RUSH: Suzanne in Benton Harbor, Michigan, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush!
CALLER: I’m so thrilled to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: My question is, if they manage to get this reconciliation pushed through — other than of course, you know, a lot of Democrats losing their seats — what do you think is going to happen at that point and what kind of recourse do we have? As citizens do we have any way to fight this on our own?
RUSH: At the ballot box first and foremost, but you mean if this actually gets written into law and signed by Obama, what can we do?
CALLER: Right. If they get this health care pushed through the way they’re talking about it now with this reconciliation process, what do you think is going to be the next phase or the next step? What do you think happens next?
RUSH: I actually shudder to think.
RUSH: I don’t think any of these people in Washington understand the depth of anger and outrage over how this is being done and what is being done. The absolute, total, in-your-face governance of the president and his party. Senator Tom Coburn was asked this question by a reporter at Fox the other day, and the reporter said, ‘Look, the Democrats are committing suicide. Why not let ’em have this bill? Let ’em have it and let ’em lose big and then when you guys get power back in November, just start tearing it apart.’ He said, ‘That sounds great, but rolling back big pieces of legislation like this is really, really hard.’ He didn’t say why, but let me ask you: Are you aware of any entitlement that’s ever been streamlined, reduced, canceled, or rolled back?
CALLER: No. No, and I’m terrified of what’s going to happen if this gets through. I have two children, and my husband has been through two jobs in the last couple years, and we have gone without insurance, and I know what it’s like, and I am still just absolutely furious over this, that it’s being shoved down my throat.
CALLER: I feel helpless, and I don’t know if there’s any way to fight it. I mean, other than voting. But, you know, by November, it may be too late.
RUSH: Well, we’ll see. I still am not convinced they have the ability to get this done, ’cause if we adopt that attitude then there’s a natural sense of finality that steps in and the passionate opposition to it recedes. That can’t be allowed to happen. I don’t think they’re anywhere near actually getting it done.
RUSH: Okay, Mike in Marion, Iowa, it’s great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Yeah, thanks Rush. Mega dittos from the frozen tundra of eastern, east-central Iowa.
RUSH: Yeah. Well, somebody has to be there.
CALLER: Yes. (laughs) It’s great. My question is: What bill are the Democrats talking about reconciling? Is it HR-3200?
RUSH: It’s the House bill.
CALLER: Okay. Well, that’s HR-3200.
RUSH: Yeah. There’s not a new one.
RUSH: This whole reconciliation route, it’s a confusing term because the actual term is ‘budget reconciliation,’ and it is an exception to the 60-vote requirement in the Senate, which is a Senate rule, a long-standing Senate rule, and it is used only for items that have budgetary consequences because the Constitution requires that. So they made an exception to the 60-vote rule.
RUSH: Now, Tom Harkin, senator from Iowa, your blowhard senator, told The Politico this afternoon that Senate Democrat leaders (and this is no surprise) have decided to go the reconciliation route. So here’s what he said is going to happen. The House will first pass the Senate bill after Senate leaders demonstrate to House leaders that they have the votes to pass reconciliation in the Senate. So as I understand this, the House goes first, and they — without conference committee, without making any changes in it — will pass the Senate bill. Therefore, a new bill will be coming out of the House. That bill will then go to the Senate, where instead of a conference they will use reconciliation to add things to it that were not in it originally such as the public option or whatever else the House Democrats want to really beef it up. But they’ll do it item by item by item, and the Republicans will then have the opportunity to object and demand amendments and so forth, call for parliamentary points of order, parliamentarian rulings. If Biden doesn’t like the rule, he can overrule the parliamentarian. It can take a long time. It’s going to be a bloody process, and once you free the Republicans from the 60-vote business, then it’s a little easier for them to slow it down by just putting thumbtacks in the road at every attempt to reconcile the House bill that the Senate engages in. So if Harkin has this right, they’re essentially going to be reconciling their own bill after the House passes it.
CALLER: Okay. I saw [Former Senator] Rick Santorum on Fox News last night —
CALLER: — and he had said the only thing the Republicans can really do is just add amendment after amendment after amendment and then they’ll go through their processes of getting rid of them, but all they can really do is try and slow it down that way.
RUSH: That’s pretty much true. I have to tell you something. I don’t normally go off on this kind of a tangent, but so many DC pundits over the past three months (including some of the Fox All Stars) pooh-poohed all this talk of reconciliation. ‘They’ll never do reconciliation. They’ll never do that. That’s just a bunch of talk radio lingo. They’ll never do reconciliation,’ and here we are. The door has just been opened to reconciliation. Look, I hope I have not confused you more with this explanation.
CALLER: Well, no, I’m not confused. I was just curious because the reconciliation process is through the Senate. So that means they have to have a bill to do that. They’ve already passed their one Senate bill that they have, so then it has to be HR-3200. That’s the one that they’re going to do.
RUSH: Well, no. That may not be the case, and I’m going to double-check this, because I’m just going on what Harkin said here to the Politico.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: The House will first pass the Senate bill.
