RUSH: Paul in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, as we head back to the phones here on Open Line Friday. Welcome, sir. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Wonderful to speak with you, Rush. The national reporting indicates that the House leadership health plan will probably be brought up for a vote today, certainly early next week. And I think this will be a tremendous mistake both for the country and for the Republican Party and for President Trump. First of all, the plan would result, according to CBO scoring, in premiums going up. This would be a complete renege on President Trump’s campaign promise to repeal Obamacare. It isn’t really a repeal of Obamacare; it’s just a renaming of it. Senator Rand is correct. It’s not Ryancare or RINOcare. It’s actually Obamacare 1 or 2.0.
RUSH: Let me suggest to you it’s never gonna be brought up. The reason it’s not being brought up today is they don’t have the votes for it. And they’re not gonna have the votes for it next week. All this is nothing more than a public exercise to make it look like they’re trying to make it look like they’re getting close to make it look like they’re following through on a promise.
You know, I mentioned a long time ago that there’s a bunch of Republicans that do not want to get rid of Obamacare. This is never gonna have Republican unanimity on getting rid of it much less repealing and replacing it. There’s no unanimity on even repealing it. And today Byron York has a story, 30 to 40 Republicans do not want to touch it, they don’t want to repeal it, they don’t want to change it, they don’t want to get rid of it. They’re scared to death, they believe, voters like it, and they don’t want to even get involved. If 30 to 40 Republicans are not gonna vote to get rid of it, you can say sayonara.
RUSH: I don’t know why all the shock. The story’s right here. Byron York has it. I have mentioned this… It’s more than five times. I know I’ve talked about this since this whole Obamacare thing got started, the numbers of Republicans that don’t want this thing repealed. The Washington establishment wants nothing to happen to Obamacare or anything else they’ve done. Byron York, April 27th. The story came out last night: “Why Can’t House Repeal Obamacare? Because a Lot of Republicans Don’t Want To.”
Right here it is. He does the math. Republicans have 238 seats in the House. Repealing Obamacare requires 217 votes. They’re not even close, even without this! Actually, this whole repeal and replace Obamacare, if you ask me, is just a giant political scam that they’re trying to run on everybody. There’s no intention to repeal this. I don’t think. Anyway, here’s the math. “Republicans have 238 seats in the House. Repealing Obamacare will require 217 votes. Even with unanimous Democratic opposition, Republicans could lose 21 votes and still prevail…”
They’ve got a 21-vote cushion. We can lose 21 votes. Why haven’t they done it? Why haven’t they come up with something that could get 217 votes in the House? Are you telling me they can’t? No, it’s more like telling you they won’t. As Mr. York writes here, “By this time, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Republicans have not repealed Obamacare because a lot of Republicans do not want to repeal Obamacare.” He says the number’s between 35 and 40 Republicans — and it’s not some moderate, some conservative.
It’s just between 35 and 40 Republicans that don’t want to repeal it. Let’s see here. “[A]nother Republican member, in an email exchange [with Byron York], estimated that there are 25 to 30 House Republicans ‘who don’t want to be forced to make the repeal vote.'” That’s a lower number than the 40 to 50 number that’s being bandied about. “Even that lower number would be enough to sink a repeal measure.” There are a lot of Republicans, say 40 to 50, who don’t want to repeal Obamacare. The reasons are multifaceted. Some don’t want to repeal it because they don’t want to have to replace it with something. Some don’t want to repeal it because they think their constituents would go nuts.
Some don’t want to repeal it because it’s already an entitlement; people are already expecting it. We never take entitlements away. The reasons run the gamut. But you need to just chalk this up to just another one of these things that seems like it doesn’t matter whether we win the presidency or not. It doesn’t matter whether we win the House, control the Senate or not. There are just certain things that aren’t going to happen. The AP: “Trump Will Not Get a House of Representatives Okay of Health Care Bill Before His 100th Day —
“President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a major Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.” Right before the program started, or right after the program started, they struck a deal to extend the budget for one more week. Yes, my friends, what courage! We need to sign these people up with the hunger strikers at Yale.
