Iowa Congressman Steve King’s cries for attention have gone neglected for too long. King, who regularly appears during the “late night” Open Speeches segment on C-SPAN, has been known to divert legislative debate to his own concerns … for example, during the debate on H.R. 4247 – Keeping All Students Safe Act, Mr. King went into a tirade on homosexual teachers. It’s a classic case of bait and switch … the legislation isn’t debated, but his views are expressed.
King’s latest cry was during an appearance on Glenn Beck’s March 18th radio program.
KING : “They intend to vote on the Sabbath, during lent, to take away the liberty that we have right from God.”
BECK : “Thank you for pointing this out. I thought of this this the other day because I’ve been saying faith, hope, and charity. Faith has been perverted and our hope they’re trying to sell this hope that we’ll have faith in the Government, that they’ll be chair able and I thought, they’re going to vote for this damn thing on a Sunday, which is the Sabbath, during lent. You couldn’t have said it better. Here is a group of people that have so perverted our faith and our hope and our charity that it is a this is an affront to God and I honestly I don’t think that anybody’s like, yes, and now what we’ll do is we’ll vote on the Sabbath, but he think that it is absolutely appropriate that these people are trying to put the nail in the coffin on our country on a Sunday, something our founders would have never, ever, ever done, out of respect for God.”
KING : “That’s right.”
Yes, its bait and switch … the issue is not healthcare, but the Day of the vote.
Ah, how soon we forget. Healthcare was a major issue during the 2008 elections. President Obama held his first healthcare bi-partisan forum on March 4, 2009. The House and Senate held hearings and debated this for months … and finally, the end is in sight.
Yes, a vote may occur on Sunday involving healthcare … but is this the first time that such an issue has been presented before Congress ?
Maybe Mr. King has forgotten where he was just Five Years ago and S.686 : Terri Schiavo Incapacitated Protection Act.
Congress met in a special emergency session on Sunday March 20,2005 to introduce and pass legislation aimed at the medical care of one patient — Terri Schiavo. President George W. Bush encouraged the legislation and flew back to Washington, D.C., from his vacation in Crawford, Texas, so that he could be on hand to sign it immediately.
The vote was marked not by how many voted for or against but by how many did not vote … 174. That’s right 174 representatives were not in Washington to cast a vote, but that did not prevent Mr. King and his cohorts from passing this legislation.
That legislation affected ONE individual directly but many others indirectly.
The Schiavo case was a classic case — an emotional issue and one that Conservatives invoked in fund-raising campaigns. Many groups began soliciting donations in her name, some for a much broader agenda. List of Schiavo donors were to be sold by direct-marketing firm with thousands receiving a steady stream of solicitations from anti-abortion and conservative groups.
This was a highlight of the Republican-led Do-Nothing Congress during the Bush presidency.
And here, we are Five Years to the day, and the House may vote again on Sunday … but this time on legislation that has been thoroughly debated and scored by the Congressional Budget Office.
The Republicans have offered a plan that would reduce the rolls of the uninsured by about 3 million in 2019, leaving about 52 million people without medical coverage. Also, the CBO said that premiums for some people, mostly the less healthy, would go up. The Republican plan would save the federal budget deficit $68 billion over 10 years. The major issue of pre-existing conditions is left open for a study.
The Obama plan goes considerable farther. The legislation will cover 32 million Americans and will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the ten year period. Pre-existing conditions are resolved.
Personally, the Obama plan is not ideal but it is a vast improvement over the Republican plan. When Congress votes on Sunday, their vote will be to move forward on healthcare reform or to embrace the Do-Nothing Republican Congresses that Mr. King wishes to return to power.
Oh, and there was other telling exchange during the Beck interview.
BECK: “How is it we have never met or spoken? I love you. Please”
KING: “I watch you a lot, Glenn, and sometimes I hear my words come out of your mouth and we’ve never met.”
BECK: “Oh, my gosh. I’m going to do research on you today and please don’t dirt out to be a dirt bag. You’re not a dirt bag, are you?”
KING: “You are going to find that I lack compassion. But other than that, I’ll be okay.”
Yes, it’s Spring and Love is in the air … or at least for Beck and King, love is on the air !