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Posts tagged ‘Democratic’

Poll: Americans Say 113th Congress is Worst Ever.


Image: Poll: Americans Say 113th Congress is Worst EverSpeaker of the House John Boehner swears in members of the 113th U.S. House of Representatives during the opening session at the U.S. Capitol on January 3, 2013.

By Lisa Barron

An overwhelming majority of Americans say the 113th Congress is the worst in their lifetime, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday.

While nearly three quarters of the respondents said this has been a “do-nothing” Congress, two thirds of those surveyed said the current Congress is the worst in their lifetime, with 28 percent disagreeing.

Editor’s Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll 

“That sentiment exists among all demographic and political subgroups. Men, women, rich, poor, young old — all think this year’s Congress has been the worst they can remember,” Keating Holland, CNN polling director, said.

“Older Americans — who have lived through more congresses — hold more negative views of the 113th Congress than younger Americans. Republicans, Democrats and independents also agree that this has been the worst session of Congress in their lifetimes.”

The telephone poll of 1,035 adults nationwide showed that 73 percent say Congress has done nothing to solve the country’s problems, with roughly 25 percent disagreeing.

Indeed, less than 60 bills have been passed and signed into law during the past year, according to CNN, and there is not much optimism that next year will be much better.

Fifty-two percent believe the policies of Democratic leaders in Congress would move the country in the wrong direction, and 54 percent think the policies of the Republican leaders would do the same, the survey found. The poll, conducted Dec. 16-19, had a sampling error of plus or minus three percent.

One of the first tests of where Congress is headed in 2014 will be the fight over the debt ceiling, and analysts are somewhat divided about the prospects, reports The Washington Times.

“I don’t think there’s any political reason why they’ll fight over this, at least not to the degree that they have in the past,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said Wednesday on CNN.

But others maintain that could still be gridlock, despite the bipartisan budget dealreached earlier this month.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

“I believe we very quickly began to move away from ‘Kumbaya’ a couple weeks ago,” Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said Tuesday on MSNBC.

“I’m afraid we’re not going to see a lot [of cooperation], but we’ll see some,” he added.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obamacare Fumbling Continues With Newest Quick-Fix.


Image: Obamacare Fumbling Continues With Newest Quick-Fix

By Cathy Burke

Moving deadlines and quick-fixes have been the hallmark of Obamacare from the start, and the fumbling continued Monday with an abrupt change-of-date giving the uninsured a brief 24-hour extension, until Christmas Eve, to sign up for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

“We’re just trying to make sure everyone who wants to get enrolled to be covered by Jan. 1 is able to do that,” White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri told MSNBC on Monday, according to Politico. “We still consider the end of the deadline to be today, but we’re going to try to accommodate people who try to get it done [Monday].”

The HealthCare.gov Twitter account said record demand prompted a “fail-safe” extension, Politico reported — even though Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille sent a decidedly mixed signal.

“The deadline for signing up for coverage to start Jan. 1 is today,” her statement said, Politico reported. “We recognize that many have chosen to make their final decisions on today’s deadline, and are committed to making sure they can do so. Consumers should not wait until tomorrow. If you are aiming to get coverage Jan. 1, you should try to sign up today.”

The confusion is all too familiar. In October, Obamacare insurance buyers were operating  on the assumption they had until Dec. 15 to pick a plan if they wanted coverage beginning Jan. 1.

A month later, however, the no-later-than deadline was stretched to Dec. 23 — even as the Department of Health and Human Services was pushing back its deadline for when the first month’s insurance premium would come due, from Jan. 1 to Jan. 10.

It’s not just the deadlines that have kept Americans guessing.

On Dec. 19, the administration announced its most major “fix” for Americans who had lost their coverage because it didn’t measure up to Obamacare standards: changing policy to help people make the deadline to replace their dropped plans.

Those with inadequate insurance who got dumped by their insurance carriers were then allowed to claim a “hardship exemption,” giving them the option to buy cheaper, minimal coverage normally available only to people under 30.

“This is not a new policy,” Palmieri said Monday, Politico reported. “We merely clarified on behalf of a group of senators who asked the same questions on behalf of their constituents.”

“We actually don’t think in reality a great many people will avail themselves of this option,” she said. “We just want to make sure that people understand they have this option.”

Another Obamacare mandate “fix” came Nov. 14 — a week after President Barack Obama apologized to insured Americans whose plans were dropped despite his oft-repeated promise that would never happen under the new law — asking insurers to offer the sub-par coverage for another year.

