By FITSNews || The S.C. Republican Party is bashing Democratic Rep. John Spratt for being the lead sponsor of a House bill that would “reconcile” two versions of President Barack Obama’s socialized medicine proposal – a critical step in Obama’s last-ditch effort to pass his plan through Congress this month.
The House passed “Obamacare” last November by a narrow 220-215 vote, with Spratt voting in favor of the legislation. On Christmas Eve, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the legislation.
Now, Spratt is the lead sponsor of a bill that seeks to bring the two pieces of legislation together using a process known as “reconciliation.” Typically reserved for budget debates, “reconciliation” is a procedural method of shutting down filibusters. The House already has rules of debate in place that prevent filibusters, but in the Senate – the so-called “deliberative body” – it takes a “super-majority” of sixty votes to block one.
This, of course, is what spawned the so-called “Cornhusker kickback” to Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson last December. Absent that bribe, Democrats wouldn’t have had the votes to proceed on the bill.
Obviously, the “filibuster math” in the U.S. Senate changed dramatically when Scott Brown pulled off his epic upset in Massachusetts in January. Republicans now have 41 votes, meaning they can successfully block legislation – unless Democrats can pull off this procedural “coup,” which started Monday in Spratt’s Budget Committee with the filing of a “reconciliation resolution.”
Smelling blood in the water, Republicans pounced.
“John Spratt knows that people in South Carolina don’t want a government-driven approach to healthcare, so he’s doing the same thing as a lot of Democrats – hoping voters have short memories,” SCGOP Executive Director Joel Sawyer said. “By working to move this bill forward, John Spratt is doing the opposite of what his constituents want – but then again, maybe he’s been in Washington so long that he thinks Nancy Pelosi and President Obama are the people he answers to, rather than the folks in his Congressional District.”
Indeed, last week Spratt said that Obama had “done a magnificent job” on the health care issue.
Spratt is facing a tough challenge this year from Republican State Senator Mick Mulvaney, a fiscal conservative who has managed to parlay voter angst with Spratt’s positions on socialized medicine and other issues into a very competitive campaign against the fourteen-term incumbent.