Carrie Budoff Brown

The Democrats should untwist their knickers about how awful it will be to win.

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Waiting for the national political conversation to "pivot" away from deficits and towards jobs? It looks like President Obama wants to help. Obama is in North Carolina today. During an afternoon discussion about the ongoing bipartisan talks to raise the debt ceiling, he made clear he wanted the final agreement to include short-term measures designed to strengthen the fragile economic recovery. Via Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown, Obama said: One thing I do think is important is we are keeping our eye on the need to accelerate the recovery as part of the overall package that we agree to.

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Yesterday, I discussed an interesting Washington Post story, about Republican Senators apparently challenging their party's "no new revenues ever" dogma. Ramesh Ponnuru notes that the three GOP senators recently sent Grover Norquist a letter promising that "any increase in revenue generation will be the result of the pro-growth effects of lower individual and corporate tax rates for all Americans." That would seem to rule out any agreement to increase tax revenues (by non-crazy accounting methods, anyway). Yet Carrie Budoff Brown reports that the Senators sound different now: Coburn usually wo

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House Republicans have postponed their vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act until next week, because of the Arizona shooting. And even when that debate resumes, Jennifer Haberkorn and Carrie Budoff Brown report in Politico today, the House Republicans will likely adopt a more measured tone. They won’t change their position on the issue itself. They remain committed to total repeal.

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A little less than ten years ago, inside a dark hotel restaurant in Utica, New York, Gary Rotzler told me the story of wife Betsy. They had been high school sweethearts and, by the early 1990s, had settled into their version of the American dream: Three young children and a home in Gilbertsville, a village of around 400 people nestled into the foothills of the Catskill mountains. When Gary lost his job at a defense contractor, he lost his health insurance. After piecing together part-time construction work, he got his old job back—but as an independent contractor without benefits.

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When Senators like Bernie Sanders or Sherrod Brown say Democrats need to finalize health care reform through the budget reconciliation process because of Republican obstructionism, that doesn't mean much. When Senators Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu, and Ben Nelson say their more liberal colleagues may be right, that means a lot. Via Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown, here's Bayh: “Obviously, if the minority is just frustrating the process, that argues for taking steps to get the public’s business done. ...

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Who says bipartisan good feeling is dead? The big question hanging over health care reform right now is whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can get enough Democrats to vote for the Senate bill and an accompanying set of amendments that would move through the budget reconciliation process. Rather than make Pelosi and her lieutenants go to the trouble of counting all those votes, Republican House Whip Eric Cantor has generously done the work for her. In a memo addressed to "interested parties," Cantor lays out the math.

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Billy Tauzin announced on Thursday that he is stepping down as leader of PhRMA, the drug industry trade group.

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Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown is reporting that the White House is encouraging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to cut a deal with Joe Lieberman. The White House is denying the report, in fairly strong terms: "The White House is not pushing Senator Reid in any direction," spokesman Dan Pfeiffer says. "We are working hand in hand with the Senate Leadership to work through the various issues and pass health reform as soon as possible." But one of TNR's Capitol Hill sources is saying the same thing that Politico's is.

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Readers may have noticed that the "Daily Treatment" isn't really daily. Instead, it's daily when I have time to write it, which isn't as often as I would like. And that's unfortunate. It means I don't get to chance to highlight many worthy articles--or, more important, to thank, implicitly, the writers and thinkers whose work influences me.

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