Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Tale of Two Senators

Nebraska Statesman

Father of the Cornhusker Kickback

Today, the U.S. Senate voted on the McConnell Amendment, which mirrored the bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal ObamaCare.  This amendment represented the first step in the Republican plan to "Repeal and Replace" the federal takeover of health care that was enacted thanks to the decisive 60th vote cast by Senator Ben Nelson.  

Senator Nelson has had plenty of time to reflect upon his ObamaCare vote and the embarrassment he brought upon our great state as a result of his sleazy Cornhusker Kickback.  He's now had plenty of time to actually read the entire legislation (something he had not done at the time he cast the deciding vote).  He's had access to the numerous studies that demonstrate that this bill does absolutely nothing to control costs, and represents the greatest expansion of government in our lifetimes. 

So how did he vote on the McConnell Amendment?

Party line--in favor of ObamaCare (again).  And since the Democrats still control the Senate, the McConnell Amendment failed.  Sen. Nelson sold his soul to Harry Reid when he voted in favor of ObamaCare the first time.  Apparently he's decided there's no going back, truth be damned. 

Nebraska's other senator, Sen. Mike Johanns, listened to Nebraskans and voted in favor of the McConnell Amendment.  Sen. Johanns understands that he represents Nebraskans, rather than dictating to us what he thinks is in our best interests. 

In addition, Sen. Johanns successfully led the effort to repeal the insane requirement of ObamaCare that businesses of all sizes file Form 1099s with the IRS for purchases large and small.  But the Democrats refused to recognize Sen. Johanns leadership.  Instead, they made cosmetic changes to the Johanns' proposal and let another endangered Democrat, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, put her name on it, and it passed overwhelmingly. 

The Democrat's legislative games were accurately described in Human Events:

Sen. Mike Johanns (R.-Neb.) spent almost a year pushing for repeal of the 1099 tax paperwork mandate. Last week, he announced that he had finally gotten 60 co-sponsors, enough to ensure passage of his bill.

Then this week, the Democrats took Johnanns’ amendment, changed six words, and introduced it as the “Stabenow Amendment.”

“It really is the same amendment,” Johanns said at a press conference after the vote. “I’m actually kinda flattered.”

“It turns out Sen. Johanns did such an outstanding job raising awareness about the 1099 requirement that Democrats took the idea and are now claiming it as their own,” said McConnell, mocking the Democrats’ plagiarism. “It’s not a bad precedent actually. We’ve got a lot of other good ideas that we’d be happy to share.”
For Nebraskans, it truly is a tale of two Senators.  On one hand, we have Mike Johanns.  He listens.  He represents us.  He remembers where he comes from.  On the other (left) hand, we have Ben Nelson.  He's been in office too long.  He thinks he knows better than us.  And it's time to give Ben the boot