Obama using secure White House bunker for meetings on ObamaCare for some reason
posted at 6:41 pm on September 6, 2013 by Allahpundit
Why not? Implementing ObamaCare has a lot in common with bombing Syria. Both are highly unpopular; both are fantastically logistically complex; both pit him against an enemy he despises; and in neither case does he think he’s bound by the law.
Plus, when push comes to shove, his “credibility” rests more on the former than on the latter.
That Aug. 21 meeting highlights how the Administration has been using a secure facility originally designed to manage the government response to natural disasters or terrorist attacks, or oversee military operations, for purposes unrelated to national security…
But during George W. Bush’s presidency, the White House used the Roosevelt Room, not the Situation Room, for video-conferences not related to national security issues (as well as more than a few that were). That ground-floor West Wing space had one screen, nestled in an oversized cabinet, though aides could also wheel in other video-conference devices as needed…
A White House aide told Yahoo News on Friday that the Situation Room now serves for a variety of meetings, sometimes because there are few other spaces available that have its breadth of communications capabilities. The ACA meeting pictured, for example, included more than a dozen people calling in from outside Washington to discuss setting up state-based marketplaces for insurance.
Be happy that he’s using the Situation Room for official business now and not for photo ops for his celebrity friends, okay?
While we’re on the subject of domestic priorities amid the Syria clusterfark, here’s a tantalizing comment from GOP Rep. Raul Labrador:
Congress’ window for passing immigration reform this year is narrowing and it is unclear when the House of Representatives will take it up, according to an influential Republican congressman…
“We don’t know exactly when we’re going to be able to have this debate,” Labrador (Idaho) told Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos, during a Spanish-language interview that will air on “Al Punto” this Sunday. “A lot of us thought that the debate was going to be in October, but now, with the problems that we’re having internationally and also here in this country, I don’t see how we’re going to be able to have this debate until November. And I really don’t know if it will be possible to do it in November.”…
“I think that if we don’t do it now, in 2013, it’s not going to be–it’s not going to happen in 2014,” he said. “And that means that we’re going to have to wait until 2015. So now, that time is — it’s becoming a lot shorter.”
There are just 39 calendar days left in the legislative session and most of that will be consumed by fighting over Syria, a continuing budget resolution, the debt ceiling, and whatever “defund ObamaCare” measures end up being tacked on. “Strategists” from both parties told Politico this week they were hoping to get back to immigration reform in 2015(!) but have now begun to think that 2017(!!) is more likely. I think that’s insane: Immigration may be done for this year but Democrats will need it as an identity-politics cudgel against the GOP in 2016, if not sooner. And it may not be done this year. Like Mickey Kaus says, pretty much everything is on the table in debt-ceiling negotiations; if Republicans can get something semi-meaningful from Obama on, say, ObamaCare (delaying the individual mandate for a year?), maybe they’ll toss him a limited DREAM amnesty for young illegals in return. That’s a fait accompli sooner or later anyway. Maybe they’d prefer to be done with it now, to buy a little goodwill with Latinos and get Democrats off their back for awhile, then to take it up again next year.