The president switched the mandate for small businesses too, announcing last July that he was bumping the deadline requiring companies with 50 or more employees to offer insurance from Jan. 1, 2014, to Jan. 1, 2015.

Reuters contributed to this report

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

CNN, Gallup: Support for Obamacare Plunges to Record Lows.


Just when it seemed that President Obama’s approval numbers couldn’t get any worse, two new polls released Monday revealed that his signature healthcare legislation is now considered by many Americans to be his biggest disaster.

More than a third of voters view Obamacare as the president’s greatest failure as commander-in-chief, according to a new Gallup poll release Monday.

Not surprisingly, views on the Affordable Care Act vary greatly by party affiliation, but there’s a pervasive thread of discontent on both sides of the political spectrum. That was signaled by Sunday by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, an ostensible Obama ally, who said the law appeared on the verge of “meltdown.”

Fifty percent of Republicans believe Obamacare is Obama’s greatest failure, compared with 25 percent of Democrats.

Conservatives can barely hold back their glee.

“Democratic senators in red and purple states are going to have a tough time defending their vote for a health-care law that wasn’t ready for prime time,” writes National Review columnist Matt Kibbe, referring to the law’s embarrassing rollout that was plagued with persistent technical and public relations issues.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, is already the target of a biting television spot linking her to the president and hammering her decision to vote for the law. Persistent reports suggest that former Sen. Scott Brown is preparing a challenge based in part over her weakness on Obamacare.

Meanwhile, a new CNN/ORC survey finds that support for the healthcare law has plummeted to a record low, with most Americans predicting skyrocketing costs for medical care, and a third don’t believe they will be able to keep their doctor.

In that poll, CNN reports, support for the law is down five points in less than a month, to just 35 percent of those questioned. Opposition for Obamacare is up four points from November, to 62 percent, according to CNN.

How bad is it? “Even Democrats recognize the negative issues associated with the new healthcare law and its implementation,” Gallup states.

Most of the newest opposition comes from women, traditionally a core constituency for the president. Sixty percent of women polled do not like the law.

“That’s bad news for an administration that is reaching out to moms across the country in an effort to make Obamacare a success.” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

Not getting along with Republicans and Congress (9 percent), a lack of communication (5 percent) and a lack of leadership (4 percent) were listed as the president’s next three biggest failures, according to Gallup. However, none came close to the 36 percent figure looming over Obamacare.

The president still has some supporters in his corner, according to Gallup, which reports that 22 percent of those surveyed see the Affordable Care Act as his greatest achievement.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melissa Clyne

Bleeding PDP Warns That Defection Of Members Is ‘Betrayal’.


PDP chair, Bamanga Tukur
By SaharaReporters, New York

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described Wednesday’s defection of 37 of its members in the House of Representatives, as ‘betrayal,’ warning that those members should know the implication of their actions.

The declaration is contained in a statement issued by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, at the end of a meeting of the National Woking Committee of the party in Abuja.

“The PDP condemns what is fast unfolding as a desperate attempt by selfish politicians to cause confusion in our body polity,” he said. “We wish to assure all our members and supporters nationwide that the PDP remains unshaken by the departure of Fifth Columnists. We shall undoubtedly emerge stronger and more cohesive after these events.”

He said that if the defection was confirmed to be true, it was “treacherous and a huge betrayal” not only of the PDP but of voters who worked hard for the election of the defectors on the platform of the PDP.

Quoting Section 68 (1) (g) of the constitution, Metuh stressed that the courts have declared that the PDP is ONE and is not bedeviled by any factions.

“Any member of the National or State Assemblies who therefore renounces his membership of a UNITED PDP must be ready to face the consequences of defection in line with provisions of the Constitution,” he said.

Despite the purported defection of some members, he noted that the party still maintains a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives, and urged members “to utilize their majority to strengthen the support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda and the only recognized National Leadership of the Party.”

Harry Reid: I’d Like to Lead Senate for 8 More Years.


Image: Harry Reid: I'd Like to Lead Senate for 8 More Years

By Lisa Barron

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he plans on staying right where he is for as long as he possibly can.

The Nevada Democrat is up for re-election in 2014, and in an interview with Roll CallWednesday, he confirmed that he intends to run. “I don’t want to do it more than eight more years,” said the 74-year-old former boxer.

