Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has been pushing a “revelation” that she discovered $105 billion in mandatory spending included in the health reform law. However, the spending she is referring to was openly discussed in congressional hearings and by the congressional budget office on multiple occasions. On Dana Loesch’s Tuesday broadcast of her radio show, Bachmann gave an interview discussing the issue. Responding to Bachmann’s manufactured controversy, Loesch compared negotiating with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other health reform advocates to negotiating with “terrorists.” Bachmann didn’t skip a beat, and continued on with the conversation:
BACHMANN: Kathleen Sebelius has a sixteen billion-dollar slush fund to do with as she will. [...] It’s another reason we have to repeal Obamacare, and another reason we have to defund it. But they decided they were smarter than all of us, and they surreptitiously or deceitfully hid that $105 billion dollars and I say give the money back.
DANA LOESCH: Absolutely. Well I hope that you are successful in negotiating. I feel like we’re negotiating, and I’m just going to say this, I feel like we’re negotiating, sort of, with, it seems like terrorists to do this to our economy, especially right now. Quite honestly it does. That you would be able to–
BACHMANN: And also we’re having a meeting today about an hour and a half from now at 5:30 eastern time with members of Congress because a lot of members didn’t even realize this or didn’t even know about this. And so we’re talking to members and we’re also talking about this concept of demanding that they give the money back before we go any further in these budget negotiations. We’ve acted in good faith, and Obama hasn’t. [...] You’re awesome Dana, thank you.
While Bachmann claimed she was educating her fellow Republicans on her pet controversy, top Republican lawmakers have already dismissed it as a non-issue. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) recently brushed the topic aside during an interview with Sean Hannity, telling the host, “tell me something I don’t know.”
Loesch’s rhetoric, referring to health reform advocates as terrorists, is part of her regular routine. Despite a long history of extreme rhetoric and myth-based political punditry, she was hired by CNN last month as a regular contributor. CNN has pushed hard to compete with Fox News hate television, not only hiring Loesch and RedState’s Erick Erickson, but also officially partnering with the Republican PR firm Russo, Marsh and Rogers to provide “Tea Party Express” coverage.