Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 13, 2015

On Obamacare, Harry Reid Says the Joke Is on Boehner

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats unveiled an agenda Wednesday focused on the middle class and designed to help them keep the majority, but spent part of their press conference parrying questions about whether the Affordable Care Act would be a liability for Democrats in the November election.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., ripped Republicans for attacking the White House’s latest deadline extension aimed at giving people more time to sign up for health insurance beyond March 31.

“They should be trying to help people get health care,” Reid said, adding that the criticism is “a bunch of drivel.”

He said it was the right thing to do given the demand, and noted some people aren’t Internet-literate.

“There is no hiccup or delay, we’ve had hundreds of thousands of people who tried to sign up and they didn’t get through,” Reid said.

“There are some people who are not like my grandchildren who can handle everything so easily on the Internet, and these people need a little extra time,” he said, praising the administration’s move. “There are people that are not educated in how to use the Internet, so this is not anything other than the right thing to do for heaven sakes.”

Reid reacted sharply when he was told that Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, today called the move “a joke” (video) given that the administration has waived or delayed various parts of the measure.

“Have you ever heard one Republican say one constructive word about as many as 15 million people having insurance they would not have before [passage of the law]?” Reid said. “And the joke, I say to my dear friend John Boehner, is him, having more than 60 votes to terminate Obamacare.”

Reid attributed the criticism to what he contends is the Republican playbook of opposing anything from the Obama administration.

“This is their game,” Reid said.

Despite issues with the health insurance law, Reid and other Democratic leaders said they are somewhat confident that they will keep the majority in the Senate, in part, because of their middle class-centric agenda, which they titled “A Fair Shot for Everyone.”

“We feel very comfortable where we are,” Reid said when asked about their chances. “In spite of the Koch brothers with their outrageous spending — two men who by the way last week were fined $400,000 for one of their chemical plants spewing out poison,” Reid said. “We’re doing fine. We have superb candidates, all over the country.”

He said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Michael Bennet of Colorado briefed the Senate Democrats on the midterms.

“Believe me, my senators walked out of their with smiles on their faces,” Reid said.

Democrats currently control 55 seats in the Senate and Republicans would need to win just six seats to win the majority.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed with Reid and argued that the Republicans sought to use Obamacare against Democrats in 2012 and failed.

“In the 2012 election…what did Republicans make the number one issue, Obamacare,” Schumer said. “What did Democrats make the number one issue, an agenda like this. What happened? We picked up seats in the Senate and we carried the presidency by a large amount. This agenda is what the American people want to hear.”

Schumer said most Americans get their health insurance through their jobs and only a small section are affected by Obamacare.

“The American people, most are not directly affected by Obamacare, they want to hear what we are going to do for them,” Schumer said. “Just go back and look at the 2012 election.”

Senate Democrats plan to take up the first issue of their agenda next week, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. That will be followed by a measure the week after on pay equity.

The Senate will take up bills yet to be written on other issues, including manufacturing, college affordability, tax fairness and infrastructure. They are the kinds of bills that Democrats have pushed before without much success since Republicans took over the House.

Schumer also said that Democrats would seek to pass bipartisan bills as well, including a measure reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, patent reform legislation, an energy efficiency measure from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, as well as a sentencing reform bill.

“Those bills are important, but the issue we have here go to the heart of the middle class,” Schumer said.

Republicans were quick to dismiss the reviving of the more politically motivated items.

“To put it in a word, they’ve given up,” said John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, in a statement.

“They’ve given up legislating and are going to spend the next several months holding a series of show votes, which are in essence those designed to highlight poll-tested messages … I would think the American people would expect and certainly they would deserve better than that from the United States Senate.”

Comments (42)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. ShadrachSmith

    March 26, 2014
    4:50 p.m.

    And you print Harry’s lies as straight up news, no incredulous asides about the breadth and depth of Reid’s deceptions.

    You must like your job :-)

  2. james Barro

    March 26, 2014
    6:53 p.m.

    Sen Reid has alzheimer’s disease.

  3. Bozeman

    March 27, 2014
    8:30 a.m.

    Compassion? Here we find out a little more about Obamacare’s vicious attacks upon the disabled:


    March 27, 2014
    12:52 p.m.

    If the extension bill finally becomes a reality, and is passed, I’ll be happy for those families that were still able to hang on since late last December without benefits, and the means to survive economically. Sadly. for far too many of us, we were no longer able to wait while the politicians stalled and debated, and basically played ‘party politics”. Many of us have suffered severely financially, and have become homeless and penniless. I’ve asked myself many times, how can our government spend tax payer’s money freely, for Foreign Aid, and Corporate Welfare, but can’t seem to get it together, in order to help American families who became unemployed due to lay offs and corporate downsizing? This long drawn out debate to pass an extension bill for unemployed workers, is truly a shame. Our government had passed many bills for many less qualified reasons, such as the Banking and Airline industry bailouts, amongst others. These industries were rewarded for bad behavior and corporate greed. I don’t recall them having to wait months and months to be given assistance. Isn’t the rest of Americans entitled to at least a minimum amount of help? I’m not sure what I resent the most, their lack of help, or them labeling us “lazy” and “unwilling” to work. What ever became of “public servants” in our country? We seem to now only have self-centered, self-absorbed, self-promoting, career politicians, that only represent themselves and their party’s agenda

  5. No5thDown

    March 27, 2014
    5:54 p.m.

