October 18, 2018

Earl Blumenauer

During the 1099 Repeal Debate, a Democrat More or Less Called a Bunch of Republicans Liars, Then Took it Back, and Then May Have Called Them Liars Again

The repeal of the 1099 reporting provision of the healthcare reform bill was finally passed by the House today but not before things got a little awkward when Represenative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) “said Republican claims that the law is a government takeover of healthcare had been deemed ‘the 2010 political lie of the year.’ ”

Now, on its surface, this seems like a little bit of tangential grandstanding by the man-child gentleman from Oregon but his colleague Dan Lungren (R-CA) didn’t appreciate the remark and was not about to let this slide:

Blumenauer seemed to gesture toward Lungren, who had just finished speaking, and said the Republican member called the healthcare law a government takeover.

Lungren did not directly say the law is a government takeover, but did criticize the laws in other ways.

After Blumenauer’s “lie of the year” comment, Lungren quickly interrupted to raise a point of order and ask whether Blumenauer should be allowed to say, or imply, that Lungren is a liar.

Blumenauer – not to be outdone – countered this challenge with one of his own:

Asked if he was demanding Blumenauer’s words be “taken down” — a challenge to their propriety — Lungren said no, but did ask the acting Speaker to warn members about referring to colleagues in this way.

The exchange continued: Blumenauer said he was simply citing a Politifact finding that Republican claims of a government healthcare takeover are the political lie of the year. Lungren then immediately asked that Blumenauer’s words be taken down.

Blumenauer, knowing he was beat, then capitulated (he’s a Democrat, after all), “Several minutes later, Blumenauer asked unanimous consent to strike his words,” and then thought better of it, “[he] repeated the Politifact citation again in his explanatory comments.”

“I’m not calling anybody a liar,” Blumenauer said. “What I intended to say … is that as we have repeated talking points about a government takeover of healthcare, this has been judged by an independent undertaking as the political lie of the year.”

It could probably go either way but someone seems to be getting called a liar in there somewhere.

Lawmakers spar over ‘lie of the year’ in debate over healthcare provision [Floor Action/The Hill]