March 24th, 2010
08:54 AM ET
8 years ago

GOP starts effort to block changes to new health care law

Sen. John McCain has introduced an amendment striking 'sweetheart deals' for Democrats in return for their votes.

Sen. John McCain has introduced an amendment striking 'sweetheart deals' for Democrats in return for their votes.

Washington (CNN) - The Senate launched debate Tuesday on a House-passed bill to make changes in the hours-old health care reform law, with Republicans promising to use every parliamentary tool available to undermine or defeat the measure.

The "fixes" bill was necessary to get reluctant House Democrats to approve the Senate's version of the health care reform bill. By approving the Senate version of the bill Sunday night, the House sent it to President Obama, who signed it into law Tuesday.

However, House Democrats agreed to support the health care bill only if the fixes measure accompanied it to make changes to the Senate version. Now, the Senate must approve the fixes bill so Obama also can sign it.

Democrats say they're concerned that Republicans may be able to change the delicately balanced package. Any changes would force the bill back to the House for another vote.

Republicans are expected to propose numerous amendments to the fixes bill in an effort to hold up progress and force Democrats to vote against provisions they might usually support.

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Filed under: GOP • Health care
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. RDS

    Of course this is what is going to happen. Republicans are going to attempt to add controversial amendments. The Dems will be forced to vote No against him and we will go round and round this circle again.

    March 24, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. Kill the Bill before it kills US.

    "millions of Americans are learning about the immediate benefits of health care reform"..... then the gauntlet comes down when it's too late. This is just what the liberals love. The country has been dumbed down enough so they could be suckered into voting enough liberals into office to destroy our foundation. Third world nation status here we come!

    March 24, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. What is this?

    I cannot believe what I read about all the Republican attempts to disenfranchise millions of Americans in their battle for equality of health care. It appears they have little to offer other than obstruction for obstruction's sake and rather than work to refine the now-existing bill, they are working to sttike it down completely–a knee jerk reaction against the President and the Democrats at best, an attempt to keep millions of people "beholden" to charity at worst. Nothing perfect was ever promised to the people, but this bill is at least a start to provide equality of care to the entire nation. How hard would Republicans (and some Democrats, too, for that matter) be working to provide viable solutions if their own health care coverage had been "suspended" until every American citizen had at least basic coverage? How stupid do Republicans think the American citizenry is that they can't see through the ruse of "we're protecting you" to their actual agenda of "let's put the kibosh on anything this President offers"???? The whole group of yelling, epithet-screaming, fear-mongering people is determined to keep America the laughing-stock of the world–and in this, at least, they are succeeding.

    March 24, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  4. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    As a senator, McCain has promised to do nothing for the rest of his term while getting his government healthcare and government paycheck. We really avoided disaster by sending him and the thrilla from Wasilla to a sound beating in 2008.

    Hopefully, the citizens of Arizona see that he is in the early stages of dementia and send him home in November.

    March 24, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  5. virginia nielsen

    That's all they know !!! Try to block whatever Obama does... yes, he is black and he is our president, elected by us, the american people, the good half of it !!! Go Obama !!!

    March 24, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Not surprising at all. The GOP is a party of sore losers whose only agenda is to obstruct, delay, and say NO.

    March 24, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. Wayne

    I want I want I want. The republican motto. Why don't you old white supreme fascist just go away and let the rest of us get some real work done.

    March 24, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. Ben in Texas

    Thus we see the desperation of losers. The Party of No is the Party of Losers. They lost in 2008, and they lost the health care reform battle. In desperation, they are fighting a losing battle to overturn health care reform. They will lose in the courts, and they will never have a veto-proof majority to overturn it legislatively.

    They're losers. LOSERS, LOSERS, LOSERS, LOSERS!!!!

    And all the desperation attempts in the world only point out one thing. The GOP is the Party of Losers. They lost the election, they are not in power, they cannot regain power, and they are shriveling up, dying and blowing away with the wind.

    What a bunch of crybaby L-O-S-E-R-S!

    (Have I made my point?)

    March 24, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  9. BLM

    Here comes the calvary..we can only hope they can save us.

    March 24, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. Tom C

    Politics as usual.

    March 24, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  11. notfooledtx

    Why doesn't Gramps just vote for the reconcilliation package which eliminates the kickbacks?

    Ah, he wouldn't get the pub to pander to the wingnut base.

    I don't like the principle-free McCain, "the maverick" was actually respectable, this mccain is just the punchline to a bad joke.

    March 24, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. Tom in Wheaton, Illinois

    Once again, John "Country First" McCain is leading the attack to block some of the very changes he insisted were necessary to "fix" the Healthcare Reform Bill. He knows what he's doing. He's obstructing. From war hero to Presidential Candidate to crass political hack in just a couple of years. Quite a journey, John.

    March 24, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. Kevin in Ohio

    Just one amendment needs to pass...... and if they all fail, the democrats will have a lot to answer for in November. Just one example.... democrats support ED treatment for sex offenders.

