutting off food, water, electricity, and emergency aid while NATO mercilessly bombed populated city centers for days, weeks, and in the case of Sirte, months.
Belhaj is now the military commander of Tripoli and has been reported to be working with Syrian militants to repeat NATO’s campaign of atrocities, destabilization, and Balkanization in Syria, where he is said to be importing weapons and funds as well as LIFG fighters.
There is no doubt that the men McCain was defending were LIFG fighters, terrorists linked directly with Al Qaeda according to West Point reports (.pdf), and listed to this day by the US State Department and the UK Home Office (.pdf) as a “foreign terrorist organization.” McCain was not only rhetorically supporting listed terrorists, but providing material support including weapons, funds, training, and airsupport in direct violation of USC § 2339A & 2339B, “providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”
November 9, 2011
By Paul Joseph Watson
“If Ron Paul does not with the GOP nomination and decides to run as an independent, not only would he have a real chance at winning, but he could seriously affect the entire election itself.” –KTRN
A new poll conducted by NBC and the Wall Street Journal suggests that should Congressman Ron Paul eventually decide to run as a third party candidate, he could completely transform the 2012 election and pose an even greater threat to the establishment than Ross Perot’s 1992 campaign.
“Paul would earn the support of 18 percent of voters in a three-way race with President Obama and Mitt Romney, according to the poll, with Romney earning 32 percent and Obama receiving 44,” reports The Hill.
Paul’s number beats that of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who would garner 13 percent of the vote if he ran as a third party candidate.
Such figures are already impressive given the fact that Paul has not even begun to harness the momentum that a third party bid could generate.
Imagine a Jesse Ventura/Ron Paul third party ticket going head to head with Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in live televised prime time national debates. Paul and Ventura would verbally crucify establishment candidates Romney and Obama, posing an even greater threat to Washington’s two-party political monopoly than Ross Perot’s 1992 campaign.
Running as an Independent against George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Perot eventually received 18.9% of the vote, but at one stage he was the clear frontrunner with 39% of the vote.
Even former Republican presidential contender John McCain thinks that a new third party will emerge to play a pivotal role in future elections, noting that a third of newly registered voters in his home state of Arizona are Independents.
“Unless both parties change, then I think that it’s an inevitability. We aren’t doing anything for the people,” McCain told the the Reuters Washington Summit, adding that the new party could be called the “Fed-Up-Party,” referring to Americans’ disillusionment with both Republicans and Democrats.
November 9, 2011
“It’s hard to put faith in the military when they can’t even get the simplest things done right.” –KTRN
A Senate Armed Services Committee investigation found over a million suspect parts in the Pentagon’s supply chain, mostly from China. Committee leaders say the counterfeit parts are a danger to U.S. troops and cost taxpayers.
Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and ranking Republican John McCain (R-AZ) gave several examples where the Defense Department had to replace faulty electronics at taxpayer expense. One was counterfeit transistors in a helicopter night vision system. In another instance a cockpit video display on an Air Force C-27J transport plane had bogus memory chips that could cause it to display the wrong information.
August 4th, 2011
By: Stephanie Condon
Now that Congress has passed a bill to raise the debt limit and address the deficit, leaders have two weeks to choose delegates to a new “super committee” that will recommend further deficit and debt reduction ideas.
At least one lawmaker has taken himself out of the running for the 12-member committee, while other congressmen mull over who’d be a good fit for the “super” group.
Congressional leaders will choose three House Democrats, three Senate Democrats, three House Republicans and three Senate Republicans. They’ll have to consider which members could survive the political liability that comes with making hard decisions ahead of the 2012 elections. They’ll also have to decide whether to choose members that are typically loyal to party ideology or are more interested in compromise.
Once the group is selected, they have until Thanksgiving to draft a plan to create $1.2 trillion in savings. Seven of the 12 members would have to approve the plan to send it to Congress. The full Congress can then either approve the plan or allow across-the-board cuts to security and entitlement programs to kick in.
Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., one of the senators who voted against the debt limit package Tuesday, said this morning he wouldn’t serve on the super committee if asked, the Hill reports.
