The Corner

Boehner and the Subsidies

Speaker John Boehner has been pushing hard over the past few days to end a health-care exemption for congressional employees:

With the federal government nearing shutdown, House Speaker John Boehner stood on the House floor Monday and called on his colleagues to vote for a bill banning a “so-called exemption” that lawmakers and staffers receive for their health insurance.

“Why don’t we make sure that every American is treated just like we are?” Boehner asked, seeking to prohibit members of Congress and Capitol Hill aides from getting thousands of dollars in subsidies for their health insurance as they join Obamacare-mandated insurance exchanges.

According to Politico’s John Bresnahan, however, Boehner’s private position on the exemption may be different than his public remarks:

Yet behind-the-scenes, Boehner and his aides worked for months with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and others, to save these very same, long-standing subsidies, according to documents and e-mails provided to POLITICO. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was also aware of these discussions, the documents show.

During a five-month period stretching from February to July, Boehner and his aides sought along with Reid’s office to solve what had become a big headache for both of them. They drafted and reviewed a possible legislative fix, as well as continued to push for an administrative one from the Office of Personnel Management.

NRO reached out to the House leadership for a response. Here’s a statement from a senior House Republican aide, who defended Boehner’s position.

Senate Democratic staff have selectively released emails between senior staffers to feed a misleading story to the mainstream media.  The Speaker’s position has always been clear:  he wants to repeal ObamaCare.  Washington Democrats created this awful law, and any ‘fix’ that Sen. Reid and the White House cooked up would be their ‘fix.’  Our ‘fix’ – as the Speaker made clear to Sen. Reid and the White House – is repealing the entire law.  All this proves is that Senate Democrats, unable to defend the indefensible, are willing to break the most basic rules of trust and decency.  And it exposes to the world how far they will go to preserve their own subsidy under ObamaCare and how much they fear tough votes on ObamaCare for vulnerable senators.

 

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More