The Obama White House said last week that the US House of Representatives' vote to repeal heath care reform was not a "serious legislative effort." It appears at least one House Democrat took that mantra to heart.
"There've been, basically, three variations of the argument by Republicans," Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) said yesterday, giving his "half time report" amid the House vote. "First, they start by making stuff up. You kinda have to wonder if any of them actually read the bill.
"A hundred and thirty thousand new agencies: not true. New IRS agents: not true. Death panels: not true. Members aren't covered: not true. No tort reform in it: not true."
And indeed, even the title of the House Republicans' legislation, the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act," was similarly seen as a manipulation of reality. The Associated Press noted yesterday that suggesting health reform would kill jobs was "a story of how statistics get used and abused in Washington."
Jobs lost from the reforms, the Congressional Budget Office predicted, would be largely due to people no longer needing extra work to afford health insurance. Republican leaders instead appropriated those figures to claim the impending loss of 650,000 jobs.
Clearly exasperated, Weiner then dove into an unusual aside: "You know, I wanna just advise people watching at home playing that now-popular drinking game of you take a shot every time Republicans say something that's not true, please assign a designated driver: this is gonna be a long afternoon."
The US House of Representatives voted 245 to 189 Wednesday to repeal the health reform law enacted by Congress last year, a largely symbolic move unlikely to be repeated in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Even if it did somehow manage to clear the Senate, President Obama promised to issue a veto.
This video is from C-Span, broadcast Jan. 19, 2010.