RUSH: By the way, one other note about Ben ‘Bribed’ Nelson here, ladies and gentlemen, this is from The Politico from yesterday: Nelson says he received assurances of a ‘limited conference,’ I guess that means with the House ‘to secure his vote for the Senate bill, has already laid down at least two deal breakers in the House bill that he can’t support: the inclusion of a government insurance plan and an income tax increase on wealthy individuals. ‘That would break it,’ Nelson said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.”
Now, I don’t know what’s going to happen when they get together with the House on this bill. I have a feeling that Pelosi is gonna just tell these people, ‘Look, we’re not going to have a conference. We’re going to take a Senate bill, we’re going to ram it through there and we’ll start making improvements the minute we come back after we’ve got this framework,’ But I don’t know how in the world he doesn’t think there are already tax increases on wealthy individuals. The Medicare tax alone goes up on wealthy individuals. There are tax increases on the wealthy throughout the bill in the Senate version before you even get to the House version.
RUSH: Let me give you another take on what Ben Nelson has set up here by saying, ‘If this bill goes to conference with the House, and if the public option goes back in and if there are tax increases on the wealthy,’ then he will vote against it. It’s just crap. All that’s just crap. What he’s setting up, he’s setting the stage for reconciliation. He’s setting the stage for a 51-vote majority, rather than 60. That’s really the only way that you can interpret this. He’s not holding out for any more money. He just set the stage for 51 majority passage of the bill. All this crap that he’s going to vote against it, it’s already got tax increases in it. If the public option’s put back in it you can’t count on his vote. They’ll go to reconciliation. They have shown with as desperate as they are with what they’re doing now, whatever they have to do to get this passed, they will do it. Now Snerdley just said to me, ‘Violate the rules.’ Violate the rules? They’ve just stood the Constitution upside down. Do you think they give a rat’s rear end on violating a Senate rule on when reconciliation can and can’t be used?
By the way, to explain it, the Senate rules are that you have to have 60 votes to pass anything because you need 60 votes to stop debate on any piece of legislation. If you get to 60 votes to stop the debate that generally guarantees you that you get the 60 votes to pass when the ultimate vote for the bill comes up. Reconciliation is the one exception. Because the Constitution mandates that the federal government have a budget every year, reconciliation allows for the budget to be passed with a simple majority vote of 51 or however many senators are present at the time of the vote. It would be very, very, very much against the rules, ladies and gentlemen, to go for reconciliation on health care. But the rules have been thrown out as it is.
Now, Robert Costa has a post at the National Review Corner blog, a discussion with Eric Cantor, the House minority whip. And here’s the premise. If the Senate bill passed, which it did, it will head to the House of Representatives. And the question is that once it gets there, will Republicans have any chance of stopping it? And so National Review Online asked Representative Eric Cantor, the House minority whip, for answers. And he said, ”Once in the House, it will be about what Nancy Pelosi wants to see happen. If it goes to conference, the public will have a better chance to understand what this bill means and to open up some discussion. We need to do that on a wide variety of issues, from life to the real costs inside this bill. The conference process would allow for a lot more deliberation. If not — if Speaker Pelosi tries to ram this though — that would be a real game-changer. That would be an extraordinary letdown for the American people.’
I am going to bite my tongue. Real letdown for the American people? What the hell do they think is happening now is not a game-changer? Now, ‘Cantor predicts that abortion would be the key issue in the House’s debate of the Senate’s bill. Pro-life Rep. Bart Stupak (D., Mich.) ‘has outlined very clear language’ on abortion and ‘has made it clear that if it’s not included then he will vote against the bill,’ he says. ‘There is a lot of reticence among many moderate Democrats.’ We’re here back to this. I don’t believe there are any at the end of the day on this. We’ll find out. We’ll find out what the Blue Dogs want. Do they really want to be reelected? Or do they want to let Nancy Pelosi throw them out of the House by getting their vote for this? She wants to thin the herd. She would love to get rid of these Blue Dogs. They’re a problem.
He says here: ‘It’s unfathomable to think that pro-life Democrats would go for the Senate version. They know that the Senate’s bill is a 30-year record-breaking move to allow taxpayer dollars to fund abortion. I can’t imagine any of them supporting it.’ I can. They’re liberals! I can see it just by watching what’s going on in the Senate and knowing who Pelosi is and how much is riding on this. ‘Cantor also notes that he’s kept a close eye on the Senate during its health-care debate. ‘What disappoints me is all of their deal cutting and horse trading,’ he says. ‘They’re allocating taxpayer dollars as if those dollars belonged to the senators. It borders on immoral. Just look at the way Senator Landrieu put her vote up for sale. Senator Nelson did the same.” Yeah. Yeah. It does border on immoral. It’s more than disappointing. It ought to have everybody outraged and throwing a fit. If you’re disappointed, you don’t go on television to say so. If you’re outraged you do whatever it takes to stop this.
Heritage Foundation today, The Morning Bell, which is their blog: ‘Morning Bell: The Health Care Fight Has Just Begun — The months long drama over the fate of President Barack Obama’s health care plan ended at 1 AM this morning when the Senate voted 60-40, on a strictly party line vote, to end debate on Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) manager’s amendment.’ Now, the managers amendment is where all the deals are. The manager’s amendment is what I think Coburn is now threatening to read in its entirety, some 800 pages, I believe it is. (interruption) Okay, they read the managers amendment over the weekend. Well, I was in the Bahamas. You watched it? Well, then you know if you watched it — see, I know what’s in the managers amendment, it’s outrageous what this is. I’m outta words to describe it.
‘With Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) threatening to veto the bill if any significant changes are made by the House in conference, it is virtually guaranteed that this is the version of Obamacare that will be signed by the President before his State of the Union address in January.’ The Heritage Foundation thus believes there will not be a conference, that there will be no amendments to the Senate bill because if there are the Senate bill fails if we are to believe Nelson and Lieberman. So Pelosi will ram this thing through.
As they say here: ‘Final passage of this health bill will be historic, but not in the way President Obama intended. Never before has such a large restructuring of the US economy been passed on a straight party-line vote. Never before has legislation so unpopular with the American people been passed on a straight party-line vote. Never before has the fate of one-sixth of our economy been so dependent on backroom deals and payoffs the full extent of which may not be known for years. To defend this abomination of a bill yesterday on the Sunday shows, the White House did not send Health Reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle or Budget director Peter Orszag. Instead they sent White House sent political consultant David Axelrod to defend the bill.’ And he did so by saying, hey, don’t worry, we are making sure that we’re going to cut back on the amount of salaries CEOs can get at the insurance companies; we’re going to limit their shareholder profits, and we’re going to limit their administrative costs.
But this bill busts the federal budget, contrary to what Obama lied about this morning before this program started, talking about all the deficit reduction. It busts state budgets as well. It increases health care costs. It endangers Americans’ quality of care. It forces Americans to pay for abortion. There are ‘$400 Billion in New Taxes: From taxes on employment to taxes on tanning beds, Obamacare is funded with over $400 billion in new taxes at a time of double digit unemployment, including $29 billion in taxes on 19 million Americans who still will not receive any health insurance,’ benefits even after ten years.