RUSH: You know, Trump said something during the cabinet meeting. We just played the sound bite. He says, “Mitch McConnell is going to pass our health care bill.” Now, what was your reaction when you heard that? (interruption) Yeah, yeah. You probably said, “Now, that’s just Trump. You know, he’s just trying to move the process along. McConnell? The Senate’s not gonna do anything. Trump is trying to be…”
No. No. No. While Comey was up there doing whatever you want to call what he was doing, the Senate parliamentarian issued a critical ruling. Are you ready for this? “Obamacare Repeal Moving Steadily Forward in the Senate.” The American Spectator, pull quotes: “The Senate parliamentarian ruled that repeal can be passed via reconciliation…” Meaning: We don’t need 60 votes to repeal it. Meaning: We just need 51. “Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fast-tracked the process by invoking ‘rule 14,’ which permits the Senate to skip laborious committee hearings that Democrats planned to use for protracted grandstanding.
“Meanwhile, moderate Republicans are coming around on proposed changes to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion about which they had expressed reservations.” Another pull quote: “In other words, the Republicans are only a few modified provisions from a bill that will satisfy the concerns of the party’s moderates and meet the requirements of the Senate parliamentarian. Next week they will seek a score from the Congressional Budget Office.” I wish, as an aside, we could get rid of the CBO.
You know what? That reminds me. I will not lose my place here. I got my finger right here. We interviewed Mick Mulvaney last week for the next upcoming issue of The Limbaugh Letter. Mick Mulvaney is the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and it was Mulvaney who largely — working with Trump — put together the Trump budget, which is a great budget. Remember, Mulvaney described it as a budget that puts the American taxpayer first. I met Mulvaney one time during the health care debate back in April, and he was remarkably able to synthesize what all was going on.
It was very in the weeds and complicated, at the time, the specific thing I had a question about. He was able to synthesize it down to something easily understood. And so I’m interviewing him, and I find out he’s a Rush Baby. His dad lives in Key West. He’s 50 years old, he plays golf, and he was just… The guy is brilliant. He is a perfect, perfect choice to be in charge of the federal budget, for understanding it. We had a great conversation about current services baseline as it realities to budget and some of the challenges Trump administration faces and whether or not he’s down in the dumps over anything.
He’s not. He’s revved and fired up, and he says everybody in the administration is. Yeah, they’ve all got various quirks and so forth, but everybody’s on board and moving the agenda forward. That’s why they’re there. He was talking about cabinet people. But it’s a really fascinating interview, and I meant to mention this last week, the day after I had spoken to him, and I was reminded. I just didn’t find a place to slip it in. But this is a good place to mention it. It’s the next issue of The Limbaugh Letter.
Anyway, back to this story about health care moving forward in the Senate. This was all happening last week during the Comey hearings, by the way, when the Senate parliamentarian had the ruling. Now, next week they’re gonna seek a score from the CBO. Mulvaney told me that if they could get rid of it CBO it would be the greatest thing in the world because (as I have long suspected) the CBO doesn’t analyze anything other than what they’re given, and they do not do dynamic analysis of anything. Zero sum. If we’re gonna spend X-amount of dollars, that means we’re gonna lose it.
There’s no way any other calculation generates income to make up for whatever is being spent. Says just crazy, and then I asked him, “Look, it’s said that CBO’s nonpartisan. I don’t believe it. I simply don’t believe it.” Of course, he didn’t want to go there, and I’m not gonna attempt to infer anything from his answer. But the CBO I don’t think is a useful aspect of anything to do with budgeting anymore. I don’t believe that it’s nonpartisan. I don’t believe there’s anything in that town that’s nonpartisan. I don’t believe it’s possible.
Nonpartisan, even though you get some Republicans on the CBO — which there are. But we know how many of them feel about Trump. But, anyway, “Next week they will seek a score from the Congressional Budget Office. When that largely symbolic exercise is complete,” which means whatever the CBO says, fine, we’re gonna move forward, anyway. After the CBO scores it, “the Senate leadership will start counting the votes. When the whip count reaches 50 or more, as it probably will before July 4, the Obamacare repeal and replace bill will go to the floor where no Republican senator will risk her [sic] career by casting the vote that prevents it from reaching President Trump’s desk.”
This is the House bill that has moderate/some changes in it, but because the parliamentarian ruled that they can do this with reconciliation, which we have a slam dunk because that’s how they passed it in the first place. They don’t need 60, they just need 51, and it says when McConnell gets to 50, 51 votes he’s stopping everything and calling a vote. The theory being, even if it’s Susan Collins — and not to pick on her, but any senator. No senator wants to be the senator heading into an election year that is the reason Obamacare was not repealed.
