Last Wednesday, while Americans remained distracted by Syria, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) began an effort to bring Washington, D.C.’s aptly described ruling class down to the same level as the people they represent. In return for allowing his fellow senators to continue proposing amendments to an energy efficiency bill on which they have begun deliberations, Vitter is demanding a floor vote on his amendment to end an exemption to ObamaCare for Congress and their staff members. The exemption allows them to continue receiving employer subsidies to pay for their health insurance. ”My amendment is not related to this [energy] bill but I have to bring it up now because it’s very time sensitive since [ObamaCare] will go into effect on Oct. 1,” he said on the Senate floor. “I think this is a special exemption for Washington.”
“Washington” is fighting back. Sources have told Politico that a bipartisan effort is being made by Republican and Democrat staffers and aides to ensure Vitter’s amendment never gets a vote, or that it is defeated if it does. Furthermore, Senate Democrats, angry that Vitter is trying to attach his amendment to an unrelated bill (as if that hasn’t happened innumerable times before), are considering three incredibly childish amendments aimed at getting even with Vitter, along with anyone who supports him.
The first amendment seeks to deny federal healthcare contributions to any lawmaker where there is “probable cause to determine” that the individual has “engaged in the solicitation of prostitution.” This is aimed at reigniting the 2007 “D.C. Madam” scandal during which Vitter’s name appeared on the phone records of a DC-based prostitution ring. At the time Vitter apologized for “a very serious sin in my past,” but declined to elaborate. The second amendment is broader, denying contributions to anyone who has engaged in “improper conduct reflecting discreditably on the congressional office involved.” The third amendment is nothing less than a veiled threat, promising to end exemptions for anyone who supports Vitter’s amendment even if it fails to become law.
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