September 16 2013
How badly do members of Congress, who foisted ObamaCare upon the rest of us, want to escape it themselves?
Here is how badly: Congress is willing to dredge up a 2007 prostitution scandal involving one of its members to stave off the horrible prospect of being treated like the rest of us under ObamaCare.
Senator David Vitter, Republican from Louisiana, sponsored a bill to prevent Congress and staffs from being exempt from ObamaCare. It was an exemption negotiated by President Obama, who clearly knows that people who aren’t personally burdened by the costs of ObamaCare are less likely to vote to repeal it.
So the Vitter Amendment is up for a vote, either to be rejected or accepted? Not quite. Here, as described by John Fund, is how Democratic senators responded:
Angry Senate Democrats have drafted legislation that dredges up a 2007 prostitution scandal involving Vitter. The confrontation is a perfect illustration of just how wide the gulf in attitudes is between the Beltway and the rest of the country — and how viciously Capitol Hill denizens will fight for their privileges. …
The Congressional Leadership Empire decided to strike back at Vitter. Politico reported that several Democratic senators have asked staff to draft legislation that would deny federal health subsidies to anyone who votes for the Vitter plan, even if Vitter’s plan doesn’t become law. An even more spiteful draft bill would bar subsidies to any lawmaker or aide found by a congressional ethics committee to have “engaged in the solicitation of prostitution.”
In 2007, Vitter’s phone number was found in the records of the “D.C. Madam,” the owner of a high-end prostitution ring. Back then, Vitter held a news conference with his wife standing next to him and apologized for a “serious sin” that he refused to discuss further. He was reelected with 57 percent of the vote in 2010.
Not to condone Vitter’s past sins, but how low can the Democrats in the U.S. Senate go just to avoid being treated like ordinary citizens?
Vitter has gone to the Senate Ethics Committee with the highly plausible suggestion that Senators Barbara Boxer’s and Harry Reid’s threat to take away health insurance if members don’t vote a certain way amounts to bribery.
The real issue is that the Senate doesn’t want this to come up for a vote. They’d prefer to keep their special status under the radar. A vote might alert the public, which, according to a poll by our sister organization, Independent Women’s Voices, doesn’t want Congress to get special treatment. The poll, cited by Fund, found 92 percent of voters don’t want Congress to be exempt from burdens ordinary people must face.