“They’re not going to [ask], and if I voted for it and they asked me to, I still wouldn’t serve on it,” Nelson said on the Nebraska radio show KLIN News Talk.
The senator predicted the committee will get hung up in partisan gridlock and suggested that creating such a committee was the wrong approach to policy making.
“I don’t think we can take politics out of every difficult decision,” he said. “I don’t like to cede away or give away my responsibility, and certainly I don’t like to authorize a group of my colleagues to do what I was sent to Washington to do.”
Two other senators, Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, expressed their skepticism about the new super committee on Tuesday to CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley.
“I think it’s going to be very difficult for this select committee to come up with any resolution, any meaningful resolution,” Chambliss said. Added Warner, “I’m not sure the committee is going to get the job done.” (embed the video of the interview)
Both Chambliss and Warner were part of a group of six bipartisan senators who earlier this year put forward their own ideas for deficit reduction.
So far, congressional leaders have indicated there may be at least some partisan politics at play when it comes to picking the super committee. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that the House Democratic representation in the super committee will protect entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
“I know that whoever’s at that table will be someone who will fight to protect those benefits,” she said.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, reassured conservatives on Tuesday that there’d be no litmus test for appointees to the committee. McConnell clarified that after the conservative magazine the Weekly Standard reported that McConnell would not appoint members who voted against the debt deal on Tuesday.
“There is no vote position requirement to serve on the committee,” a McConnell spokesman responded, adding that the Republican leader “will have serious discussions with all those who are interested in serving prior to making any appointments.”
For what it’s worth, politicians and pundits without any say in the final decision are suggesting candidates for the super committee. Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said on Fox News Tuesday that Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio would be a good candidate. Additionally, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus says that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who is recovering from being shot in the head, would make a good honorary chair of the group, to remind lawmakers the importance of transcending partisan bickering.
In spite of the skepticism of some members, both McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have expressed optimism that the super committee will succeed.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner also expressed optimism in a Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday morning.
The threat of across-the-board cuts should Congress fail to pass the committee’s plan “creates a strong incentive to compromise,” Geithner wrote. He added, “Beneath all the bluster, the prospects for compromise on broader and deeper reforms are better than they have been in years.”
Regardless of who sits on the committee, they are sure to feel intense pressure from lobbyists, Politico reports. Several lobbyists told Politico they expect to see a full-court press of Congress as it weighs spending cuts and revenue increases.
Update: In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said there’s been quite a bit of interest in the committee. “The speaker is the one who makes the selection, and I have gotten a lot of calls and emails from members who want to serve and want to participate in solving the problem,” he said.
July 21, 2010
Quinnipiac University Poll
By: Peter Brown
A year after President Barack Obama’s political honeymoon ended, his job approval rating has dropped to a negative 44 – 48 percent, his worst net score ever, and American voters say by a narrow 39 – 36 percent margin that they would vote for an unnamed Republican rather than President Obama in 2012, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
This compares to a 48 – 43 percent approval for Obama in a May 26 national poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University and a 57 – 33 percent approval last July, just before the political firestorm created by opposition to his health care plan galvanized political opponents and turned independent voters against him.
In this latest survey of more than 2,000 voters, independent voters disapprove of Obama 52 – 38 percent and say 37 – 27 percent they would vote for a Republican contender in 2012.
American voters also say 48 – 40 percent Obama does not deserve reelection in 2012.
Anti-incumbent sentiment slams both parties as voters disapprove 59 – 31 percent of the job Democrats are doing, and disapprove 59 – 29 percent of Republicans in Congress. But voters say 43 – 38 percent they would vote for a Republican in a generic Congressional race.
American voters say 42 – 32 percent that Obama has been a better president than George W. Bush, similar to the 43 – 30 percent who felt that way in January of 2010.
