Don't-Tread-on-Meter: Jan. 20, 2011: 27
"This is not symbolic!" said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., in the closing hour of the debate over the repeal of "ObamaCare." "This is why we were sent here!"
Indeed they were, sort of. By passing the Repeal of the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act of 2011, Republicans fulfilled a promise to the Tea Party and a promise to independents who had joined them in their panic over health-insurance reform. The repeal bill had started as a sparkle in Bachmann's eye the night the health care bill passed. An identical sparkle fluttered in the eye of Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. Both introduced repeal bills and both were laughed at for months. This week, they watched their leadership pass a repeal bill, which received unanimous Republican support, and dared the Senate to pick it up and pass it. (The Senate won't.)
What happened next was, arguably, more important. With the repeal bill stuck in limbo, Republicans immediately introduced legislation to chip away at ObamaCare before it's implemented. One piece of legislation would codify Republican language to prevent taxpayer money from funding abortion. The chairmen of the Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, and Ways and Means committees have started hearings on how to defund sections of the bill and pass their own market-based reforms. On Thursday, Jan. 20, the conservative Republican Study Committee introduced trillions of dollars in proposed cuts that included defunding the implementation of Obama's law.
Based on all this, the Don't-Tread-on-Meter rises from 13 to 27.
What Is the Don't-Tread-on-Meter?
It will track the progress (or lack thereof) of the Republican House of Representatives, and the Republican conference in the Senate, in fulfilling the promises they made to Tea Party activists. The meter will hit 100 if and when the GOP does absolutely everything it promised.
You can now add the Don't-Tread-on-Meter to your blog or site. Just click the button in the lower right of the widget to get the code.
Bloggingheads Video: Ben Smith and David Weigel on the GOP Mandate To Cut Entitlements