Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rep. Darrell Issa: "It's time for Obama to go into Obamacare"


Via RCP:
REP. DARRELL ISSA: We have a Republican alternative that is very similar to the Senate. We think it's considerably better. It does deal, as you're going to hear again and again, it does deal with the medical device tax. It also deals with the so-called Vitter Amendment for members of Congress, the president, the vice president and the cabinet, as it should.

QUESTION: What was the problem with the Senate bill? What was the main problem that was raised?

ISSA: Well, they haven't brought it over yet --

QUESTION: Well, the Senate proposal --

ISSA: Well, we think we've enhanced it in a number of ways, including if Obamacare is good for members of Congress, then it's good for the president. You know, the president signed a bill that left himself out of Obamacare but put members of Congress in. I think it's time that the president go into Obamacare, and I mean really into Obamacare.

QUESTION: The medical device --

QUESTION: What happens if the Senate Democrats strip out the language?

ISSA: Well, you know, I famously said, you know, I famously said, you know, I’m not going to deal with things that haven't happened yet, and I think in this case we haven't yet passed our bill, they haven't yet passed their bill. We’ve evaluated where their thinking is and the idea of compromise is look where their thinking is, look where our thinking is, propose something that they should be able to accept. And so we're today going to vote a bill that we believe the Senate should accept based on their likely negotiation. Now, if the Senate wants to say my way or the highway, then I suggest that Senate Republicans not go along with that strategy, but rather with a strategy that the House and Senate can vote on, and it can become law. Thank you.

[Inaudible conversations]

QUESTION: February 7th or January 15th for the CR?

ISSA: You know, I believe the dates the Senate are looking at are the dates we're trying to look at. Again, the speaker is trying to find what is possible in the Senate and what's possible in the House and bring them together. We’re going to move what's possible in the House today. We believe it is close enough to what's possible in the Senate that Senate Republicans should work with Senate Democrats to say this is one we can both live with, including as many provisions as the Senate but, of course, it does have some important things.

Look, I think if the president thinks so well of Obamacare and the vice president thinks so well of Obamacare, he should be in it. So I think for the members of the -- for Sebelius to not be in Obamacare and then not feel the pain of its complete and total failure to perform at the scheduled levels is a good example of where, you know, getting into it is important. And I think that was the provision when the Senate put in members of Congress. Members of our staff are not particularly important to understand that they're different than other federal workers. But appointees of the president, the president, the vice president, members of Congress, it might very well be good for them to be in the Affordable Care Act and find out that when you go online, you can't get online.

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