“It was a year ago, during the summer of 2009 that America’s love affair with President Barack Obama began to wane. In July of 2009, the President had a 57 – 33 percent approval rating. Today, his support among Democrats remains strong, but the disillusionment among independent voters, who dropped from 52 – 37 percent approval to 52 – 38 percent disapproval in the last 12 months, is what leads to his weakness overall when voters start thinking about 2012,” said Peter A. Brown., assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Quinnipiac University Poll/July 21, 2010 – page 2
“In politics a month is a lifetime and we have 28 months until November of 2012. But politicians with re-elect numbers at 40 percent bear watching,” Brown added.
American voters like Obama more than Sarah Palin, giving him a 49 – 45 percent favorability, while she gets a negative 35 – 49 percent.
Michelle Obama does much better, with a 55 – 19 percent favorability.
Twelve percent of voters say they are more likely to support a candidate for office, if Obama campaigns for the candidate, compared to 16 percent if Palin campaigns.
The country would be better off if John McCain had won the 2008 election, 37 percent of voters say, while 35 percent say the U.S. would be worse off. This compares to 37 – 35 percent who thought in January the U.S. would be worse off under McCain.
Asked to describe their feelings toward the President, 17 percent say they admire him; 33 percent are satisfied; 33 percent are dissatisfied and 15 percent are angry with him.
“The Republican tilt of the electorate little more than 100 days before the 2010 election is evident, but not overwhelming. Republicans hold a 43 – 38 percent lead on the ‘generic ballot,’ compared to a 42 – 34 percent Democratic lead in July 2009,” said Brown. “What a difference a year makes.”
Voter approval of the President’s handling of some of the nation’s problems shows:
- Disapprove 56 – 39 percent of his handling of the economy;
- Disapprove 46 – 43 percent of his handling of foreign policy;
- Disapprove 51 – 41 percent of his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill;
- Disapprove 58 – 30 percent of his handling of illegal immigration;
- Approve 46 – 34 percent of his nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.
“The massive disapproval of his handling of illegal immigration stems from voter opposition to his decision to have the government ask the federal courts to throw out the Arizona law. They say 60 – 28 percent the lawsuit is a bad idea,” said Brown.
Support for the war in Afghanistan hit a new low with 48 percent saying it was the right thing to do and 43 percent saying America should not be involved. That’s not much different from May’s 49 – 42 percent support, but markedly down from 56 – 36 percent in April.
From July 13 – 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,181 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.1 percentage points.
July 19, 2010
Arizona Daily Star
Most Arizonans no longer think Barack Obama is doing a decent job as president.
A new Behavior Research Poll released Sunday shows that nearly four out of every 10 Arizonans now rate Obama’s performance as poor or very poor. That’s up 5 points from the same survey taken in January.
What’s different is that the number of those who think he’s doing an excellent or good job has plummeted.
Three months after taking office, fully 51 percent of Arizonans gave Obama positive ratings, even though the state went for hometown favorite John McCain in the 2008 election.
A year into office, that had slid to 40 percent. But by the time pollster Earl de Berge conducted this latest survey, between June 30 and July 11, only 28 percent of Arizonans were willing to say they like the job he’s doing.
According to de Berge, much of that slide tracks with a separate poll he does asking Arizonans about their views on the economy and current job market conditions.
“As might be expected, those who think the job market is static or worsening have the least favorable view of his performance,” de Berge said.
But the survey also was taken about the time it became clear that the Department of Justice, asked to look at Arizona’s new immigration law, intended to file suit. In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in an interview with a television station in Ecuador, spilled the beans early in June.
That all became official when the Obama administration went to federal court on July 6 – right in the middle of the polling – asking a judge to block the statute from taking effect as scheduled July 26.
The law, which spells out when police have to ask those they have stopped about their immigration status, is popular in Arizona, with every single survey showing it’s backed by more than half of residents.
Obama maintains his popularity with Democrats, 52 percent of whom still have a positive assessment of his work. Still, that’s down from 85 percent in April 2009.
His positive rating among independents, which was 54 percent in that first post-election survey, now has dropped to 22 percent. And 8 percent of Republicans now score his performance as excellent or good.
