Outrage: Even if Scott Brown is elected as Massachusetts' next US Senator on January 19, the Senate may hold-up his swearing-in anyway in order to pass the healthcare "reform" bill.
From the Boston Herald:
"It looks like the fix is in on national health-care reform - and it all may unfold on Beacon Hill.
At a business forum in Boston today, interim Sen. Paul Kirk predicted that Congress would pass a health-care reform bill this month.
“We want to get this resolved before President Obama’s State of the Union address in early to mid-February,” Kirk told reporters at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast.
The longtime aide and confidant of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who was handpicked by Gov. Deval Patrick after a controversial legal change to hold Kennedy’s seat, vowed to vote for the bill even if Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, who opposes the health-care reform legislation, prevails in a Jan. 19 special election.
“Absolutely,” Kirk said, when asked if he’d vote for the bill, even if Brown captures the seat. “It would be my responsibility as United States senator, representing the people and understanding Senator Kennedy’s agenda. . . . I think you’re asking me a hypothetical question but I’d be pleased to vote for the bill.”
Few have considered the Jan. 19 election as key to the fate of national health-care reform because both Kirk and front-runner state Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democratic nominee, have vowed to uphold Kennedy’s legacy and support health-care reform.
But if Brown wins, the entire national health-care reform debate may hinge on when he takes over as senator. Brown has vowed to be the crucial 41st vote in the Senate that would block the bill.
The U.S. Senate ultimately will schedule the swearing-in of Kirk’s successor, but not until the state certifies the election.
Today, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.
“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”
Kirk sees his duty as voting for Kennedy's agenda - even if the voters of Massachusetts have just chosen to reject it? How arrogant can these Democrats get? And you know that Martha Coakley's swearing-in won't be delayed. What an outrage!
UPDATE: Professor Jacobson says let's call their bluff:
"This scheme does not depend on the usual delay, for example, where there is a slight margin of victory in the hundreds of votes out of millions cast, where a recount and ballot challenges take time. The Democratic scheme will delay Brown's certification even if Brown is the clear winner.
Voters need to call the Democrats' bluff. The deliberate delay of Brown's certification in order to push through the health care bill will cause a political explosion unlike anything we have seen before."