    I believe Sen. Reid is understating the effects of Obamacare on the other 302 million Americans that are getting their policies through the workplace. Peoples hours are being cut to get under the 30 hour threshold. Previous insurance policies offered by employers are no longer available because they do not conform to Obamacare guidelines and are being replaced with policies that have high deductible/co-pay/premiums. I have seen and experienced this too often to believe that it is a minority, let alone a small minority.

  6. Anonymous

    June 27, 2015
    3:10 a.m.

    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem together with your site in web explorer, would check thisK IE still is the marketplace leader and a good element of other people will omit your great writing due to this problem.

  7. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    10:23 a.m.

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  8. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    10:56 p.m.

    I have been browsing online more than 3 hours lately, but I never found any interesting article like yours. It¦s lovely worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the web will be much more helpful than ever before.

  9. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    9:34 a.m.

    What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It positively useful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & help different customers like its helped me. Great job.

  10. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    3:14 a.m.

    I haven’t checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  11. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    11:35 p.m.

    Sweet website , super design, rattling clean and employ pleasant.

  12. voyeur

    July 22, 2015
    12:20 a.m.

    Appreciate you sharing, great blog.Much thanks again. Awesome.

  13. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    4:23 a.m.

    Hi there! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the great data you’ve gotten right here on this post. I shall be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  14. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    4:18 p.m.

    Good info. Lucky me I reach on your website by accident, I bookmarked it.

  15. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    4:17 p.m.

    wonderful points altogether, you simply gained a new reader. What would you recommend about your post that you made a few days ago? Any positive?

  16. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    3:24 p.m.

    I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this info for my mission.

  17. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    4:17 p.m.

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog? My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would definitely benefit from some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Regards!

  18. Anonymous

    Aug. 4, 2015
    7:48 a.m.

    h27t9P Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful article. Thank you for providing this information.

  19. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    1:55 a.m.

    you’re actually a just right webmaster. The site loading velocity is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a fantastic activity on this matter!

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    5:28 p.m.

    This website is my breathing in, rattling great design and style and perfect subject matter.

  21. eebest8

    Aug. 15, 2015
    8:19 a.m.

    We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  22. fiverr eebest8

    Aug. 15, 2015
    1:21 p.m.

    I loved your post.Really thank you! Great.

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    11:58 a.m.

    I am always looking online for articles that can assist me. Thanks!

  24. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    1:23 p.m.

    You must take part in a contest for among the best blogs on the web. I’ll advocate this site!

  25. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    12:39 p.m.

    Well I really enjoyed studying it. This tip procured by you is very helpful for correct planning.

  26. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    8 p.m.

    I got what you intend, regards for posting.Woh I am happy to find this website through google.

  27. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    9:58 p.m.

    I think this internet site has got some very wonderful information for everyone. “The expert at anything was once a beginner.” by Hayes.

  28. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    12:54 a.m.

    I see something really special in this internet site.

  29. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    2:19 p.m.

    CE1Q1f It as very straightforward to find out any matter on net as compared to books, as I found this post at this site.

  30. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    5:07 a.m.

    Excellent items from you, man. I have have in mind your stuff prior to and you’re just too wonderful. I really like what you have got here, really like what you’re stating and the best way by which you assert it. You’re making it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it wise. I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is really a terrific website.

  31. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    6:10 a.m.

    As soon as I discovered this site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  32. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    7:21 a.m.

    Respect to post author, some excellent entropy.

  33. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    12:29 p.m.

    Thank you for another fantastic post. Where else could anyone get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such information.

  34. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    8:50 p.m.

    Great site! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am taking your feeds also

  35. amica ins

    Sept. 22, 2015
    3:21 a.m.

    Compare quotes to save more on auto and home insurance here.

  36. amax irving tx

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:19 p.m.

    Get quotes by zip code from top insurance companies.

  37. Anonymous

    Sept. 22, 2015
    9:41 p.m.

    After study a number of of the blog posts in your website now, and I actually like your manner of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site checklist and might be checking back soon. Pls check out my website online as nicely and let me know what you think.

  38. federated insurance co

    Sept. 23, 2015
    11:28 a.m.

    Get quotes by zip code from top insurance companies.

  39. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    10:04 a.m.

    Sweet site, super design, real clean and use genial.

  40. Anonymous

    Sept. 28, 2015
    3:20 a.m.

    BuLz5I I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You are amazing! Thanks!

  41. commerce west insurance company

    Sept. 29, 2015
    5:30 p.m.

    Compare quotes to save more on auto and home insurance here.

  42. Anonymous

    Oct. 2, 2015
    9:07 p.m.

    Ese Menorca plasma Aquel enebro fenicóptero. Aquel Menorca Donde estoza en Aquel rejonazo abundancial

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...