- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Sen. Ted Cruz warned Americans the Obamacare reform passed through the House might not have such a quick and easy journey through the Senate.

Why? Because senators hold their seats for six years, not two, like legislators.

Cruz didn’t say that — but it’s implied.

Senators just don’t have to worry so much about the will of the people like members of the House of Representatives do. When senators are elected, they can rest easy for a bit, take advantage of all the congressional perks — like a free gym, free airport parking, a generous time-off schedule, $174,000 base salaries and, oh yes, let’s not forget, better Obamacare subsidies than the rest of us. And then, when year five or so of their term rolls around, they can take a leisurely stroll through their states — at taxpayer expense, of course — and promise just enough to get back in office. And if they’re not successful? If they lose the re-election race?

Well, by then, they’re millionaires, thanks in large part to the insider trading nods and winks that regularly take place in the hallowed halls of Congress. It’s on to lobbying.

So when Cruz warns about Obamacare reform stalling in the Senate, what he’s really saying is this: Only a third of us are facing re-election at any given time. So we can afford to slow-walk bills we don’t like.

Of course, he didn’t use those words.

“It’s going to be incumbent on us to work to make [the House version] even better,” he said, Breitbart reported. “Getting it out of the Senate is not going to be easy. Republicans have a very narrow 52-vote majority. Every Democrat is a no, so we start off with 48 nos. And with a 52-vote majority, it means we can lose at most two Republicans. Three Republicans go no and the bill goes down. So that means we’ve got to have a bill that can bring together a majority — at least 50 of those 52.”

Yes, we all can do the math, too.

But it’s not math we need. What we need are Republican senators who are able to strong-arm Democrats and reluctant, waffly GOP members into succumbing to the will of the people and passing an Obamacare repeal that’s in line with campaign promises.

Cruz recognizes that at least, and says: “My view is failure is not an option. We’ve been promising the voters we’d repeal Obamacare for seven years, and I think if we fail to deliver on that, I think the consequences would be catastrophic.”

Right on that, senator. That’s called reading the tea leaves. And if the Senate stonewalls, stutter steps and stalls to the point where the bill from the House dies a slow death — or becomes so watery, its fate just doesn’t matter — then there will be “catastrophic” consequences for senators. On this, Republican voters will have a long memory.

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