They just need 51 votes.
There are 52 Republicans, and they just need 51.
Now, it’s true McConnell said a couple weeks ago, “I just don’t see even 50 votes for Obamacare.” But that was then and this is now, and after the parliamentarian ruling, if they get to 51, and this is sourced to people close to the majority leader. By the way, what I’m reading to you here is no doubt analysis. This is not a news story, and it’s not a quote from anybody. It’s the opinion of the author here who is David Catron. “When the whip count reaches 50 or more, as it probably will before July 4, the Obamacare repeal and replace bill will go to the floor where no Republican senator will risk her career…”
(Snorts) They’re no doubt thinking of Susan Collins here or Murkowski, right? “[N]o Republican senator will risk her career by casting the vote that prevents it from reaching President Trump’s desk. There will be no braying about ‘Obamacare Lite,’ only a struggle to get in the shot when he signs the bill into law.” Meaning that all these Republicans, when Trump actually signs the repeal and replace, is gonna have trouble because everybody’s gonna want to get in that picture at that moment.
I happen to think that that is true. I happen to think that all of this that’s gone on is posturing for donors and posturing for K Street and what have you. But if they get this close to actually repealing it, if this all pans out as it is theorized here, and if they get to 50, 51 votes? Two things: I think it’s accurate to say that… Maybe it isn’t. Maybe there is a Republican who would like to die on the hill of being the Republican that defeated this. But I don’t think so. (interruption) Mmm-hmm. I don’t doubt that you see stories saying Republicans want it to fail.
That’s my whole point. But after it passes, you’re not gonna be able to find those people. Those same people are gonna be wanting in the picture at the White House or wherever the ceremony is where Trump is signing the bill. That’s the theory in this story the American Spectator. Look, it’s next week. It’s after the CBO score. The point is that while everybody’s fixated on Comey, this is moving forward. Last week… I guarantee you, last week, you’re cursing McConnell. You’re cursing Republicans in the Senate.
You’re cursing them because they won’t support Trump.
You’re cursing them because they’re doing everything to stop Trump’s agenda — and, no, that apparently is not the case here. I say advisedly. We always wait for the end result. But when the parliamentarian says, “Yeah, you can do this with reconciliation; screw everything else,” then bye-bye, 60 votes. “Bye-bye, 60 votes,” means, “Bye-bye, excuses.” That’s another thing. When you have 52 seats and you need 60 votes, you’ve gotta built in excuse. “No way we’re gonna get sixty.” But when the parliamentarian says you only need 51 and you’ve got 52, then you have no excuses not to pass it. If it doesn’t pass, it’ll be blamed totally, specifically on the one senator in the roll call who sees to it that the vote fails.
That’s the theory being put forth.
RUSH: By the way, one other thing on this story about Obamacare repeal and replace vote in the Senate: Don’t forget that Vice President Pence can vote in there. So McConnell could actually lose two. He could lose Murkowski and Collins. And you gotta throw McCain in there. Who knows? But Pence could go in there. So he could actually lose two and still win this thing. But I glossed over one thing that I need to focus back on, and that is when McConnell invokes or implements this rule 14.
That is a rule that eliminates committee hearings, which they didn’t do any of in passing Obamacare. This is the one… I hear so many people asking, “Where are the experts? Where’s the testimony? Where are the details how it’s gonna work?” They broomed all that. McConnell is gonna do the same thing. After the CBO score comes in next week, he’s going to implement rule 14, which speeds everything along by eliminating committee hearings. Now, the committee hearings is where the Democrats would go all Al Franken all the time.
Just start speaking gibberish about the Republicans and about Trump and lying about health care, bring in witnesses, and basically just delay the whole thing. But the Senate leader can invoke rule 14. The Democrats do not have the votes to stop it. So they’re gonna be like a bunch of stuck pigs next week if McConnell does this. The bottom line is this: Everybody on the left and in the media thinks that it is Trump losing his mind or ought to be losing his mind because anybody in Trump’s position would be driven crazy here by all this media harassment, by all this hatred.
Any normal human being would be suing for peace, would be asking for people to stop. “Can I resign? What can I do? I want to spare my family,” and Trump’s not doing that. And because he’s not, they’re getting more and more wacko. And this is gonna be… If this happens, if Obamacare passes the Senate? (choking) Folks, you haven’t seen chaos. (laughing) You haven’t seen panic. You haven’t seen bleeding in the streets until that happens! You think these women have been putting on their pussai hats and running around? Wait until this happens. Wait ’til you see the bought and paid for rioting. (interruption)
“OMG! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?” is exactly right.