Congressional Eyes Focused On The High Court
Depending on how the decision shakes out, funding provided for the health law would be fair game during a time marked by difficult budget choices. Meanwhile, the GOP stays steady on its pledge to repeal the health law, or whatever remains of it.
The Hill: Nail-Biting Wait Is Over: Congress Awaits High Court Health Law Ruling
Anxious lawmakers are on edge awaiting the Supreme Court's life-or-death decision on the future of President Obama's health care law. The excruciating wait is nearly over, for the high court is poised to release the most anticipated ruling since Bush v. Gore. The tension on Capitol Hill is palpable on both sides of the aisle. Lawmakers, with their type-A personalities, are in the unusual and uncomfortable position of being powerless to influence the dramatic events. There is no lobbying to be done, no communications strategy to deploy -- no way to shape the justices' thinking or turn the outcome (Baker and Viebeck, 6/25).
CNN (Video): Congress Ready For High Court’s Health Care Decision -- Then It Gets Tricky
No matter how the Supreme Court rules on the challenge to the health care law, it will only be a matter of minutes after that ruling is announced before attention shifts back across the street to the Capitol and to what happens next there. Congressional press aides will be ready. Democrats and Republicans have spent months honing their messages. House GOP leaders have held "listening sessions" with rank-and-file members, going through various scenarios. Republican leadership aides from the House and Senate have coordinated their messaging plans with Mitt Romney's presidential campaign (Walsh, 6/24).
Politico: Defense Appropriators Eye 'Obamacare' Money
If the Supreme Court strikes down the health care reform law, that loss for President Barack Obama could be a win for the Pentagon. That's because Congress could find itself flush, thanks to billions of dollars that were allocated to fund "Obamacare" that won't be spent if parts of the law are knocked down. And that money would be freed up just as a battle over automatic cuts to the Defense Department budget heats up on the Hill (Gaskell, 6/24).
The Hill: GOP Promises To Rid Nation Of Health Care Law
Republicans are using their weekly radio address to reiterate their promise to repeal President Obama's healthcare law. The address is timed for this week's decision by the Supreme Court, which is set to announce its ruling on the controversial law as early as Monday. The justices could uphold the law, they could throw it out, or they could throw out the mandate that consumers buy health insurance but leave the rest of the law standing (Swanson, 6/23).
Also in the news --
The Hill: GOP Lawmakers Quiz AARP Over Support For Health Law
Four Republican lawmakers are questioning the leading U.S. senior lobby over its support for the 2010 health care overhaul, accusing the group of coordinating its advocacy efforts with the White House. "We believe AARP failed its membership by allowing White House officials to direct your organizations' grass-roots and congressional advocacy efforts," the lawmakers said in a letter to AARP CEO Barry Rand. "Further, we believe that AARP may have misled the American public about seniors' support of the president's legislation." The letter cited a report distributed by House Republicans saying that AARP officials had told the White House, "Our calls against [health care] reform are coming in 14 to 1." It also cited research that the law "could result in a windfall for AARP that exceeds over $1 billion during the next 10 years" (Viebeck, 6/22).
The Wall Street Journal: The Health PAC To Watch? Dentists
In election years, low-profile industry lobbies get a chance to be major political players. This time, it's the dentists' turn. Though overshadowed by health-care behemoths such as the American Medical Association, dentists boasted the largest single health care political-action committee, ADPAC, in 2008, according to the nonpartisan campaign-watchdog site OpenSecrets.org. The American Dental Association PAC gave more than $2 million to federal candidates and parties in that election (Mundy, 6/22).