This Tuesday morning September 10, 2013 the day started for the Republican Caucus of the House of Representatives with a meeting. The subject was the upcoming and necessary “continuing resolution” to fund the U.S. Government for FY 2014.
The “Leadership” – Speaker John Boehner of Ohio – informed the Caucus that they would bring forth two bill proposals for votes later this week: (1) a CR (continuing resolution) which would include the funding of the so-called
“Affordable Care Act” (aka “Obamacare”), and (2) the Cruz (Senator of Texas), et al bill, led by Congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina in the House which calls for providing zero funding for “Obamacare”. This boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen of all ages is what is known on their inside as a “head pat” to and for you and me.
Almost immediately following the Caucus get together, I met with Congressman John Duncan of the 2nd district of Tennessee at the Rayburn Congressional Office Building, directly south of the Capitol. He has now served some 21 years, that following 22 by his dad in the same seat. With respect to government spending over that period Duncan beats even Ron Paul in nay votes on spending.
I asked Congressman Duncan about the Caucus outcome, and he said that per our earlier conversations he left still committed to voting for defunding “Obamacare”. I asked whether the Caucus had determined to put forth one proposal or two, and he told me two, exactly as I expected would happen and as I described above. I had participated last night (Monday the 9th) in a conference call with Heritage Action Sentinels from around the country, and Heritage intel predicted this division into two proposals. Based on what I’d learned from the conference call, I explained to Congressman Duncan that he and about another five-dozen House Republicans were being snookered.
What, unless stopped, will happen is that both proposals will pass as House bills, then the CR (with funding for “Obamacare” still intact) will be taken up by Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Senate, voted on, passed, then returned to conference with the House. Meanwhile, the Cruz, et al, bill defunding “Obamacare” will never ever see the light of day, while gathering dust.
While there, I also talked with Congressman Duncan about the debt limit. I detailed for him how Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had been doing creative bookkeeping since May 17 such that the debt clock hadn’t ticked up a penny while in FY 2013 the Treasury had outspent revenues by almost 3/4ths of a $tril. The Lew shannanigans will run out of ammo about October 15. On the heels of the CR, therefore, (and the sequencing isn’t accidental), will come a vote on raising the debt limit to avoid a “government shutdown”. We discussed what he should do, and I told him I thought he should vote nay on one more penny.
He said that before, he’d never had to face the likelihood that if there were a shutdown, troops wouldn’t get paid and Social Security payments wouldn’t be sent. I noted that said reality at this time is by design, and he concurred. He asked what I’d do. I said that if I were he, I’d vote nay, and since I’m not, I’ll miss my SS check. We discussed those for whom SS is all they have and rioting
in the streets. In essence, I opined that, first, you do what is right and constitutional, and second, it is an iterative world, sort of like at the optometrist. Better or worse. Better or worse. No SS check before the cliff or after. Rioting before the cliff or after.
Then I went to the West Lawn for the start of the rally. At my last Tea Party rally there, I joined two-million-or-so others. This time, maybe five-thousand. Like the sound of one hand
clapping. If a Tea Party Patriot falls on the West Lawn, and there’s no one there to hear . . .