Tag Archives: David Vitter

Senator David Vitter’s amendment to revoke Obamacare exemption for Congress

Republican Senator David Vitter is trying to revoke the exemption from Obamacare for members of Congress and their staff.

The Heritage Foundation explains what the Vitter amendment would do.

Excerpt:

President Obama, the White House staff, Cabinet secretaries, and all of the Administration’s political appointees are exempt from any legal requirement to enroll in Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges. While Members of Congress and their personal staffs are required to enroll in Obamacare’s exchanges, the White House, through questionable administrative action, is providing them hefty taxpayer subsidies to offset the resultant increase in their personal health care costs. In other words, Washington’s arrogant political class is getting exemptions or special treatment denied to ordinary Americans.

[…]During Senate floor debate on energy legislation last week, Louisiana Senator David Vitter (R) proposed an amendment that would end Obamacare exemptions and special taxpayer subsidies for Congress. His amendment is cosponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ron Johnson (R- WI), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK). The prospect of having to vote on Vitter’s amendment shut down floor debate on the bill last week.

Vitter’s amendment would do two things. First, the President, Vice President, Cabinet secretaries, and all political appointees—the policymaking agents of the executive branch—would be enrolled in the health insurance exchanges, just like millions of other Americans. Second, Members of Congress and their staffs—including all committee and leadership office staff—would also be enrolled in the health insurance exchanges under the same terms and conditions as other Americans. In other words, Congress and its staff would not get any special subsidies at taxpayer expense for their health insurance.

[…]The Vitter Amendment is equitable. It targets only Washington’s political class, those who make policy for the national government. Federal employees, all career civil servants, would not be deprived of their current private health insurance plans through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Vitter’s approach is only fair: Capitol Hill cops, National Park Rangers, and Secret Service agents and their families are not responsible for Obamacare. Washington’s political class and allied big special interest lobbyists are responsible. And until this bad law is fully repealed, the President’s team and Congress should submit fully to its multiple and costly requirements, just like everybody else.

[…]Because of hasty legislative maneuvering, sloppy drafting, and an inability or unwillingness to focus on the consequences of what they were doing, Members of Congress who voted for Obamacare managed to dump themselves out of their existing coverage. Under Section 1312 of the law, they are to be enrolled in health insurance exchange plans, and will lose existing coverage in the popular and successful Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). And just like millions of other Americans dumped out of their existing coverage, they lose their employer’s subsidy for insurance plus the generous federal and state tax breaks that accompany employer-based coverage. But the Obama Administration recently “fixed” that for them by providing special subsidies for Members and congressional staff to reduce their premium costs in the Obamacare exchanges.

Vitter’s amendment would overturn this recent action. That would be appropriate because there is no statutory authority, either in Obamacare or in Title V of the U.S Code, for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to make government insurance contributions on behalf of federal employees to any plan other than an FEHBP plan. Curiously, the original health care law provided for employers to make a defined contribution for workers in the exchanges (a “free choice voucher”), but Congress scrapped it.

Millions of Americans are going to be losing their existing coverage and paying more for health insurance. Under the Vitter Amendment, so would the Obama Administration’s appointees, Congress, and congressional staff. They baked that cake. Now they can eat it, too.

If you don’t like what Obamacare is doing to your health care, only a few people in the Republican Party are trying to help you. David Vitter is one of them. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are two others. But don’t expect the Democrat legislators to lift a finger to help, because this law doesn’t apply to them. It doesn’t apply to many of their union supporters, who also got exemptions. It doesn’t apply to big corporations who support the Democrats – they got exemptions, too.

Republicans introduce national right-to-work legislation

Sen. James Demint

From the Hill.

Excerpt:

Eight Republican Senators introduced a bill Tuesday giving workers a choice as to whether to join labor unions, which they argue will boost the nation’s economy and provide an increase in wages.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), introduced the National Right to Work Act to “reduce workplace discrimination by protecting the free choice of individuals to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities,” according to a statement.

Seven other Republicans signed onto the effort: Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), James Risch (Idaho), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and David Vitter (La.).

“Facing a steady decline in membership, unions have turned to strong-arm political tactics to make forced unionization the default position of every American worker, even if they don’t want it,” Hatch said. “This is simply unacceptable. At the very least, it should be the policy of the U.S. government to ensure that no employee will be forced to join a union in order to get or keep their job.

“Republicans cited a recent poll they said shows that 80 percent of union members support having their policy and that “Right to Work” states outperform “forced-union” states in factors that affect worker well being.

From 2000 to 2008, about 4.7 million Americans moved from forced-union to right to work states and a recent study found that there is “a very strong and highly statistically significant relationship between right-to-work laws and economic growth,” and that from 1977 to 2007, right-to-work states experienced a 23 percent faster growth in per capita income than states with forced unionization.

“To see the negative impacts of forced unionization, look no further than the struggling businesses in states whose laws allow it,” Vitter said. “It can’t be a coincidence that right-to-work states have on balance grown in population over the last 10 years, arguably at the expense of heavy union-favoring states.”

DeMint blamed the problems faced by U.S. automakers on the unions.

“Forced-unionism helped lead to GM and Chrysler’s near bankruptcy and their requests for government bailouts as they struggled to compete in a global marketplace,” he said. “When American businesses suffer because of these anti-worker laws, jobs and investment are driven overseas.”

If you want to attract businesses, then you need to have pro-business laws. That’s where jobs come from – businesses.

Here’s an article about states who are trying to pass these laws to attract more employers.

Excerpt:

Currently 14 states beyond Indiana and Wisconsin are considering legislation that would limit union benefits and/or collective bargaining power. They are: Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington (state) and West Virginia. In any number of these states, supporters have planned or held rallies against the measures. But public support might be less than deep. According to a Rasmussen Poll conducted late last week and released Monday, 48 percent of likely U.S. voters sided with Wisconsin Governor Walker whereas only 38 percent sided with his union opponents; the other 14 percent were undecided. And 50 percent of the respondents favored reducing their home state’s government payroll by one percent a year for 10 years either by reducing the work force or reducing their pay. Only 28 percent opposed such action.

This is how we are going to turn the recession around. Cut off the spending on left-wing special interests – NPR, PBS, ACORN, Planned Parenthood, Unions. They all will have to pay their own way, just like the grown-ups do.