Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
One of the biggest targets should the GOP regain control of either the U.S. House or Senate in November’s elections, according to many polls, will be Obamacare, the president’s plan that effectively nationalized the decision-making process for health-care issues.
But a little-reported move to begin demolition of the health-care system takeover already is pending in the House and has gained about three-quarters of the support it needs to repeal the law that demands citizens buy insurance or pay financial penalties.
As of last night, the discharge petition sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, had collected 162 signatures of the 218 it would need to advance – even in the face of continued opposition from Obamacare promoter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Under the provisions of the discharge procedures in the House, such a move is required to have the support of 218 members, a majority, of the 435-member chamber before moving forward.
But since it requires a majority, it is virtually assured of approval once it reaches the point of being advanced.
The newest names, all from just the last few days:
Ed Whitfield, Kentucky
Walter B. Jones, North Carolina
Vernon J. Ehlers, Michigan
Thomas E. Petri, Wisconsin
Doc Hastings, Washington
Don Young, Alaska
Ginny Brown-Waite, Florida
Patrick J. Tiberi, Ohio
Mike Rogers, Michigan
Joe Barton, Texas
Adam H. Putnam, Florida
Dave Camp, Michigan
King has told WND the entire GOP leadership team in the House is on board, as well as the full delegations from California and Texas. He’s working on obtaining the last few GOP signatures before turning his attention to the Democrats.
All of the GOP representatives and 34 Democrats opposed Obamacare when it was passed on a narrow 219-212 vote earlier this year. King said 212 representatives, at least, should be in favor of overturning it, since they opposed it before.
Then it will be up to the four, five or six Democrat votes that would be needed to turn from endorsement to rejection for it to advance.
“This is starting to come together,” King told WND just days ago. “All the Republicans [earlier] voted no. We should all be for repeal.”
He said he’s counting on the 34 Democrats who voted no to “demonstrate the courage of their convictions” by supporting a repeal plan.
Many will be running for re-election, King noted, in districts where the majority of voters want the law repealed. And there are Democrats who voted for Obamacare who face election challenges in a field of voters irritated by the law’s new taxes and intrusions into their lives.
King told WND that if the discharge petition is successful, it will be a “resounding message” to Pelosi, who said Congress would have to vote for the health-care takeover before people could know what was in it.
King’s plan is to “pull out by the roots” the legislation that, among other things, will require citizens to provide their “body-mass index” rating to the government and purchase “government-approved” health insurance whether they want it or not.
The proposal states: “Pursuant to clause 2 of rule XV, I, Steve King of Iowa, move to discharge the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Education and Labor, the Judiciary, Natural Resources, Rules, House Administration and Appropriations from the consideration of the bill (H.R. 4972) to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was referred to said committees on March 25, 2010, in support of which motion the undersigned Members of the House of Representatives affix their signatures.”
Its target is the $940 billion, or greater, bill adopted by the Democrat-controlled Congress in March.
Advocates say constituents need to call their representatives to tell them to get on board right away so that the petition is positioned to move forward whether or not the GOP becomes the majority in the House after the 2010 fall elections.
King has explained, “Republicans are the proponents of limited government, personal responsibility and constitutional liberties, principles which ‘Obamacare’ violates. Recognizing this fact, every House Republican voted against ‘Obamacare’ just three months ago. Now that our repeal effort has been endorsed by House GOP leadership, House Republicans should stand by their votes by signing onto discharge petition No. 11.”
He said, “The American people did not want Obamacare passed, and they have consistently called for their representatives to show that they stand with them by repealing the legislation. Our discharge petition provides an avenue for repeal that even Speaker Pelosi cannot block. Republicans recognize that a clean, 100-percent repeal bill is the best strategy for uprooting ‘Obamacare’ lock, stock and barrel, and will continue to show their commitment to Obamacare’s repeal by quickly signing our discharge petition.”
Congressional officials said Pelosi, an adamant advocate for government-controlled health care, never would allow a vote on a plan to overturn Obamacare. But through the discharge-petition process in the House, if a majority of members sign on, she cannot stop it. It still would need to be moved through the Senate and, ultimately, the Oval Office, possibly by a veto override.
An inside congressional source told WND the pressure also will be on all other members as the November 2010 elections approach, since poll after poll has indicated a significant majority of Americans dislike Obamacare to the point of seeking its repeal.
The issue is expected to play a role in the elections, with voters, especially supporters of tea-party principles, calling on their representatives to stand up against what a multitude of lawsuits already are describing as an unconstitutional power grab by Democrats.
Both Democrats and Republicans will have to answer to voters on the issue, the source said.
And, whether the Republicans or the Democrats are in a majority after the fall elections, the petition will put the issue in a position to be forwarded immediately.
“This isn’t a battle we want to give up on,” the source told WND. “Obamacare needs to get pulled out by the roots.”
House members who previously endorsed King’s plan are: