Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Boehner's Big Fight to Create Those Hill Health Subsidies He Now Denounces

    From Joan McCarter on Tue Oct 01, 2013

In the last ransom note House Republicans sent to the Senate shortly before they shut down the government, they included the demand that health insurance subsidies be taken way from congress and from congressional staff. This, House Speaker John Boehner said, was an unfair "so-called exemption" given to lawmakers and staffers for their health insurance. But guess who was behind this "exemption" in the first place?

... behind-the-scenes, Boehner and his aides worked for months with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and others, to save these very same, long-standing subsidies, according to documents and e-mails provided to POLITICO. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was also aware of these discussions, the documents show. [...]

Boehner and Reid, in fact, went so far as to ask to meet with President Barack Obama to lobby him personally for help — using a cover story in order to protect the secrecy of the discussions, according to these documents.

This part is nice: "Boehner’s aides vehemently deny that the speaker’s private efforts contradict his public statements on the issue." Because fighting to keep insurance subsidies for members of congress and staff in private is just like screaming about how members and staff getting an insurance subsidy is unfair in public. Speaker Boehner, you might say, is full of shit. For his part, Sen. Reid is happy to cop to these discussions.
When asked to comment on the Reid-Boehner interaction on the hugely controversial issue, a Reid aide said the Nevada Democrat worked closely with Boehner on it and was grateful for his help in resolving the matter.

“Senator Reid appreciates Speaker Boehner’s cooperation and tireless efforts to work through this difficult issue,” said Adam Jentleson, Reid’s communications director.

That should make things fun for Boehner in the next Republican luncheon as his conference continues its slide into all out civil war.

      Originally posted to Joan McCarter