The survey of 800 adult heads of households has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
July 7, 2010
The Washington Post
By: Philip Rucker
The Democratic Party is moving faster and more aggressively than in previous election years to dig up unflattering details about Republican challengers. In House races from New Jersey to Ohio to California, Democratic operatives are seizing on evidence of GOP candidates’ unpaid income taxes, property tax breaks and ties to financial firms that received taxpayer bailout money.
n recent weeks, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has circulated information to local reporters about Republican candidates in close races. Among the claims:
– That Jim Renacci of Ohio once owed nearly $1.4 million in unpaid state taxes.
– That David Harmer of California received $160,000 in bonus and severance pay from a firm that got a federal bailout.
– That Jon Runyan of New Jersey got a legal break in property taxes for his 25-acre homestead by qualifying for a farmland assessment thanks to his four donkeys.
Renacci’s campaign said the candidate did not believe he had tax liabilities for a trust fund and eventually paid all that he owed. A spokesman for Harmer said criticizing him for the money he lawfully earned is a “severe twist of the facts.” Runyan’s campaign said his actions were legal.
Jon Vogel, executive director of the DCCC, said Democrats are merely pointing out that some Republican recruits in competitive House races are “flawed candidates.”
He added, “We have made this election a choice. . . . They’re trying to run this national message in part about fiscal discipline, but they’ve recruited a number of candidates not credible to carry that message.”
Opposition research has been a part of political campaigns for decades, but the 2010 cycle is different. In many states, Republicans have steered clear of candidates with long political track records — eschewing state representatives and veteran city council members who have cast thousands of votes ripe for scrutiny — in favor of political outsiders. The top GOP recruits include several former professional sports stars, as well as doctors and businessmen.
“We can win the contrast, but not the referendum,” Democratic strategist Steve Murphy said. “What is critical in this election cycle is for Democratic candidates to hold Republican candidates accountable for their views.”
Republicans see the Democrats’ strategy as a sign of weakness.
“When the issues are cutting against you, it is typical for a party in trouble to resort to other means,” said Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “With the unemployment rate unacceptably high and President Obama‘s approval rating falling, they have nothing left to run on other than character assassination.”
Democratic officials are advising campaigns to hire trackers to follow their Republican opponents to public events with video cameras, ready to catch any gaffe or misstatement. And the Democratic National Committee last week issued a call to the public to submit any embarrassing audio or video of Republicans, as well as copies of their direct-mail advertisements.
Party officials would not say how many staffers are working on opposition research. Such work used to be farmed out to campaign consultants, but the DCCC brought research operations in-house in 2008 to be more nimble. “It may appear to be more aggressive this cycle because what we’re finding on Republicans is so rich,” Vogel said.
In Ohio, Democrats are trying to exploit Renacci’s business record in his race against Rep. John Boccieri (D). Renacci, who owns a Chevrolet dealership, nursing homes, real estate investments and sports teams, among other interests, has faced a string of lawsuits related to his businesses.
Democratic operatives circulated a report in April that Renacci owed nearly $1.4 million in unpaid state taxes, interest and penalties. Renacci fought the assessment, believing the money he was holding in a trust was free of state tax liabilities. But after losing a dispute over his liability, Renacci paid everything he owed, said his campaign manager, James Slepian.
“This is a story that the DCCC was pushing pretty hard,” Slepian said. “It’s unfortunate that John Boccieri has chosen to conduct his campaign by slinging mud from behind Nancy Pelosi‘s desk rather than talking about the issues that really matter.”
But Democrats say the strategy paid dividends in the May special election for the Pennsylvania House seat of the late Democrat John P. Murtha. Republican Tim Burns framed the race as a referendum on Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), both unpopular in a district that Obama lost to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008. But Democrat Mark Critz won handily after tailoring his message to local concerns and attacking Burns for saying he would protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.
“Some years you ride the wave, and other years you paddle your canoe,” Democratic strategist Paul Begala said. “Democrats, they’ve got to paddle like hell. So what you do when you’re paddling is, as the Republicans seek to nationalize, you localize and personalize.”
May 24, 2010
by David Gutierrez
The United States Senate recently rejected two separate proposals that would have allowed the importation of cheaper medication from other countries, apparently in order to preserve a deal between the pharmaceutical industry and the White House.