    March 24, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. Right Leaning Independent

    Most people on the CNN poll of the day do not know how the bill will affect them! The next largest group "somewhat knows"! And these folks are happy it passed!!!! I know what is in it and though I have never voted a straight ticket in my life I will be doing it this November – Straight Republican! This bill will hurt the middle class in the form of job loss and higher taxes from a state and federal level! Go understand the bill folks and understand that congress will never withhold Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals! They never have and never will or doctors and hospitals will drop medicare patients! This was a major component of the CBO scoring the bill as reducing the deficit! Also, many folks will be moved to Medicaid meaning cash strapped states will have to fork over more money they do not have for health care for the poor! You are going to be taxed for this folks – it is inevitable but hey, at least you are happy it was passed!!!

    March 24, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  15. Jamey Columbus

    Hes just angry he lost, or the fact that obama supporters are morons.. Grumpy old man...

    March 24, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Jerry in Ohio

    Well there's a surprise. Didn't the Republicans just send out a massive order to Staples for giant 'NO' buttons? If anyone should be voted out this coming election it should be the Republicans. They had their 8 years, lets give the Democrats an equal shot to help this country!!

    March 24, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. Stacie

    Do the republicans really want to be known as the party who is obstructing the reconciliation bill that REMOVES the cornhusker kickback? The Senate bill is already federal law. The reconciliation bill fixes the issues that most of us didn't like about the Senate bill, like the special treatment some states got. Any reasonable person would vote to remove the special deals, but the key word here is "reasonable".

    March 24, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. sonny chapman

    Like in Civil Rights, deja` vu all over again. Of course, the South, in keeping with its' long history of States Rights mantra, except in Gore v. Bush,leads the way. States Rights ? Wasn't that, along with passages in the Old Testament, used to defend Slavery ?

    March 24, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. maryd

    I hope Americans, republicans included, realize that this health care reform will be the last bill passed this year. THe senate republicans (who work in lockstep with no minds of their own) will not allow any votes so all progress will be stopped – no jobs bills, no immigration reform, no financial reform, nothing. The republicans have 51 votes which gives them the power to stop all progress. The house will continue to pass bills, but nothing will happen in the Senate until the Democrats again have 60 votes. This filibuster thing should be repealed so we can move on with our country's business and stop this petty stuff.

    March 24, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. Angie in PA

    The Republicans are PATHETIC SO PATHETIC Playing dirty politicts but you go right ahead republicans you will be going down in flames come Nov people will wake up to you patheticness come Nov and YOU ALL WILL BE LOOKING FOR NEW JOBS! Keep it up

    March 24, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. Meka



    March 24, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. Ryan

    Yes GOP. Go ahead and block everything as usual.... we all already can't stand to see your lizard faces so when November comes, you'll be remembered as the Party of nothing.

    Think about it... not only could they NOT pass their ridiculous policies.... they were also very helpless in stopping the policies they disagreed with. Prolonging them sure.... but stopping them? Not so much.

    So there you go – they are completely useless and they are robbing tax payers by accepting pay...without actually doing ANYTHING to benefit anyone but themselves.

    Sorry, but where I come from... if you say NO to your boss you get fired and if you refuse to get fired also.

    I know a few Americans who needs jobs... perhaps we'll have some vacancies in November..

    March 24, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. ran

    Fear/hate/obstructionism/purity is all the Republicans can do.

    Give it a rest already.

    People vote for either a true Democrat or Independent in 2010/2012. If not then at least remove the current Republicans and replace with one who wants to work with this President and Democrats to get the people's business done.

    Putting in more fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans will not help.

    March 24, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    It is interesting that McCain and his right wingnuts have to make a game out of the deaths of 45,000 Americans each year, who do not have access to affordable health care. It may appeal to his base, but in a poll released yesterday, two thirds of republicans are shown to be stupid beyond comprehension.

    March 24, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. El Gordo

    Conservatives are like alcoholics. They are addicted to power, status, and money instead of booze, but their behavior is the same.

    When Americans get mad at them and throw them out of power, they tell us they have reformed. They say that if we just re-elect them, they will not overspend any more (Deficit spending by Reagan-Bush-Bush = $8.5 trillion). They say they will be fiscally responsible in the future and not run the huge deficits again. They say they lost their way and became confused, but now they are "real" Conservatives again.

    Like an enabling wife, we elected Bush after Reagan blundered and bluffed through two insignificant terms. He overspent at twice Reagan's rate, so we threw him out. Clinton – a moderate – did just what any good President would do during good economic times: he started paying down the national debt. Then the Supreme Court elected Bush Jr, who racked up $5.5 trillion in debt during good economic times to pay for his tax cut. Remember now, that tax cut was supposed to pay for itself by stimulating the economy. Instead, Bush used deficit spending to stimulate the economy.

    Now that same drunk husband is out on the front lawn at 3AM saying, "Please, let me back in the house. I'll be good this time. I've given up drinking forever – just as soon as I finish this bottle of whiskey in my hand. After that, I'm swearing off forever. You can trust me this time."

    Well, ladies, what advice would you give American voters. Shall we give Conservatism another chance?

    March 24, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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