TPM News

If Senate Republican efforts to carpet bomb the health care reconciliation bill with technical objections fails they'll have basically nothing to show for their last two weeks of rhetorical bluster. And in preparation for that, they're preparing to accuse Senate parliamentarian Alan Frumin of partisanship in the event that he steamrolls their complaints about the package.

"We'll see what the parliamentarian rules, and whether he becomes a player in this exercise or a--truly--a referee," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters at his weekly press conference today.

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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is calling for a strong re-assertion of states rights against Congress -- in the form of a Constitutional amendment to eliminate the direct popular election of Senators, and go back to the pre-17th Amendment setup of state legislatures appointing them.

"Ever since the safeguard of State legislatures electing U.S. Senators was removed by the 17th Amendment in 1913, there has been no check or balance on the Federal power grab for the last 97 years," Gohmert said in a press release, calling for a constitutional convention of the states. "Article V requires a minimum of 34 states to request a Convention which in this case, would be an Amendment Convention for only ONE amendment."

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Sen. Jim DeMint's office released a statement today announcing his introduction of legislation to repeal the health care reform bill that President Obama signed earlier today. The bill currently has 12 Republican cosponsors. Here's the full statement:

"This fight isn't over yet, Republicans are standing with the American people who are demanding we repeal this intolerable act," said Senator DeMint. "We must repeal this bill and start over. There are commonsense solutions we can implement to expand health care freedom and choices, lower premiums, and increase quality. But this bill will force taxpayer funding of abortions, raise health costs, hike taxes, cut Medicare, raid Social Security, and put bureaucrats between patients and their doctors.

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden addressed Democratic leaders at the signing of health care reform legislation in the East Room of the White House earlier today. Here are their compete remarks:

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Fired up! Ready to go! Fired up! Ready to go!


Mr. President, I think we got a happy room here. (Laughter.) It seems ridiculous to say thank you all for being here. (Laughter.) Ladies and gentlemen, to state the obvious, this is a historic day. (Applause.)

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Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus told reporters today that there may be "one or two" changes to the health care reconciliation bill, meaning it could be sent back to the House for another vote.

"Anything is possible. We've constructed this thing so well ... maybe one or two but they're so minor they're almost not even worth mentioning," Baucus said.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released a statement today following President Obama's signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 earlier today. Here's his full statement:

"Today we improved the lives of millions of Americans. The numbers of those who will be assisted by this landmark legislation in Nevada alone are staggering. More than 600,000 Nevadans will be able to receive quality, affordable health care to keep themselves and their families healthy. More than 50,000 Nevada seniors will be able to get cheaper prescription drugs. Nevada residents will receive $5 billion in tax credits to purchase private insurance within the first five years of this bill's enactment. This is a real-life impact for so many Nevadans and Americans.

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine released a statement today praising President Obama's leadership in signing health care reform legislation. Here's his complete statement:

"Today, as he signed health reform into law, President Obama made history. Since Teddy Roosevelt, President's have tried, and failed, to pass health reform. But thanks to the strong leadership of President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and the millions of Americans who made their voices heard, health reform has finally become a reality.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner held a press availability this morning in advance of their meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Here are their complete remarks:

Speaker Pelosi. Good morning.

It is an honor and privilege, once again, to welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu to the Capitol of the United States. I've had the privilege of meeting with the Prime Minister in Israel on many occasions over the years and to welcome him here before.

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