Is this supposed to be a convoluted plan to depress conservative turnout in the midterm elections?
Even the most sympathetic reading of Boehner’s interview, that there’s a new strategy to undermine ObamaCare and that he’s only paying lip service on illegal alien amnesty, still raises the baffling question as to why Boehner would praise the Tea Party in the same interview that he’s pushing everything that the Tea Party stands again.
Whom is he trying to appeal to? That elusive block of Tea Party members who want amnesty and an ObamaCare fix?
On immigration: Boehner wants ‘to get it done’
Boehner defended his approach to the politically dicey issue of immigration. In January, he and other GOP leaders outlined a set of principles to reform the immigration system. But shortly afterward, Boehner said he didn’t think he could move an agreement this year, arguing that Republicans didn’t trust Obama enough to implement border security measures.
On Monday, he told The Enquirer immigration was a key area of agreement between him and Obama and they talked about it at the White House last week. “He wants to get it done. I want to get it done,” he said. “But he’s going to have to help us in this process.”
He declined to say what Obama could do to win the GOP’s trust on the issue.
“I told the president I’ll leave that to him,” he said.
Boehner fired back at some conservatives who have likened the GOP principles to amnesty. The GOP leadership’s outline called for granting legal status – but not citizenship – to many immigrants who are currently living in the U.S. illegally under certain conditions. Those include admitting their immigration violation, passing background checks, paying fines and back taxes.
“Some want to call it amnesty,” Boehner said. “I reject that premise … If you come in and plead guilty and pay a fine, that’s not amnesty.”
Plead guilty to what? Is this supposed to be the new talking point. Plead guilty and you get to stay in the country legally. That’s like being arrested for burglary, pleading guilty and getting to keep the stuff you stole.
Paying a fine is already a discredited Ryan/Rubionism.
The GOP outline still leads to citizenship. If it didn’t lead to citizenship, Obama wouldn’t have endorsed it.
GOP wants to make Obamacare more affordable
House Republicans will unveil an eight-to-10-point plan in two to three months that is aimed a fixing the Affordable Care Act, Boehner said.
Affordability is the top problem with the president’s health plan, he said.
Boehner pointed to a new report, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, projecting that 65 percent of small business will see their premiums increase under the Affordable Care Act. The report said 35 percent will see their premiums go down.
Some small companies are going to have to decide whether to quit offering insurance, Boehner said, and some employees will lose their work-provided insurance because their current coverage doesn’t meet the standards of the health law.
“We need more competitive (insurance) policies out there. Let people buy insurance across state lines. It would create a much more competitive market place,” Boehner said.
I want to give this the benefit of the doubt, but this is how it usually begins. The Republicans fight an obstructive piece of the nanny state and then they begin trying to figure out how to make it work better.
Maybe this 8-10 point plan will undermine ObamaCare. Maybe it’s only meant as a new angle of attack from the “affordability” side. Or maybe the GOP has read the polls that favor fixing ObamaCare and decided to jettison repeal and try to massage it into what some of their leading think tanks and special interest donors think it should be.
None of this is a reason for Boehner to be Speaker again. If the GOP takes the Senate, Congress will actually be able to do things and the last thing it will need is Boehner’s vacillating and confused leadership.