State of the Union Highlights
This morning, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew joined Candy to discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the role the healthcare debate will play in the election, the contempt vote in the House of Representatives against Attorney General Eric Holder and the state of the economy. The economy and the Supreme Court decision were also debated by former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
Finally, we covered the natural disasters impacting the nation with three governors. Colorado governor John Hickenlooper updated Candy on the efforts to contain the wildfires sweeping his state. Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and West Virginia governor Earl Ray Tomblin gave the latest on their states’ clean-up following Friday night’s powerful storms.
Jack Lew, White House Chief of Staff on the healthcare debate
“This was a plan that Governor Romney supported. It's something that I would think he would have been proud of. It's a model that at the federal level and the Congressional Budget Office looked at it, said it would have the same kind of impact. It's time now to get over the debate and to implement the law. What the American people don't want is they don't want to be taken back to the old divisive debate. They want to get on with it. And they want us to be focusing on economic growth and creating jobs. That's what we want to do and that's what we think Congress ought to do.”
Jack Lew, White House Chief of Staff on how the Supreme Court viewed the individual mandate
“They [the Supreme Court] didn't call it a tax. They said it was using a power under the Constitution that permits it. It was not labeled. And this is a penalty. It's something that only 1 percent of the people who could afford insurance who choose not to get it will pay. Everyone who has insurance, everyone who chooses to buy insurance, will not pay it. What they're going to get is security. They're going to get lower premiums and better health care. That is a good thing for the American people.”
Jack Lew, White House Chief of Staff on Fast and Furious
“This is not about the facts. The facts are out there. This is about a committee that is on a path towards turning a review of policy into a political witch hunt….They are looking for documents that have nothing to do with what they are asking the questions about. There has to be the ability for a president to get confidential advice. There has to be an ability for Congress to use its speech and debate clause. There are constitutional issues that this Congress should pay some more attention to, because they are hurting the very institutions.”
Jennifer Granholm, former Michigan governor, on healthcare
“Republicans have long gone after welfare cheats, tax cheats. Why not go after health care cheats for those who can afford health care and foist that cost on the rest of us? If the laboratories of democracy, which are the states, are to mean anything, that policies that work on the states can be taken to scale on the federal level, and that is exactly what is happening. And to run against that is to run against the presidential candidate in your party.”
Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO, on healthcare
“What is interesting is there has never been any disagreement about the goal. The goal is to provide access to quality, affordable health care for every American. However, at least half of the American people deeply fear that a 2,400-page bill written by a bunch of folks on Capitol Hill who are not experts and who are now trying to manage from Washington, D.C., not from the states, 18 percent of our economy is going to be a big problem.”
Sound of Sunday
House Speaker John Boehner says he was shocked by the Supreme Court decision on the healthcare law. Nonetheless, he is undeterred:
Rep. Boehner (R) House Speaker on CBS’s “Face The Nation” “This has to be ripped out by its roots. This is government taking over the entire health insurance industry. The American people do not want to go down this path. They do not want the government telling them what kind of insurance policy they have to buy and how much they're going to pay for it and if you don't like it, we're going to tax you. It has to be ripped out and we need to start over.”
Democrats have largely reacted to the high court ruling by declaring the healthcare debate over. But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says if Republicans want a debate, she’s in:
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) House Minority Leader on NBC’s “Meet The Press” They'll [Republicans] bring it up, and when they bring it up they will ask for repeal, repeal of all the things I said that help children, help young adults, help seniors, help men or women who may have prostate cancer, breast cancer, whatever it is, any precondition. And everybody will have lower rates, better quality care and better access. So that's what they want to repeal. We're happy to have that debate.
A vote on repealing Obamacare is expected in the Republican–led House in just over a week. It's a largely symbolic move. Repeal would not pass the Democrat-led Senate. Still, elections change things and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell argues if Republicans take power next year, the healthcare law, found to be constitutional under tax law, would be on the agenda:
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) Senate Minority Leader on “Fox News Sunday” Taxes are clearly what we call reconcilable. That's the kind of measure that can be pursued with 51 votes in the Senate. If I'm the leader of the majority I commit to the American people that the repeal of Obamacare will be job one. By the way, I think we will also be insisting we have a vote before the election, in terms of achieving it. It would take a different Senate with a different President, different Majority Leader. But yes, that could be done with a simple 51 votes.
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer warns that if Republicans push a vote, they will pay on Election Day:
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) New York on CBS’s “Face The Nation” I think if Republicans make, as their number one issue, the repeal of healthcare they're certainly going to lose the election in the House, in the Senate and the presidency. Bottom line is, most Americans are not for repeal.
A poll taken just this week shows the majority of Americans favor repeal of all or part of healthcare law.
Links to SOTU interviews
Lew: Time to get over the healthcare debate
Lew on the House investigation on Eric Holder
White House Chief of Staff on the economy
Carly Fiorina & Jennifer Granholm face off
Gov. Hickenlooper on the Colorado fires
Politics of the week
Additional SOTU information
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