The proposals were part of a wider effort to reform the U.S. healthcare system, in large part by cutting unnecessary costs.
Drug importation was first proposed by Sen. Byron Dorgan, a Democrat from North Dakota, in an amendment to the healthcare bill. The amendment would have allowed U.S. wholesale and retail drug distributors, including pharmacies, to import products from Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan or New Zealand, where price controls keep drug costs much lower than in the United States. The amendment eventually gained more than 24 sponsors from both major parties.
“This issue isn’t rocket science,” Dorgan said. “The American people are charged the highest prices in the world. They want Congress to stand up for their interests and do something about it.”
According to Dorgan and co-sponsor Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona and former presidential candidate, drug importation could cut $80 billion off the country’s health spending over the next decade.
The United States spends $2.5 trillion on health care every year.
A vote on Dorgan’s proposal was blocked on December 10 by fellow Democratic Sen. Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, who expressed concerns over the safety of imported medications. Like the FDA and the White House, Carper objected that the quality of imported drugs could not be assured.
“Senator Dorgan’s amendment could potentially allow unsafe, counterfeited drugs into the United States, contaminating our drug supply,” Carper said. “This is a complicated issue that affects people’s lives. We should make sure that the FDA says it’s safe before we reimport drugs from other countries.”
“My amendment includes strong safeguards to prohibit drug counterfeiting and other practices that would put the consumer at risk,” Dorgan replied. “It applies only to FDA-approved prescription drugs produced in FDA-approved plants from countries with comparable safety standards.”
Other Senators charged that the real motive behind the claim of safety concerns was to preserve a recent deal between the White House and the pharmaceutical industry, in which the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) agreed to fund $80 billion worth of health care reform by accepting higher taxes and price agreements. According to a number of congressional staffers and pharmaceutical industry lobbyists, the deal included a verbal promise by President Obama to not support drug importation.
“There’s great dissension in the Democrat caucus over Senator Dorgan’s amendment,” McCain said. “If it passes, as it should, it breaks the agreement that the White House made with PhRMA. So the White House, as well as PhRMA, has been over here lobbying furiously.”
PhRMA denied that it had made any such deal, but the group and the White House both made statements earlier in the year saying that drug importation will not be necessary if Congress approves a healthcare bill implementing lower prices on U.S.-made drugs.
The $315 billion pharmaceutical industry has been the biggest healthcare-related industry to support the White House’s healthcare reform effort. It is also one of the most influential lobbies in the country.
“People are walking on eggshells,” Dorgan said. “If we pass legislation allowing people freedom to import drugs, the pharmaceutical industry might not support the health care amendment.”
In the end, Dorgan’s proposal, which needed 60 votes to be incorporated into the healthcare bill, failed 51-48. A separate amendment that would have allowed the importation of drugs specifically approved by the FDA also failed, 56-43.
“The drug industry has a lot of clout in this town, and they demonstrated that tonight,” Dorgan said after the vote. “This is not over.”
April 13, 2010
The Washington Times
By: Joseph Curl
Real personal income for Americans – excluding government payouts such as Social Security – has fallen by 3.2 percent since President Obama took office in January 2009, according to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
For comparison, real personal income during the first 15 months in office for President George W. Bush, who inherited a milder recession from his predecessor, dropped 0.4 percent. Income excluding government payouts increased 12.7 percent during Mr. Bush’s eight years in office.
“This is hardly surprising,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist and former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. “Under President Obama, only federal spending is going up; jobs, business startups, and incomes are all down. It is proof that the government can’t spend its way to prosperity.”
According to the bureau’s statistics, per capita income dropped during 2009 in 47 states, with only modest gains in the other states, West Virginia, Maine and Maryland. But most of those increases were attributed to rising income from the government, such as Medicare and unemployment benefits.
Two of the most populous states in the country reported dramatic declines: Per capita income in California dropped 3.5 percent to $42,325; in New York, the drop was 3.8 percent to $46,957.
“The evidence from New York and California reinforces a basic lesson: Where government gets too large, prosperity suffers. Let’s hope that the Congress learns this lesson before it is too late for the country as a whole,” said Mr. Holtz-Eakin, who also served as chief economic policy adviser to Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.
