On Same Day He Hosts A Fundraiser For Ayotte, Gregg Circulates A “How-To” Guide On Obstructing Health Care To All GOP Colleagues
Will Ayotte Carry Gregg’s Water, or Show Some Independence?
Yesterday, Senator Judd Gregg did two things, he hosted a DC fundraiser for his handpicked candidate Kelly Ayotte and he circulated a “how-to” guide to all his Republican colleagues that outlines how Republicans can obstruct and hold-up needed health care reforms in the Senate. Gregg’s memo details all the archaic procedural tools that Senate Republicans can use in their single-minded attempt to hold-up and attempt to kill health care reform. Up to this point Kelly Ayotte has given no indication she is at all interested in supporting health care reforms that would help the people of New Hampshire. Will Ayotte embrace the obstructionist tactics put forth by her number one backer Judd Gregg or will she do the right thing and denounce these purely political tactics that do nothing to help lower costs and expand coverage for New Hampshire residents?
“Kelly Ayotte has a choice to make: she can side with establishment leaders in Washington who seek parliamentary maneuvers to block health insurance reform, or she can show some courage and stand up for the people of New Hampshire,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Communications Director Eric Schultz. “The memo confirms that Kelly Ayotte and her Republican establishment supporters are using every trick in the book to derail common sense health care reform. Will Ayotte continue to go along with these obstructionist tactics or will she muster the independence to stand up to her party and do what is right for New Hampshire?”
Yesterday, Senator Judd Gregg held a fundraising lunch for his handpicked candidate Kelly Ayotte in Washington DC. Gregg has made it clear that he supports Ayotte over the other Republican candidates running for his Senate seat in New Hampshire. Ayotte’s support from national Republicans has caused her considerable grief back in New Hampshire, with the New Hampshire Republican Party, the influential New Hampshire Union Leader, and many conservative activists making it clear that they want national Republicans to stay out of the race. This is not the first time Ayotte has raised money in Washington DC. Back in September, Senate Republican leaders, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, held a lavish fundraiser for Ayotte at the NRSC headquarters.
New York Times: Memo Tells How to Derail Senate Health Bill
DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
December 2, 2009
Senate Republicans know they face an uphill battle in trying to derail the Democrats’ health care legislation. So Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, has circulated a memo to remind his colleagues of the various parliamentary weapons available to them throughout the debate.
“Dear Republican Colleague,” Mr. Gregg wrote in a cover letter, “As we embark on Senate debate of Majority Leader Reid’s massive $2.5 trillion health care reform legislation, it is critical that Republican senators have a solid understanding of the minority’s rights in the Senate.”
As the senior Republican on the Budget Committee, Mr. Gregg, who is retiring after next year, is one of his party’s foremost experts on legislative war games. Party leaders, for instance, tapped Mr. Gregg to draw up their battle plan in the event that Democrats tried to fast-track the health care legislation using a hardball tactic called budget reconciliation, which would potentially allow approval of the bill by a simple majority.
So far, Democrats have said they hope to pass the bill under regular procedures, with full debate. And that means Republicans will have a hefty arsenal by which they can try to slow down debate and force the majority leader, Harry Reid, to miss his goal of completing the bill by Christmas.
“I think that we can all agree that the Democrats’ bill is the wrong choice for our nation,” Mr. Gregg wrote. “We, the minority party, must use the tools we have under Senate rules to insist on a full, complete and fully informed debate on the health care legislation – as well as all legislation – coming before the Senate. As laid out in the attached document, we have certain rights before measures are considered on the floor as well as certain rights during the actual consideration of measures. Every Republican senator should be familiar with the scope of these rights, which serve to protect our ability to speak on behalf of the millions of Americans who depend on us to be their voice during this historic debate.”
In case you missed it, the Week in Review section of The Times recently put together its own playbook of parliamentary tactics for both the majority and the minority. The playbook can be found here, along with an accompanying article.