The Buzz

TheChat: Pat Roberts seeks an inspector general for Obamacare

Roberts AP

Good morning.

▪ “This watchdog would ensure that Obamacare exchange websites are functioning and secure.” — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts calling for the hiring of an inspector general to oversee the Affordable Care Act.

The Republican war against the Affordable Care Act continues. The new inspector general would have the power to investigate any federal agency involved with the law.

▪ “What's going on with Missouri and the Republican Party in that state?” — Dave Robertson, a political science professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, on all the recent upheaval inside the state GOP.

The big question is whether all the tumult will undermine the party’s chances at the ballot box next year. One wise man, lobbyist and former GOP chair Woody Cozad, says the answer to that is simply no. "I don't see anything that's happened in all of what's gone on ... that actually reduces our chances of winning office,” he said. (link via

▪ “We’re not going to give up our ability to use the previous question as part of the rules.” — Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, a Joplin Republican, on the right to use the filibuster-breaking tactic to advance GOP priorities.

GOP senators last week broke the tradition of unlimited debate over a controversial right-to-work bill. But their decision to force a vote carries significant political consequences inside the state Senate itself.

▪ “This will be the seventh year in a row that we have not done a cost-of-living adjustment.” — Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, a Democrat, calling for a raise for members of Congress.

Members earn $174,000 a year. Skipping raises was appropriate during the recession, Hoyer said. But no longer. “To continue that on, we will dictate that the only people who can serve are the rich, and I don’t think that’s what the Founding Fathers had in mind.”