A brand new health care bill would have to get past the filibuster process in the Senate. The recent election of Scott Brown would presumably prevent the 60 votes needed in the Senate to stop the long-winded talkathon. However, the House can approve the bill that already passed the Senate before Brown’s election. The main problem for the Obama team is that the Senate bill is very different from the one that the House passed, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not yet have a solid majority to ensure passage of the Senate bill because the two bills differ so greatly. If she can get the Senate bill through, it could then be treated as a budget reconciliation, which would only need a majority to pass the Senate. The President would sign the bill, effectively making it a law. The previous vote on the House bill was extremely close, and a few votes either way has the potential to either doom or save the it.
Look at what just happened to Utah Democrat Jim Matheson. He originally voted against the House bill, but now he is considering a switch. His brother was just nominated to become a federal judge. What a coincidence!!!
Rep. Alan Mollohan, a Democrat from West Virginia, was seen as possibly wavering when it came to passing the very different Senate bill. It was recently announced that the Justice Department is dropping an FBI investigation that it had been pursuing. It was reported by the Washington Post that Mollohan used his position on the House Appropriations Committee to funnel $150 million of federal money into five non-profit organizations to administer these funds. One of his real estate business partners was the head of the non-profit that received some of these federal dividends. Another partner in his real estate ventures headed a company that also received federal aid. Additionally, a former aide headed yet another company that also received federal largess and bought a $2 million dollar property with Mollohan on Bald Head Island in North Carolina. In 2000, Mollohan’s net worth was $565,000. By 2004 it had risen to more than $6.3 million. Although the FBI had been investigating him for three years, their queries ceased suddenly, causing yet another coincidence.
On the other side the uncooperative Rep. Bart Stupak, a Democrat from Michigan, has declared that he would not support the Senate bill because it has provisions that would allow public funding of abortion. According to the NY Post, he is being attacked as ethically challenged by some of the left stream media. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow recently questioned the low rent Stupak pays for his apartment which is owned by a Christian group.
Now I know that as a columnist for the South Florida Chronicle, I have a vast amount of power and tremendous influence. I have been opposed to the health care bill making its way through Congress, but I could be convinced that President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi are all right about the health care bill after all.
I have a brother who is a lawyer. Perhaps he is deserving of some sort of federal position. I do not expect a federal judgeship for my brother, but perhaps there is a smaller less important position that he could receive.
Perhaps I could get my next parking ticket taken care of.
Come on President Obama, what do you say, call me.