Senate Republicans refused Wednesday to throw in the towel in their rhetorical war with Democrats over health care reform, accusing the majority of using accounting gimmicks to hide their use of Medicare Trust Fund money to pay for new programs in the overhaul.Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Tuesday released a new letter from the Congressional Budget Office that says because savings to the Medicare program under the bill would be received by the government only once ... they cannot be set aside to pay for future Medicare spending and, at the same time, pay for current spending on other parts of the legislation or on other programs.The GOP used the letter to argue that Democrats are attempting to double-dip to make it appear that the package would reduce the federal debt while creating new programs.If a private company had done this, a president of a private company had proposed such a bogus scoring system, theyd be going to jail. This cannot be true, what is being stated about the legislation. And the statement today from the Congressional Budget Office makes that clear, Sessions said.Budget ranking member Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) agreed, arguing that: Were talking here about double counting, spending the same money twice in order to create a massive new entitlement. It has nothing to do with seniors. Taking their money, spending it on this new entitlement and then claiming that the senior citizens program, which is Medicare, is better off because of that.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.