Another full week budget extension to run the government so that it doesn’t have to shut down. So next week, it’s gonna be just like this one. Same arguments. “Will there be a government shutdown? Will Donald Trump be able to get something in his first 107 days?” And on and on it will go. Now, why don’t Republicans want to repeal this? I think this predates Trump, by the way, to be honest with you. I think the lack of desire to repeal Obamacare…? This is heavily lifting. It’s leadership.
This is not… This party did not expect to be in this position. Remember, now, they thought they were gonna lose and lose handily. They thought Trump would get maybe 20% of the vote. They would be wiped out, lose their House majority, never win the Senate. Hillary in the White House! That’s what they were prepping for. Now they’ve got an entirely different set of circumstances, and they involve leadership.
And it’s not something that I don’t think they want to go there. Now, you would think, though — and I wouldn’t blame you for thinking this, if you started ask — well, where’s Trump on this? For crying out loud, Trump’s elected president. Trump’s got a mandate. This was clearly part of it, like building the wall. Like any number of other things, repealing and replacing Obamacare was mentioned at every rally, so why doesn’t the president go in there and tell them what-for?
This is what LBJ did. LBJ treated ’em like a bunch of beagles! He’s grab those Republicans by the ears and took ’em up to the White House lawn and told ’em the way things are gonna be. You know, LBJ sometimes would only take phone calls from Republicans when he was in the toilet. He was one of the most partisan guys. Of course, they love him because Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote all these profiles, and they love Doris Kearns Goodwin.
But LBJ was a no-nonsense guy. You wonder why Trump can’t go in there and say, “Look, guys, I won the election. Here’s what we’re gonna do.” Well, because the House has many Republicans that are not happy that Trump won, and I’m telling you… I’m gonna get blue in the face. You know it as well as I do. The Republican-Democrat establishment — the establishment of Washington — wants to wait Trump out. They are not going to let Trump shape Washington if they can help it.
And the way they do that is to not let Trump have any major legislation passed and signed into law. They want to keep Trump on the executive order reservation. Remember with executive orders you’re not allowed to make new law. You’re allowed to enforce law, you’re allowed to make statements about the law, sort of like signing statements to pieces of legislation you sign. They don’t carry the force of law, but they express a president’s intent. (interruption) No, I know Obama made law with executive order.
That doesn’t mean it’s legal. It doesn’t mean you can. Trump hasn’t really tried to with his, but that’s the reservation that they want to keep him on. I’ve actually had people send me, “Why go get all these strong-arm advisers in there then?” I had a couple of emails, interestingly enough, asking, “What’s Bannon doing? We hear about Bannon being this no-nonsense guy and he’s gonna get rid of the administrative state, and how come they’re not moving the ball at all?”
So people are starting to notice here, and they’re starting to raise questions about it, and the answer is not all that satisfactory. “Well, you know, there’s not enough Republicans in the Senate, so whatever the House does, it’s gonna die there because they don’t have 60 votes,” yada yada yada. You know, Ronald Reagan got two massive, massive tax cuts with a Democratic Congress led by one of the biggest opponents he would ever face, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr. Speaker of the House. How did Reagan do?
Well, he had a 49-state landslide. That’s one thing.
And back then, back in the eighties, if you got beat by a 49-state landslide as the Democrats did, then you had one choice: You had to acknowledge the existence of the will of the people, and you had to give it credence. You had to acknowledge it and you had to admit that you lost. And repairing yourself meant creating the illusion that you were listening to the people. That’s gone now. When Democrats lose the election, they don’t respect that. They don’t respect the authority of the election.
They don’t respect the authority of the Constitution. When they lose in an electoral vote of 308 for Trump and whatever Hillary got, that doesn’t tell them they have to change a thing. All that tells them is they gotta stuff Trump and stop the Republicans, pure and simple. And so far Trump has not been able to overcome the opposition he faces from the Washington establishment. And he’s, at some point, going to have to. Because, folks, you can’t do everything by executive order.
If you’re gonna change the tax code, it’s gonna have to be legislation. If you want to change immigration law — if you want to change it — it’s going to have to be with legislation.