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Republicans had a plan. They were going to spend four years investigating Hillary Clinton, bitching about Obamacare, and going on Fox News to complain about Messican ISIS Abortionplexes. It was gonna be sweet! But then That Lunatic up and won the election! Whaaaaaa?


Republicans suddenly found themselves holding all three branches of government, at which point they needed a new plan. And they'd promised a lot when they thought they'd never be in a position to deliver, so their plan needed to be awesome.

Spoiler Alert: It was not awesome.

The Con: If You Don't Steal From the Poor, You Can't Give To the Rich Without Increasing Deficits

The Republicans' two main priorities are repealing Obamacare and cutting taxes. Or, to be more accurate, the Republican party's one and only priority is cutting taxes for rich people, and Obamacare is BAD because it forces rich people to pay more in taxes.

The GOP gives no shits about providing health insurance. Yeah, the fringiest loons in their caucus have strong opinions on the topic, but that's their Ayn Rand boners talking. Most of the GOP just hate Obamacare because it raises taxes. They need to overhaul healthcare first so they can "find" a big pot of "savings" to justify a massive tax cut in 2018. Sure, they might find 23 million more uninsured people. But look at the $1 trillion they unearthed to give away to rich job creators on their tax returns! So much winning!

Stacking the Deck: A Win Is A Win, No Matter How Ugly!

To give their totally awesome plan the best shot at passing, Republicans voted to make it part of the budget reconciliation process.

Wait, what even is budget reconciliation?

Well, frankly speaking, no one understands this shit! But in the main, it means that the bill only requires 50 votes (plus the vice president) to pass and can't be filibustered. There are lots of other rules for reconciliation, but the majority party usually gets what it wants, rules be damned. If the bill becomes too toxic and Republicans are looking for an out, they might say, "Dangit! Foiled by the Byrd Rule! Y'all just need to donate more money to my campaign so I can repeal Obamacare next year!" Otherwise, they'll ram that shit on through.

Recipe: Making Chicken Salad Out of Chicken Shit

Now, you may be wondering why the Republicans are having such a hard time passing their healthcare monstrosity when they hold majorities in the House and Senate. Is their caucus full of wingnuts? Or were they just totally unprepared to actually govern? Or could it be that the AHCA is so bad that Paul Ryan has to put their nuts in a vise to get them to vote for it?

Just kidding. Obviously, it is All Of Them, Katie!

On May 4, Ryan was finally able to jam his horrendous healthcare bill through the House on a vote of 217-213. All he had to do to get the House Freedom Caucus on board was to let insurers offer junk policies that cover nothing and allow them to discriminate based on preexisting conditions. So worth it!

Over to You, Mitch!

At this point, Mitch McConnell finally poked his head out of his shell and said, "Durnit! I guess we'll have to start cooking up our own shit sandwich!" And the CBO said, "Here's a side of poop soup to go with that!" Yes, it's like a regular vegan butthole restaurant down at the Hart Office Building these days.

McConnell managed to produce a plan that has a 17% approval rating, will cause premiums to skyrocket, and will increase the number of uninsured by 22 million. He has to get 50 Republicans to vote for it, and no one is that excited for the All You Can Eat E. Coli Buffet. Ted Cruz needz moar death spiral. Rand Paul can't finish without looking at Fountainhead porn. Susan Collins isn't down with all the pussygrabbing. And Dean Heller can't decide whether he'd like to be burned alive or eaten by a bear.

McConnell can only lose two votes, and so he's already started to manage expectations. This week he warned that they might have to start working with Democrats if the GOP Caucus doesn't get in line. THE HORROR!

So, Now What?

Well, you don't need a crystal ball to know that McConnell is either going to pass this piece of crap, or he isn't. But the GOP is facing a ticking clock on several fronts.

Remember that the Republicans' Evil Robin Hood Plan requires two budget cycles to pass. McConnell and Ryan have to find the "savings" by gutting health care under 2017's budget reconciliation to pay for 2018's massive tax cut. But the fiscal year ends September 30. If the Republicans fail to destroy Obamacare under this budget reconciliation, they have to start all over again in the fall. The House will have to produce a new plan, or they can bring this stinker back up. But Paul Ryan will have to undertake another round of arm-twisting and force his members to vote to take healthcare away from their own constituents.

AND 2018 IS AN ELECTION YEAR! Ryan barely got his caucus on board when the election was 16 months out. Since then, the bill has gotten even more unpopular. Do Republicans want to have their campaign rallies disrupted by protestors staging a die in? They do not!

Republican Compromise: We'll Only Eat Half a Shit Sandwich!

Mitch McConnell's been fucking up the country for a long time, so don't bet against him finding that special sauce that will convince his caucus to swallow this thing. On the other hand, the Senate is scheduled to go on August recess for five weeks, leaving only 32 working days on the calendar before the end of the fiscal year. And Republicans are now talking about a vote "several weeks" off. So, the clock is ticking.

And don't forget that whatever comes out of the Senate has to go back to the House for reconciliation. Any plan that fails to meet the House Freedom Caucus's fuckery requirements won't pass. If the House and Senate fail to reach agreement before September 30, Ryan and McConnell could just blame each other and call it a day. They will have forced their members to eat half a shit sandwich by voting for this terrible plan, but at least they can go home and campaign against Obamacare without having to do anything about it. WIN, WIN!

We're not out of the woods yet. But DAY-UMMM, these guys are bad a governing! Keep calling your Senators!

[Vox / Forbes / Fox Business / Business Insider]

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Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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