Friday, November 6, 2009

Deer opener will not halt the health care vote in the House

Today is Friday November 6, 2009 and tomorrow is the opener of deer hunting season for rifles in Minnesota. I will be among the orange clad warriors that will brave the elements in pursuit of venison. While the woods are dotted with blaze orange, the rest of the world will be grappling with events taking place at Fort Hood and on Capitol Hill. All of this in the wake of the announcement of jobless figures that were worst than expected; 10.2% unemployment and 190,000 jobs lost. The break in the woods will give me an opportunity to recharge and allow the media speculation to ferret out the true motive behind why Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan gunned down fellow soldiers at Fort Hood.

The rumors are abounded and the facts after the rampage have changed; first he was dead and now he is alive. I will reserve further opinion on the tragic events at Fort Hood until officials conclude their investigations of a man that was said to be "on the radar for the past six months." The other issue that will play out while I am in the woods is House Speaker Pelosi's push for a House vote on health care reform. Yesterday, thousands of people rallied at the steps of the Capitol in Washington D.C. to protest the House health care bill. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) proclaimed the House bill "the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen." Albeit a grandiose statement, the proclamation by Rep. Boehner is not far from the mark.

The House bill does not achieve the goals of the Obama administration of reducing costs and making health care affordable for all. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) admitted this morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe that the current House bill only covers 12M of the 48M uninsured in America. Part of the reason given by Rep. Hoyer was the bill did not provide coverage for illegal or "undocumented" aliens. The words spoken by Rep. Hoyer contradicts a report yesterday by the Associated Press that reported "Rep. Louise Slaughter (D- NY) indicated that the House will have to vote on a bill that allows illegal aliens to use the new healthcare "exchange" and the does not require verification to keep illegal aliens out of the other parts of the proposed new federal healthcare system."

The extent to which illegal aliens are able to access the American taxpayer system is a sticky point; rightfully so. I am not against immigration as it is needed to replenish the aging American workforce but I am not in support of using my taxpayer money to subsidize those here illegally. There is a process, for better or worse, to gain citizenship. Follow it. Now, I will concede the point that American firms have not assisted to rooting out illegal aliens as they see them as a cheap source of labor. The Democrats will need to pass the House version of the bill on the shoulders of Democrat votes alone as Republicans have vowed to not support the current House bill.

The reliance on Democrat votes puts Pelosi and Obama in a pickle. Many "Blue Dog" Democrats are fighting for their collective political life, especially in wake of recent Republican election victories, and with Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, warning Pelosi and Obama that the 20 Hispanic votes will be determined by the amount of access illegal aliens have to taxpayer funded healthcare. So what will take place? Although many are touting the Republican Party as the Party of "No", I see their stance as being fiscally and socially appropriate. Especially when it comes to cover illegal immigrants as my ancestors did it right, so why cannot others?

The Senate bill does not allow access for illegal aliens. While I will miss the opportunity to watch the debate on the House bill, which Speaker Pelosi wants to limit to 4 hours, I hope that others will carry the debate on in my absence. A lot concerns are playing out and it will be interesting, especially to us political junkies, on how the vote will go if Speaker Pelosi is able to bring the bill to the floor on Saturday. Good luck to all the Blaze Orange Warriors this weekend. Come back with deer and be safe. Remember to always know what you are shooting at because that sound you shot at could be your child, elder, or anything else but a deer.