On the campaign trail, Mr. Obama often derided Mr. Bush for what he said were dramatically falling incomes for workers.
“American families, since George Bush has been in office, have seen average family incomes go down $2,000,” Mr. Obama said in a September 2008 speech on the economy in Green Bay, Wis.
The bureau, which doesn’t compile statistics on “family” income, reported that per capita income rose during Mr. Bush’s two terms, from $29,159 to $32,632 (using 2005 dollar values as a base). During Mr. Obama’s 15 months in office, per capita income has dropped nearly 1 percent to $32,343.
March 22, 2010
By Associated Press
A transformative health care bill is headed to President Barack Obama for his signature as Congress takes the final steps in Democrats’ improbable and history-making push for near-universal medical coverage.
On the cusp of succeeding where numerous past congresses and administrations have failed, jubilant House Democrats voted 219-212 late Sunday to send legislation to Obama that would extend coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans, reduce deficits and ban insurance company practices such as denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.
“This is what change looks like,” Obama said later in televised remarks that stirred memories of his 2008 campaign promise of “change we can believe in.”
“We proved that this government — a government of the people and by the people — still works for the people.”
Obama will travel outside Washington on Thursday as he now turns to seeing a companion bill through the Senate and selling the health care overhaul’s benefits on behalf of House lawmakers who cast risky votes. It is most likely that he will sign the bill on Tuesday, but the plans are not yet final, said a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss as-yet unannounced strategy.
Obama’s young presidency received a much needed boost from passage of the legislation, which would touch the lives of nearly every American. The battle for the future of the health insurance system — affecting one-sixth of the economy — galvanized Republicans and conservative activists looking ahead to November’s midterm elections.
A companion package making a series of changes sought by House Democrats to the larger bill, which already passed the Senate, was approved 220-211. The fix-it bill will now go to the Senate, where debate is expected to begin as early as Tuesday. Senate Democrats hope to approve it unchanged and send it directly to Obama, though Republicans intend to attempt parliamentary objections that could change the bill and require it to go back to the House.
Sen. John McCain said Monday morning that Democrats have not heard the last of the health care debate, and said he was repulsed by “all this euphoria going on.”
Appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” McCain, who was Obama’s GOP rival in the 2008 presidential campaign, said that “outside the Beltway, the American people are very angry. They don’t like it, and we’re going to repeal this.”
McCain, who is in a tough Republican primary fight in his home state, said the GOP “will challenge it every place we can,” and said there will be reprisals at the polls, in Congress and in the courts.
The complicated two-step approval process was made necessary because Senate Democrats lost their filibuster-proof supermajority in a special election in January, a setback that caused even some Democratic lawmakers to pronounce the yearlong health care effort dead. Under the relentless prodding of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in particular, it was gradually revived, and the fix-it bill will be considered under fast-track Senate rules that don’t allow minority party filibusters.
“We will be joining those who established Social Security, Medicare and now, tonight, health care for all Americans,” said Pelosi, D-Calif., partner to Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the grueling campaign to pass the legislation.
“This is the civil rights act of the 21st century,” added Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the top-ranking black member of the House.
GOP lawmakers attacked the legislation as everything from a government takeover to the beginning of totalitarianism, and none voted in favor. “Hell no!” Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, shouted in a fiery speech opposing the legislation. “We have failed to listen to America and we have failed to reflect the will of our constituents.”
Thirty-four Democrats also voted “no” on the Senate-passed bill.
Sunday night’s votes capped an unpredictable and raucous weekend at the capitol, with Democratic leaders negotiating around the clock for the final votes as hundreds of protesters paraded outside, their shouts of “Kill the Bill! Kill the Bill!” audible within the Capitol.
A last-minute deal with a critical group of anti-abortion lawmakers Sunday afternoon sealed Democrats’ victory. The leader of the anti-abortion bloc, Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., didn’t get to add stricter anti-abortion language to the underlying bill, but was satisfied by an executive order signed by Obama affirming current law and provisions in the legislation that ban federal funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother.