If Democrats were hoping that House Republicans would be pressed into quick action on the Senate immigration bill after the July 4th recess, the Treasury Department’s announcement Tuesday that it would be delaying implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate shattered those dreams.
Delay the whole thing
“The law will not be any better a year from now,” National Review‘s Yuval Levin wrote Wednesday, “but since Democrats remain staunchly opposed to any talk of repeal, yet now have to be open to talk of delay, Republicans should move to delay implementation of the entire law by a year.” Levin has been calling for Republicans to delay Obamacare for months now, so Tuesday’s announcement was just the opportunity he’s wanted for months.
What immigration reform?
The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol takes Levin’s advice a step further, calling on House Republicans to make the Obamacare mandate delay the centerpiece of House business for the rest of the summer. “House Republicans need to focus on turning the administration’s retreat on Obamacare into a rout,” Kristol wrote Wednesday. “In light of the administration’s announced delay of the employer mandate, they could move immediately to delay the individual mandate as well, and/or the legislation as a whole.”
“This would put huge pressure on Democrats to explain why big business gets a break but not workers and individuals. It would also highlight how bad Obamacare is—you don’t delay something that’s a boon to the country,” Kristol continued. “Meanwhile, the focus on Obamacare makes it even easier for the House GOP to stay away from immigration… there’s no real-world urgency for the House to pass anything on immigration… So do nothing on immigration. But there is real-world urgency to address the disaster of Obamacare—even the administration has acknowledged that!”
Investigation already underway
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is already taking up Kristol’s advice, sending letters to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Wednesday, requesting documents and information related to the mandate delay decision.
“Despite delays and missed deadlines, administration officials had repeatedly testified before Congress that they were still on schedule to implement the law. Yesterday, they admitted that wasn’t the case, and it’s clear we have no idea the full scope of delays and disarray that may be coming. The American public deserves answers,” committee chair Fred Upton, R-Mich., said in a statement.
Unless citizenship-for-illegal-immigrants proponents can create some kind of urgency for their priorities, expect to see Obamacare delay legislation on the House floor far before any immigration bills.
From The Washington Examiner
Joseph Lawler: Added significance to monthly jobs numbers due Friday
Byron York: Even with more Border Patrol, Gang of Eight bill would still not stop millions of illegal immigrants
Charlie Spiering: According to Gallup, Republicans more proud to be American than Democrats
Brian Hughes: Obama ‘deeply concerned’ by military coup in Egypt
Ashe Schow: Bipartisan coalition requests secret surveillance court opinions be made public
Susan Crabtree: Conservatives celebrate Obamacare delay, predict unraveling of entire law
Phil Klein: House launches probe into employer mandate delay
Joel Gehrke: Ted Cruz slams Obama for backing Egyptian leader
In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Egypt Launches Post-Coup Crackdown: Egypt’s military reclaimed its role as the country’s dominant political force as it installed a new president and pressed for the arrests of Islamist leaders it had forced from power.
The New York Times, Resume Shows Snowden Honed Hacking Skills: Edward J. Snowden’s résumé suggests that he transformed himself into the kind of cybersecurity expert the N.S.A. is desperate to recruit.
McClatchy Newspapers, Surprise delay in Obamacare will be costly: The Congressional Budget Office estimates the federal government will lose $10 billion in employer penalties in 2015 because of the delayed enforcement. Likewise, many expect that federal outlays to help low- and moderate-income people purchase coverage will grow with employers no longer required to provide coverage next year.
Reuters, Supreme Court’s Ginsburg vows to resist pressure to retire: At age 80, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, leader of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing, says she is in excellent health, even lifting weights despite having cracked a pair of ribs again, and plans to stay several more years on the bench.
Jonathan Chait says Obamacare implementation is going just fine.
Tom Edsall on whether Republicans should focus on just white voters.
Think Progress says Americans should be proud of their country since, “Transgender people can change their Social Security record’s gender identity.”
Charles Murray says The Obamacare employer mandate delay is another symptom of our crumbling rule of law.
James Carafano gives a Q&A on Egypt.
James Sherk says the BART strike shows that government and unions shouldn’t mix.