Asked if Democratic Conference Secretary Patty Murray’s front and center role in the recent budget negotiations means she could take over the leadership, Reid responded, “If I drop dead? I don’t know.”

“I mean, I will someday. It’s just a question of if I do it while I’m here,” he said.

As for whether Reid thinks his party can maintain its majority in next year’s elections in light of issues such as the disastrous Obamacare rollout, he was optimistic, saying, “We’re always very honed-in on the races. We feel pretty good about how things are going.”

He also said he has not ruled out taking further steps to curb the GOP’s ability to filibuster, as he did last month when he used the so-called nuclear option to eliminate filibusters on most nominations.

“I have no intention of changing the rules tomorrow or the next day or, you know, [in] the foreseeable future, but this is a two-way street. I think that we should start legislating and not [waste] all of our time on nominations. That’s all I’ve been wasting my time on for years here is nominations,” Reid stated.

“I’m not precluding anything. It’s just according to how we get along here.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Krauthammer: Democrats Will Run From Obamacare Next Summer.


Democratic support of Obamacare is a “pretense” that will change next summer, at which time they’ll they “run for their lives,” syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said Thursday.

“[Support] is a pretense they’re going to have to maintain, probably until midsummer, at which point everybody is going to run for their lives. And the Democrats, individually in their races, are going to run away from this as hard as they can,” Krauthammer told “Fox & Friends.”

Democrats will have no choice but to watch as Obamacare unfolds. Those facing re-election could call for changes to the healthcare law sometime next year, Krauthammer predicted.

“The Democrats are going to have to watch this without any recourse unless they decide they’re going to jump ship. And I think that by mid-year, it’s likely that some of the vulnerable Democrats in the Senate are going to move for a delay or even a repeal,” he said.

Democrats facing midterm elections in 2014 are increasingly viewed as vulnerable, due to the problems facing Americans from Obamacare. Passed on a purely partisan vote, Krauthammer said Democrats “decided in 2009 and 2010 for a huge experiment on one-sixth of the American economy.”

Krauthammer maintained Democrats used the issue of people without healthcare insurance to “revolutionize all of American medicine.” Now that Obamacare has been implemented, it is “not stoppable, in the absence of repeal,” he said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Wanda Carruthers

Sending Baucus to China Removes Democratic Critic of Obamacare.


Image: Sending Baucus to China Removes Democratic Critic of Obamacare

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Sending Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus off as the next U.S. ambassador to China could solve several problems for President Barack Obama, including removing one ofObamacare’s most vocal opponents from Capitol Hill.

Earlier this year, the outspoken lawmaker famously referred to Obamacare as a “huge train wreck,” saying it would be a failure if the government couldn’t afford money for research, reports The Washington Post. 

Baucus has also compared the HealthCare.gov launch to “Humpty Dumpty” with questions about whether the website could be eventually successful.

Removing Baucus from Washington means taking the outspoken critic away from his chairmanship of the Finance Committee since 2007. Baucus plans to retire next year, and ordinarily would be followed in the seat by second-ranking Democrat member Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va.

However, like Baucus, Rockefeller plans to retire after next year, so Baucus’ seat, if he leaves early, is expected to be taken by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the current chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senate aides told The Washington Post. Wyden has criticized the White House’s healthcare plans in the past, but he is not as strident with his opposition as Baucus.

But there are other possible reasons beyond Obamacare for the president to nominate Baucus, The Post reports.

Baucus, 72, is leaving office next year, but Republicans are expected to take the red state next year with Rep. Steve Daines.

However, if Baucus steps down early, The Post speculates, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock can appoint a Democratic replacement who would be able to run for a full six-year term in 2014. Lt. Gov. John Walsh is already running for the seat, but if he is appointed to it early, he would be the incumbent when the election takes place, giving him an advantage over other candidates.

Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina, who is Baucus’ former top hand, may also be considering a campaign, The Post reports, so his name could also be in the short list to fill Baucus’ seat.

Baucus though, does have extensive experience in China, having visited eight times. He also lead U.S. efforts in the 1990s to persuade China to enter the World Trade Organization and worked to establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations between the two countries.

In addition, Baucus has hosted Chinese trade delegations in both Montana and Washington D.C.

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Top Democrat Baucus Sees ‘Huge Train Wreck’ for Obamacare
Top Democrat Baucus, Head of Finance Panel, to Retire

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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