With Congress back in session on January 6th, Democrats have already made it clear that they plan to aggressively attack a number of pressing issues right away. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already stated that he will focus immediately on having unemployment insurance reinstated and extended for the long-term jobless that lost those benefits last week. On top of that, Democrats and the White House have made it clear that they want to raise the federal minimum wage in the new year. These are just two of a number of issues that Dems will focus on in the first month of 2014.
Meanwhile, what are Congressional Republicans looking to focus on when they enter the chamber on Monday? Obamacare, of course! House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has made it clear that he will bring up a measure to vote on that will strengthen security on the federal health exchange website, Healthcare.gov, as well as provide notification to people when there has been a breach. When making the announcement in a memo on Thursday, Cantor had this to say:
“American families have enough to worry about as we enter the new year without having to wonder if they can trust the government to inform them when their personal information — entered into a government mandated website — has been compromised.”
Of course, while we kept hearing about the website’s ‘glitches’ early on during the rollout, there have been no security breaches found. Nobody has had their personal information placed in harm’s way. There have been no ‘hacks’ of the website. Over the last weeks and months, the website has been drastically improved and has been able to handle millions of people visiting it.
And that is the issue here. Cantor and the House GOP know that they are on the losing end of this battle. the ACA is here to stay and it isn’t going anywhere. Their only tactic now is just to make people fear it and hope they can somehow slow the surge of people signing up on the insurance exchanges. Therefore, they will go ahead and hold votes on measures like this as well as hold more and more ‘hearings’ by and Issa and Co. in order to drive a wedge of fear. Cantor pretty much said so himself in his memo to his fellow House Republicans:
“In the coming weeks, we will continue to address other areas were greater transparency is demanded, including the disclosure of reliable and complete enrollment data. These steps will be part of the overall effort to protect the American people from the harmful effects of Obamacare by ultimately repealing and replacing the law with patient focused reforms that expand access, ensure quality care, and help control costs.”
Another thing to notice here is that holding more votes on the ACA wastes time on the House floor, meaning that other, more pressing matters get pushed aside while the Republicans continue to hold meaningless votes on non-existing issues surrounding the health care law. Just like the previous 3 years that the GOP has controlled the House, it is painfully obvious that 2014 is not going to be any different for them. They will continue their crusade to damage or destroy the ACA for no other reason than it is President Obama’s achievement. Country be damned.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).