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Mitch McConnell is in the headlines again for saying the odds are against those wanting repeal of Obamacare. “[I]t’s a lot harder to undo something than it is to stop it in the first place,” he said in part.
For once, let’s give McConnell the benefit of the doubt and suggest he is talking about the present Congress, not the next Congress, though in actual context he seems to mean both. Let’s be charitable.
The truth is, I don’t expect Republicans in Congress to be fully committed to repeal next year even if they have Mitt Romney in the White House, a Republican Senate, and hold the House.
We’ve played this game before. And yes, we are being played.
We are being played by a group of Republican leaders who have consistently shown in the past few years to lack the testicular fortitude to do what’s right when it counts — they are the John Robertses of Congress.
This is upsetting to say the least. The moment that the ruling came down last Thursday the hounds of hell were released by conservatives on twitter and in the blogosphere and videos galore of Obama saying the mandate was not a tax contrasted with news reports that the Supreme Court of the United States disagreed. In fact, not just disagreed but indicated that it was required for it to be a tax in order to pass the constitutional test.
Many articles were written with conservatives rubbing their hands together in gleeful anticipation of the next several months of Barack Obama trying to explain how he didn’t break his promise on taxes while simultaneously claiming that the Supreme Court found his bill constitutional. It seemed obvious that these two things were in direct contradiction with one another given the decision, and assaulting the Democrats on this point was going to be easy.
Then comes word today that there are no such plans from the Romney camp.
The House just completed work on another FY 2013 spending bill; the Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill. This is a unique appropriations bill because most of the underlying content is an anathema to conservatives. A good part of transportation (highway spending) should be within the purview of state governments; mass transit spending should be eliminated; HUD should be abolished altogether. As you can imagine, the open floor process offered Republicans many opportunities to cut spending, and more importantly, to limit the power of the federal government in areas that it shouldn’t be involved with in the first place.