Capitol Hill Update: Obama's Broken "Transparency" Promise


Candidate Barack Obama frequently promised the American people that his government would be the most transparent and open-to-public-scrutiny than any other presidential administration. He promised that the negotiations for his health care bill would be seen live on national television broadcast by C-SPAN.  Needless to say, he broke that promise.    

He promised that the American people could see if lobbyists had any influence on his negotiations.  Indeed, he promised lobbyists would have no place in his administration, but instead the Obama administration is well-populated with lobbyists. "The Washington Times" reported yesterday that Candidate Obama promised during a Democrat debate in January last year:  "If the drug companies or a member of Congress who's carrying water for the drug companies wants to argue that we should not negotiate for the cheapest available price on drugs, then I want them to make that argument in front of the American people."  These promises by Obama have all been broken.   

For the past two weeks, top White House officials, including Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and who knows who else, have been negotiating with the authors of the two Senate bills which had to be merged into one gigantic trillion dollar bill  --  Senators Chris Dodd, D-CT and Max Baucus, D-MT)   --  along with the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada (who, by the way, is losing by several points to every Republican candidate running for his seat next year in Reid's reelection campaign.)  That's how angry Nevada citizens are about this socialized medicine ObamaCare bill.    

"The Washington Times" reported yesterday that negotiating behind closed doors as Obama's people have been doing with the Democrat Senate leadership (with no Republicans present) is "not exactly the level of transparency that President Obama promised during the campaign."     

Candidate Obama said in August 2008 in Chester, Virginia:  "I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table.  We'll have negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.  And so, that approach, I think, is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process."   This was one of the most cynical presidential campaign promises in modern history.   

As the House Republican Leader, John Boehner, R-OH, said:  "They're writing a health care bill in secret, even though the president called for all of this to be out on an open table and have C-SPAN cameras in the room."  Senator Mike Johanns, Republican from Nebraska was quoted in yesterday's "The Washington Times" saying:  "We're about to significantly alter one-sixth of the economy, and if there was ever a need for transparency it is now."  And the Chairman of the House Republican Conference, Congressman Mike Pence, from Indiana, frequently referenced the Democrats' debating health care in "smoke-filled rooms" of the Capitol Building.   

When Harry Reid introduced the new compromise Senate bill yesterday afternoon, he bragged that a majority of Americans favor the government option (or what he calls the "public option.")  Other polls have shown that the American people do not know the ramifications of the now-over-one trillion dollar ObamaCare bill which Harry Reid bragged about yesterday.  In fact, the huge majority of Americans are very happy with the health care they are receiving right now; upwards of over 80%, and would be greatly angered if they lost these plans due to the government mandates which will come with every Democrat health care bill being considered.   

A related Obama promise which was broken is that Candidate Obama promised to end the devisiveness in Washington and would work in a bipartisan manner to get things done, or words to that effect.  Yet, THE only Republican who voted for one of the 5 left-wing Democrat health care bills in a House or Senate congressional committee  --  Senator Olympia Snowe from Maine  -- was not invited into the un-transparent meetings between Obama White House officials and several key Democrat Senators.   

Yesterday, the compromise ObamaCare bill which emerged from the Kennedy/Dodd bill and the Baucus bill, thoroughly rejected the ideas of Republican Senator Snowe.  Senator Snowe, before she voted for the Baucus bill in the Senate Financial Services Committee, said she would not vote for a "public option" bill to compete with  --  and eventually kill (as candidate Obama candidly promised his supporters would happen)  --  all private health care insurance plans, nor would she vote for an "opt-out public option" health care bill which is in the Senate compromise bill announced yesterday.   

It is apparent, for the first time in anyone's memory, that the Democrats are now trying to ram through a bill, absolutely opposed by a large majority of the American people, and overwhelmingly opposed by America's seniors, without the votes of a single Republican Member of Congress in the House of Representatives and in the United States Senate.   

Major legislation has almost always passed the United States Congress with large bipartisan majorities such as when Medicare passed in the House of Representatives by a whopping majority of 313-115 and in the Senate by a huge majority of 68-21 in 1965.  The president and his radically partisan and left-wing Congress are determined to pass his Obamacare no matter how many campaign promises he breaks and no matter what the American people really want. 

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