After months of negotiations and Democratic infighting the House of Representatives and the Senate have agreed on a compromise bill.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid held a press conference to announce the breakthrough.
“The only real sticking point in our negotiations was a source of funding” Pelosi was quoted as saying. “I was taking a beating in my home district over the Senate’s proposed tax on tanning salons and the Botox tax was a non-starter with me.” She went on to say “I had to make a stand on those issues and we found ourselves at an impasse”
Earlier in the day reliable sources were quoted as saying an agreement had been reached that left the tanning industry in the clear and ended the impasse over Botox. Those sources, who wanted to remain anonymous as they were not authorized to leak any “non-Republican” information, went on to say that Democratic leaders agreed that the revenue should come from a proposed 50% tax on the sale male enhancement and impotency products, such as Viagra and Cialis, as well as a tax on the sale of antidepressants.
A senior Democrat close to the negotiations was quoted as saying “what we have here is a win-win situation. At some point in every man’s life he is going to need one or the other. There is an endless funding source here that has just been waiting to be tapped”. “We understand that there will be a corresponding drop in taxes generated by cigarette sales but we fully expect to make that up with taxes on alcohol sales”.
Sources also said they could not rule out an additional tax on e-mail advertisers who promoted male enhancement products and antidepressant medication. One official was quoted as saying he would go as far as taxing doctor assisted suicide; concluding his statements with this comment: “If it’s what’s in the interest of the American government we can’t rule it out; everything is on the table at this point and we will make the hard choices.”
When Pelosi was asked how the idea came about she told reporters “It really was a stroke of genius. I mean Harry and I were discussing new sources of revenue to fund the health care bill when this idea just popped up”. Pelosi was further quoted as saying “Harry was a hard sell at first but softened his stance near the end”.
Unknown sources inside the negotiations leaked news that Pelosi was actually seen drooling over the proposed new taxes. A spokesman for Pelosi dismissed the rumor as unfounded and cited a accidental Botox overdose as the cause.
When asked what the American people would think of the proposal Pelosi responded: “Who cares, we won”.
Senator Ben Nelson was asked the same question and stated “I got mine if they didn’t get their's that’s their fault.”
Reid, who was uncharacteristically distracted, refused to comment although he was later observed leaving a local CVS with a large box of undisclosed contents.
President Obama is expected to hold a press conference touting the landmark legislation as a victory for his administration. Obama was asked by reporters what he thought as he boarded Air-force One: “I think Congress has erected a monument that will inspire America by the shear size of the undertaking. They have shown the people that just because something is hard doesn’t mean it should be ignored. On the contrary, when something is as hard as this was it has to be done quickly or you may miss the chance. But let me remind everyone; now is not the time to lose focus. The opposition may appear impotent and softened in their resolve but we must be vigilant or things may start to slip through our hands.”
When asked his opinion on the negotiations that produced the breakthrough Obama responded: “Congress has shown that pushing things through is never easy but when you take a hard, no nonsense approach and hammer away with the tools you have been given anything is possible.”
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