Their hope is that the extra hours between Saturday and Sunday will give the liberal leadership the time to hammer out some of their bill so that some Democrats who are still sitting on the fence can be swayed to support the bill.
Much of what has to be hammered out swirls around making sure that healthcare reform legislation uses language that bars any federal insurance plan receiving public subsidies from covering abortion. Socially conservative Democrats being led by Michigan Democrat Congressman Bart Stupak. However; the leaderships need to do this is prompting loud protests from abortion rights group like NARAL who want all abortions legal and paid for by the federal government.
One Democrat who is far from being a social conservative, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, is also a source for other demands on House leaders’ if they want his vote for their reform plan. Weiner has proposed a substitute single-payer health care plan that would be funded by a 14% payroll tax and a tax on millionaires. The liberal leadership had promised that Weiner’s proposed amendment will come during a markup of the bill when it is in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. However they do not want his amendment ruled in order on the bill itself.
But the wrangling to extort enough support from Democrats to vote for the bill puts the in a catch 22 of sorts. Any change in the language of the bill would require that the final version be placed on line for at least 72 hours before Congress can vote on it. This was a liberal self imposed rule intended to indicate how transparent the Administration and the Democrat Congress are and allow the public to review and comment on proposed legislation. With all the last minute changes that Democrats make up till the moment that they want to vote on bill, they will be violating their own rules—-a rule that they and they President have already violated on several occasions.
While all this is going on, two days after Americans went the polls and rejected Democrat governors, county executives and state legislators, they converged on Washington, in one of the most intense displays to legislation that Congress has ever. The day of protest began with a rally on the East Side steps of the Capitol where an estimated 15 thousand people stood as they heard from members of Congress who oppose Pelosicare. Joining them to officiate were John Voight, Dr. Mark Levin and several others. Each of them made sure that we reminded Congress that each individual of the House were occupying “our” house to which one loud audience member——me——yelled out, “they’re squatters”. I and thousands of others shouted out many emotions but not without first noticing the unusual display of men on the either side of the steps of the Capitol who were brandishing rather ominous looking M-16’s.
This was not a sight seen back in September when hundreds of thousands of us marched on Washington . The sight of the weapons was a little disarming but it did not stop anyone from being quite vocal about their opposition to Pelosicare.
When the rally was done tens of thousands began to line the perimeters of every building housing the offices of members of the House. Nowhere were the lines longer, deeper and more vocal than those surrounding the Canon Office Building, home dozens of representatives including none other than Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. And once again, here too I noticed M-16 waving Capitol Hill policeman standing just across the street.
But along with the police thousands, crammed every entrance to the Cannon Building, as one by one we slowly passed through security and metal detectors. While online the energetic deafening, spontaneous cheers of “kill the bill” and “Naaaan-Ceeeee”, erupted as we announced “we’re here” to her and her underlings in the House.
As I stood waiting in line to enter the Cannon Building, each and every time I noticed a Congressman walking by and entering or leaving the building, I loudly yelled “hellooooo Congressman”, to which the crowd responded “kill the bill”. In one instance, as loudly as I could I greeted one passing Congressman, whom I recognized by face but not name. As I loudly stated “Helllloooo Congressman” he stopped and pivoted right towards me. I thought “oh know, he didn’t” when suddenly he proceeded to take my hand and shake it. It was Brad Posey of Florida’s 1st District and one of the many members of the Republican conference who are expected to unanimously oppose the government takeover of one fifth our economy with a so called health reform measure.
While remaining on the lookout for Representatives trying to enter or exit the office building, I was soon proclaiming “there’s Congressman Ron Paul“ and soon after him I was pleasantly surprised to catch Rep. Scott Garrett entering the building. Congressman Garrett is the most conservative member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation, and I don’t mean that relative to the rest of the New Jersey Republican delegation. He is a true conservative by any standard. I offered to him my praise and appreciation for his good work.
Every now and then we caught a few Democrats coming and going. They shook no hands nor did they have any extended to them. Instead, whenever seen, they were met with shouts of “kill the bill”.
Once inside, constituents made their way to the offices of their respective legislators, to deliver their messages in person. Of course not a single Democrat had the courage to meet with those who oppose the bill. Instead some cowered in their private inner offices, others simply avoided the Cannon Office Building altogether. They just left their staffs to deal with their concerned voters.
Republicans like Scott Garret however, met with his visitors and opened up his office to them as his staff provided bottles of water and oversized, homemade, cookies to all he entered. Coincidentally, Garrett‘s office was a popular one.
But Garretts’s office was no where near as popular as Speaker Pelosi’s office where after waiting an hour or more to get into the building, people waited on line for another hour or more to get into her office and register their opposition to both her and her bill. Where was Naaaaan-Ceeeee? No one knows but she sure wasn’t around to defend herself or her government takeover.
As the group I traveled with made our way back to meet our bus and head back home, we stood on the street with the East side of the Capitol at our backs. A very light shower began to fall. Suddenly one from our group pointed toward the Capitol building yelling “look”! As we all turned, there it was,—- a full arching rainbow appeared over the Capitol Dome. Everyone was was taken back. They reached for cameras and snapped pictures while feeling fortunate enough to be there, at the very moment, and have the opportunity to see the unique combination of the symbolic and physical beauty of a rainbow appearing over one of the most powerful places and most powerfully symbolic images in and of our nation. As we continued to stare, many couldn’t help but wonder if it was a sign. And then as we continued to look, the colors of the rainbows intensified and to the great surprise of all the already surprised onlookers, to the right of the original rainbow, a second one appeared. Now laughing at the truly rare sight of two rainbows appearing at the same time, over the building where the fight we were in will take place, I stated in a deep bass voice “and so it was written, kill the bill”.
One woman uttered “it almost seems like a miracle” to which I responded, “you almost expect to see the hand of God come out from under the rainbows and slap Naaaaan-Ceeeee Pelosi right across the face” .
When all was said and done, on Thursday, Congress saw one of the most intense displays of the size and depth of anger that exists within the population on their government takeover efforts. Republicans seem to understand and as such, they are standing with the American people holding firm in unanimous opposition to the 1,990 health and insurance reform novel that is, at this very moment, being hammered out behind closed doors.