Sunday, December 20, 2009
Health care bill snowed in by political shenanigans in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON - With a snowstorm descending on Washington Friday, Capitol Hill was already gridlocked by a blizzard of stunts, insults and obstruction as Democrats struggled to pass a health reform bill.
Republicans started the day early in the morning attempting to filibuster a war-funding plan as a way to delay moving to health care, prompting cries of outrage.
"They are threatening to turn their backs on America's troops at wartime," said Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). "Rarely have I seen such brazen irresponsibility."
Republicans accused Democrats of being rude, and criticized freshman Minnesota Sen. Al Franken for cutting off Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on the Senate floor when the renegade ex-Dem spoke past his allotted time. "That's how the comity in this body has deteriorated," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). "We've got to stop this."
He and other Republicans accused the majority of trying to rush a process that began last spring. "Apparently it's all going to be sprung on us [Saturday] morning in the middle of a snowstorm," McCain added.
Democrats are desperate to pass the health overhaul by Christmas Eve, but they were still trying to win over their own conservative Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), and they were trying to keep rebelling liberals in line.