Monday, August 09, 2010

Democrats Against ObamaCare

From the Wall Street Journal:

This wasn't a good week for ObamaCare, with Missouri voting to repeal the law and a Virginia judge refusing to dismiss a serious Constitutional legal challenge. Unlikely as it sounds, however, the repeal movement even came to include House Democrats.

To wit, the House voted last week to repeal one ObamaCare mandate. It might have been the first part of the bill to go over the side, except Democrats rigged the vote so that it failed, even though it got a majority.

The target was an ObamaCare footnote that could wreak havoc with more than 30 million small businesses. In the name of smoking out the illusory "tax gap" of unreported business income, Democrats snuck in a requirement that companies track and submit to the IRS all business-to-business transactions exceeding $600 annually. This 1099 reporting detail received no scrutiny until the IRS's National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson exposed the paperwork burden, which would produce no improvement in tax compliance.

Just before the House left town for August, Dave Camp, the ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, offered an amendment that would have rescinded these mandates; as a "motion to recommit," it was guaranteed an up-or-down vote.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and wingman Sander Levin were terrified that rank-and-file Democrats would defect, so they pulled their entire bill and reintroduced it a few hours later, with the basic Camp language included. In other words, not only was the House leadership unwilling to defend the 1099 provision but it took the lead in rolling it back, if only to prevent an embarrassing floor spectacle.

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