Sen. Coburn to House no-to-yes flippers: Go ahead. Make my day.

Posted by: ST on March 18, 2010 at 6:47 pm


Fox News provides the relevant part of the transcript from the Senate Doctors presser:

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., warned Thursday that he and the staff of several other GOP senators will be monitoring with a microscope any potential payoffs to Democrats that materialize down the road in exchange for their vote on the health bill.

“If you think you can cut a deal now and it not come out until after the election, I want to tell you that isn’t going to happen,” Coburn said at a news conference. “And be prepared to defend selling your vote in the House.”

Republicans are playing hardball after several “sweetheart” deals emerged in the Senate-passed health care bill, including the so-called “Cornhusker kickback” — which would spare Nebraska certain Medicaid costs.

That provision was stripped in a package of changes introduced Thursday, but Coburn suggested Democrats might try to avoid the appearance of a quid pro quo — giving something in return for votes — by arranging for juicy payoffs down the road, like a federal appointment or local project.

As Democratic leaders try to win over just a few more hold-outs to reach the 216 votes needed to pass the Senate-approved bill in the House, the feisty Oklahoma Republican said he’ll have his eye out for exactly that kind of deal.

“If you voted no and you vote yes, and you lose your election, and you think (your nomination) to a federal position isn’t going to be held in the Senate, I’ve got news for you — it’s going to be held,” Coburn said.

“No. 2 is, if you get a deal, a parochial deal for you or your district, I’ve already instructed my staff and the staff of seven other senators. We will look at every appropriations bill at every level, at every instance, and we will outline by district, and we will associate that with the buying of your vote.”

FDL’s got the latest news on the Whip count. It’s tight. Very tight. As I wrote on Twitter, I’m sick thinking about all the backroom wheeling and dealing going on behind close doors, using our tax $$ to buy votes for this monstrosity of a “reform” bill in advance of the anticipated Sunday House vote. Have a House member who is wavering on whether or not to vote for this bill? Call them. Email them.

Don’t give up.

More: Check this out:

From The NRCC’s Code Red:

From “Most interesting rumor from the Hill yesterday: Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) who announced his retirement from Congress has been promised the job of NASA administrator in exchange for his vote, and Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), another retiring Democrat, has been promised an appointment as U.S. Ambassador to NATO in exchange for his vote. It will be interesting to note any job announcements from this Tennessee duo post-House retirement. Both voted against passage of the House bill back in November.”


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9 Responses to “Sen. Coburn to House no-to-yes flippers: Go ahead. Make my day.”


  1. MarkJ says:

    Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) who announced his retirement from Congress has been promised the job of NASA administrator in exchange for his vote, and Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), another retiring Democrat, has been promised an appointment as U.S. Ambassador to NATO in exchange for his vote.

    If the above is true, and if Coburn carries out his threat (which he certainly will), both Gordon and Tanner will have screwed themselves by selling their votes for sweet nothings from Obama. Coburn will put their nominations on a shelf and they’ll never be confirmed.

    How desperate are the Donks to pass ObamaCare? They’re not only willing to lose both the House and Senate in the fall, but also piss off the Republicans so much that they’ll bring business in both Houses to a screeching, grinding halt for the rest of this year.

    I’d say the Democrats are idiots, but then I’d be repeating myself.

  2. Carlos says:

    Unfortunately, Congress is immune to the laws the rest of us have to follow, so the offer of a bribe (by the administration) will get them a vote and no time in prison, and the acceptance of a bribe (by a congressperson) will get them a coveted appointment in some other stinking pigsty and no prison time.

    Words have meaning, and so do votes. My only hope is that, because libs tend to be whiny little hypochondriacs they will be most affected by the tightening of services that’s coming down the pike.

    Unfortunately, the golden parachute of health care that retiring congresscritters are under will be taxed the same as those of the unions: nothing. But the rest of us suckers who follow the rules will make up for that.

  3. Great White Rat says:

    Senator Coburn may be the best Senator in decades. I wish we had a hundred like him in the Senate.

    Of course, knowing Obama, once the Dem congresscritters who throw themselves on their swords for him either retire or lose this November, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tosses them under the bus. Once they’re out of Congress, they can’t possibly be of any use to him…and with Obama, it is always about him.

  4. Great White Rat says:

    By the way, I found this excellent article, from 2007, about Senator Coburn. Give it a look and you’ll see why the man is a national treasure.

    Pork Buster In Chief

  5. Dave B says:

    If this Congress is willing to do the things it has done, the President is willing to do what he has done while the people are paying attention and are pissed off what’s to stop them from continuing their assault on our liberties and Republic? Are there any real men left on the Democratic side of the aisle? They’re being bent over and made to squeal in front of their families, constituents, the entire country, and most of the globe. My God!

  6. Barbara says:

    Go Coburn on this and would further state that anyone who thinks they can vote for this bill on their way out the door:
    We are going to boycott any company/non prof that hires you.
    We will dog your every move.
    You have no cozy sanctuary to go fetal in.
    Such has always been the fate of an enemy.

  7. PE says:

    Spring time for Obama, Pelosi and Reid.
    Nightime for the United States of America.

  8. Kate says:

    I feel the same way Dave…PBS in Philly played the Gettysburg segment of the Burn’s Civil War series and that ended with the reciting of the Gettysburg address. All I could think about is what would Lincoln have to say about the present day situation in Washington? All those men who died in battle on our soil for the same principles! Will it come down to another face off between the states and federal governments with this health care mandate?

    and to quote Churchill, “We should never forget, never forget…” what is being done in Washington now is an affront to fact, it’s a greedy massive power cabal.

  9. Carlos says:

    The one piece of bright news here is that I heard my representative, Pete Defazio, has switched from “yes” to “NO”! He is a traditional Democrat, and, considering he is a Democrat, a good representative that works for his constituents personally when they bring problems to him.

    He has no ax to grind, and I don’t believe he would take a bribe, so unless he’s doing a head fake to throw the Republican counters off, he should stand by what he has said. If he does, I will probably vote for him in the fall, unless a magnificent conservative happens to show up to challenge him (not likely).