RUSH: Which, again, if I’m reading that right, HR-3200 is history. The Senate bill becomes the House bill. That new House bill, which is just the original Senate bill, then goes back to the Senate and then they start adding all the dirt to it —
RUSH: — that the House bill had but they couldn’t pass in a conference committee. The Democrats couldn’t agree on those two bills. They had a House bill and a Senate bill — 3200, you’re saying and whatever the Senate bill number was — and the Republicans couldn’t stop either one up until Scott Brown came along. They couldn’t agree on a lot of this. That’s why they’re going reconciliation. There’s one minor potential pratfall here, and that is the level of distrust that exists between the Democrats in the House and the Senate. As I said earlier, ‘The House went first on cap and trade, the House went first on this, and they took all the heat because they’re the ones that put the communism in the bill.’ Let me rephrase that. They’re the ones that intensified and amplified the communism in the bill.
And the Senate said, ‘Ah, gee, we’re not going to get that.’
That’s when you had Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson saying, ‘Public option? No way.’
‘Okay, okay, how about a Cornhusker Kickback for your vote?’
‘And Mary, how about a Louisiana Purchase? We’ll exempt you from all of our punitive Medicare expenses. Louisiana and Nebraska won’t have to pay ’em.’
‘Okay, we’ll take it.’
And Schwarzenegger said (impression), ‘Vell, vat about me?’
And they said, ‘Screw you! You’re Republican.’
In name only. So the history of this is you didn’t have two bills that could be conferenced in the normal procedure, and after they were put together you would not get 60 votes on that final bill in the Senate. That’s why we’re here, and then when Scott Brown won the election, bye-bye 60 votes. So no 60 votes ceased to be a factor because they didn’t have them. I mean, the real history of this is the American people through their elected representatives — in election after election after election and vote after vote after vote — have rejected this every which way possible, but that doesn’t mean anything to our young, unqualified president. He wants this, and despite the fact that he has said we should never change Senate rules for policy legislation. Never! That’s tearing at the fabric of what the Founders said, here he is doing it today. So a brief history, just to help maybe… This is what we don’t here is we make the complex understandable.
So the House passed the health care bill that had every, every, every destructive element Obama wanted in it. You lose your insurance coverage, public option, bye-bye insurance companies in the private sector. It had it all. Single payer. It was all there. The Senate tried to do the same thing. The problem was Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, a couple others, and Olympia Snowe said, ‘Public option? There’s no way I’m voting for that.’ So they couldn’t get 60 votes in the Senate for an identical House bill. So they got a different bill, a watered-down version of the Senate bill. It was time to compromise, time to go to the conference committee. There were big-time arguments. It wouldn’t happen. Even if they came to some sort of agreement, they’d still have to go back to the Senate and get 60 votes again on the conferenced bill, the compromise between the two houses.
Once again Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu said, ‘No. We’re not going public option,’ and it stalled, and it stalled, and then Scott Brown was elected. And that takes 60 votes off the table. So they can’t use normal rules. They were stopped dead in their tracks. It was finished. They were crying, ‘Oh-ho no! We’re going to lose it for another ten years. We can’t go back!’ (sobbing) Obama said, ‘We’re going to do it.’ So they started talking about reconciliation (while denying they were they were talking about reconciliation) and all the media pundits in Washington said, ‘Ah, there will never be reconciliation.’ So what’s going to happen now is, the Senate bill that is watered down at this point… The Senate bill does not have the public option. The Senate bill doesn’t have half of what Obama said today. Now, it’s key to know this. What Obama said in his speech today has never passed a joint session of Congress, meaning a Senate-House conference compromise.
It has never passed. It couldn’t get 60 votes. That’s the whole reason we’re at this stage. So here’s the trick. The House has got to trust the Senate. The House will pass the Senate bill. They’ll send it over there as though there’s no House bill. Nancy Pelosi is going to rubber stamp it. It doesn’t have public option in it, ostensibly. It doesn’t have all these things in it. They may strip out the Cornhusker Kickback but I think Landrieu is going to get her deal still. So in essence what is the Senate bill will become the House bill. Then that bill goes over to the Senate and the reconciliation process where only 51 votes per amendment, per add, whatever, are necessary to pass it in a clear violation of Senate rules. So when you hear that the House bill is going to be ‘reconciled,’ it’s actually the original Senate bill sent over there that they rubberstamp.
RUSH: Here’s Adam in Shinnston, West Virginia. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. Dittos from mountaineer country.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I was just wondering what your thoughts were on if the Democrats push reconciliation this week, if you think that the Republicans could repeal it and in the fall if they gain back both houses since the effects don’t take effect ’til 2016. What are your thoughts on that, sir?
RUSH: Well, well, interesting question. There are two implementation dates. The implementation of all of the new tax increases and all of the new regulations start immediately. The so-called benefits, the spending, doesn’t start for four years or so, or five, and that’s a budget gimmick for Obama and his buddies to be able to say it comes in under a trillion dollars. So basically you’re going to have ten years of taxes and six years of spending or five, whatever it is. But still, rolling it back, repealing it, I can only tell you what Coburn said. I’m going to be talking to some of these guys in the coming days because the Club for Growth meeting is down here this week and a bunch of these guys are going to be in town and I have some meetings set up and I’m going to find out what the strategery is and I’m going to find out exactly what’s involved ’cause I’ve never seen it happen. By definition this is an entitlement and by definition an entitlement can’t be touched, by definition. We can’t roll back Social Security. We can’t roll back Medicare or Medicaid. When you hear that 60% of the federal budget is entitlement spending, it means there can never be budget cuts in that. It’s the discretionary side, which is becoming less and less and less of the budget. And this is just another one of these entitlements.