Republicans in the House this week voted to repeal or delay parts of Obamacare for the 39th time, prompting President Barack Obama to respond. In a statement Thursday the President insisted even hardened foes will come to like the legislation, once it's implemented and they understand the benefits they're enjoying are thanks to the plan.
It's interesting when a President says something like that. You know, when Congress passed the prescription drug provision to add to Medicare when George Bush was president, the hostility to that seemed to me even stronger than the opposition you're hearing about Obamacare. But now if you survey people about it, it's a very, very popular provision. I think that's what President Obama is hoping will happen.
Although in this case, if you're talking specifically about opponents in Congress, I don't know if they'll ever come around to Obamacare. The House has voted to repeal or delay parts of this thing 39 times, and if you add in the 26 times that the Senate has voted on it, that's 60-something times they've voted on the bill in some way in Congress. So will the people speaking out against this bill in Congress ever grow to like it? Probably not.
Republicans aren't only talking about Obamacare these days though. They keep talking about all of these other issues - how to create jobs is another big issue they're talking about. But over and over they keep voting on repealing the Affordable Care Act.
I'm doubtful the President is right when he says his opponents are one day going to love this thing. Eventually they might like it better than they do now, but right now what they seem to like is voting on it.
You can find any number of people these days who say that the President ought to be out front on a lot more issues, ranging from our position overseas and foreign policy, where you see charges of "leading from behind," to Capitol Hill where sometimes you'll find even Democrats who don't understand the White House's ability to stand off from such things. The current administration makes a lot of speeches , but you don't see them working the Congress in the old style, leading people from the other party to go along with you. You just don't see this. This is a totally different kind of administration, but you know, it's kind of different on both sides, because it is so volatile.
There's a real question here: can Republican leaders in the House control Republicans? I'm going to ask our guest Sunday, Speaker of the House John Boehner, about that and a lot more on Sunday.
I'll also look to a smart panel with The Washington Post's David Ignatius, USA Today's Susan Page, TIME's Michael Scherer and The Wall Street Journal's Gerald Seib for help analyzing what the Speaker had to say, to break down the news of the week and to preview what to watch for in the days to come in Washington.