The “doc fix” is a recurring budget gimmick. Every year, the budget contains an assumption that Medicare will severely cut payments to doctors. Congress passes that budget to make the overall numbers look good, then later they always sneak back and undo the cuts to doctors.
This year, Speaker Boehner teamed up with Democrats to pass the budget-busting “doc fix” over the objections of fiscal conservatives in his own party who wanted to pay for it with offsetting budget cuts elsewhere.
Here’s what Club for Growth said about Boehner’s tactics on this vote:
The act of publicly voting in Congress is fundamental to our nation. It is fundamental to Democracy.
It is only through transparency that there can be accountability. And a true democracy cannot exist without both of these.
Which is why it was so outrageous – and frankly even a little hard for even us to believe – that House GOP leadership was able to pass a Medicare Spending Bill, otherwise known as the “Doc Fix”…WITHOUT A ROLL CALL VOTE!
Last week, Speaker Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy gaveled through a bill that increased spending on Medicare reimbursements without it being offset by spending cuts elsewhere – something conservatives were demanding. And again I repeat, they passed the bill WITHOUT A ROLL CALL VOTE.
Not only was the bill bad economic policy – but it violated the trust that the Republican conference is supposed to have with the Republican leadership. Sneaking a bill past your own colleagues is downright unconscionable.
So how did fiscal conservatives react?
“Bulls**t,” said Congressman Mick Mulvaney (SC-05).
Congressman Tom Massie (KY-04) described how the mind boggling deceit unfolded before his own eyes to the Washington, D.C. paperRoll Call:
I wish I could say that I was surprised that the GOP leadership stafferswere actually celebrating the fact that they misled their fellow Republicans. But sadly, I am not.
This is just another addition to an increasingly growing list of times the House GOP leadership has betrayed not only their colleagues – but their constituents who elected them because of their claimed conservative values.
Another recent example is when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor went around Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling in order to pass a bill to increase taxpayer-backed subsidies for flood insurance.
And who did Cantor negotiate with instead of Hensarling?
Liberal California Democrat Maxine Waters – lifetime Club forGrowth score: 10% (Hensarling has a lifetime 96%).
More government, more spending, and more taxpayer exposure for beach-front properties!
House GOP leaders have also stymied Chairman Hensarling’s bill to reform the government’s role in the housing market and eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - a position the Club for Growth and almost every fiscal conservative supports.
Coming up next in Congress will be debates over extending unemployment benefits and the so-called “tax extenders” — market-distorting provisions in the tax code like credits for NASCAR drivers and horse racing. They are basically tax earmarks.
If Republican leadership negotiates from a position of weakness with people like Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi again, you can expect to see these policies sail through Congress.
And so if Republicans won’t hold themselves accountable on policy then the Club for Growth will! It is clear that our role as the guard dogs of economic freedom has never been more needed in Congress than it is today.
We will watch. We will report back. And with your continued support, we will continue to hold politicians’ feet to the fire through our Congressional Scorecard, Key Vote Alerts, and hard-hitting independent issue ads.
President, Club for Growth