CBS’s Pelley Upset House’s ObamaCare Repeal Votes Have ‘Cost Taxpayers’ $50 Million

Showing a renewed concern for the interests of taxpayers, CBS put “Cost to Taxpayers” on screen Wednesday night as CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley worried not about the cost of ObamaCare, but “how much it cost taxpayers for the House to repeal the law again and again?” Pelley relayed how “the Congressional Research Service tells us that the House of Representatives costs us $24 million a week. So with two weeks spent repealing the law, that comes to a little under $50 million.”

What a meaningless point. As if that $50 million wouldn’t have been spent in any event since the cost of operating the House would not have disappeared from federal outlays if the body dealt with other issues.

The Republican-controlled House voted 244-185 to repeal ObamaCare, leading Pelley to frame a story: “With so much urgent business before the House, why spend so much time voting to repeal the law over and over again?”

Reporter Nancy Cordes soon complained: “It is the 33rd vote to repeal all or part of the President’s health care law, a Republican effort that, according to a CBS News tally, has taken up at least 80 hours on the House floor. That’s two full work weeks since early 2011.”

She demanded of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: “You’ve held something like 33 votes already about repealing the President’s health care law. Haven’t you made your point already? Why keep holding these votes, keep conducting these debates?”

Following her piece, Pelley ruminated:

We wondered how much it cost taxpayers for the House to repeal the law again and again?. You can’t be exact about these things, but the Congressional Research Service tells us that the House of Representatives costs us $24 million a week. So with two weeks spent repealing the law, that comes to a little under $50 million.

Pelley assumed the anchor seat after ObamaCare passed, but the House of Representatives spent a lot more than two weeks debating it in 2009 and 2010 and I don’t recall CBS fretting then over the cost of the time spent on it.

From Monday night: “Bizarrely, CBS’s O’Donnell Cites ‘Cost to Taxpayers’ of Maintaining Current Income Tax Rates

Full transcript of the Pelley-Cordes story, on the Wednesday, July 11 CBS Evening News, in an MRC.org BiasAlert.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center