Getting to 50 on the Senate health reform bill will be expensive, but the CBO gave the Republican leadership $220 billion in projected savings, and that ought to be enough. If you can’t buy votes you can’t pass tough legislation. Before pork barrel spending was eliminated leadership bought votes with capital projects. One of the reasons this Congress isn’t functioning is that the squeaky wheels don’t get that kind of grease any more. So they just squeak, and slow everything down.
McConnell is a brilliant legislator, who plays this game as well as any one. He’ll need to work in consultation with Ryan. The Senate can’t buy votes if it costs them support in the House.
To pass Obamacare, the Democrats bribed Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. It was blatant, giving Nebraskans and Louisianans benefits that other states weren’t getting. That sort of thing must be avoided. Otherwise, you do what you’ve got to do.
The Arizona Legislature’s Article V Planning Convention Committee’s first formal meeting was held earlier today, and Representative Kelly Townsend was elected Chair. This is a very positive development.
Kelly is a Navy veteran, having served as an Aviation Structural Mechanic. In her third term in the House, Kelly was awarded by the AZ Republican Alliance the title, “Most Conservative Legislator”. Americans for Prosperity calls her a “Champion of the Taxpayer”. She is one of two Arizona legislators given an A+ rating by the NRA. She’s the widowed mother of two adult children and one high school student.
A year ago, Kelly was at a Republican meeting where Senate President Andy Biggs was campaigning for the Republican nomination for Arizona’s 5th District. Biggs started berating her, personally, and the Chair refused to allow her to respond. Here’s a link to the story. She responded to this insult with an email to the voters of the district, telling them what she thought of Biggs. It made the race tight, but Biggs squeaked out a win. This woman does not take well to being abused.
She’s also one of the most knowledgeable legislators in the country. She’s currently reviewing the journals of the 1861 Convention from three states. She may know more about Article V than I do.
At the last meeting of the Assembly of State Legislators there was an effort made to adopt some truly awful Rules. Kelly, was, effectively, the floor leader of the opposition, which was successful.
This Convention in Phoenix is going to be a success, and Kelly Townsend will deserve a great deal of the credit.