A Plea to Liberals
March 13, 2010
Most progressive members of the House will vote for health care reform. But there are a handful of liberals making loud noises about rejecting it. They may not be bluffing. Some of them, like Dennis Kucinich, actually cast nay votes against the House bill last November. But this time, every vote will count. So, those liberals may be the difference between success and failure. Why would any liberal vote against this bill, a bill that Democrats have spent a year toiling on? Because at its core, the legislation is a centrist plan that achieves liberal ends.
Keeping Tally in the House
March 05, 2010
News on health care reform will increasingly be about individual members, as President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi try to accumulate the 216--er, now 217--votes House Democrats need to pass the Senate bill. The widely held assumption among insiders is that the Democrats can count upon about 200 "yes" votes right now, or maybe a few more. There are, meanwhile, somewhere between 30 and 40 House Democratic votes up for grabs. Thursday brought several developments.
The Left's Chance At Redemption
February 10, 2010
In their letter to President Obama on his proposed health care summit, John Boehner and Eric Cantor ask, Will the President include in this discussion congressional Democrats who have opposed the House and Senate health care bills? Asked and answered!
What Kind of Insurance Do You Have, Rep. Grijalva?
January 26, 2010
Matthew Spieler asks a good question: I have a question for politicians like Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Anthony Weiner, and the the folks at Firedoglake who would rather kill reform than enact the Senate bill: what kind of health insurance do you have? ... The answer to that question with respect to any member of Congress is this: private insurance. ... They are not on Medicare, or some totally awesome plan called Congresscare. Members of Congress receive health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) plan.
Where's the Obama I Voted For?
January 21, 2010
If you’ve been a Democrat for more than two or three years, disappointment with your leaders is something that comes rather naturally. From the 1970s until well into the previous decade, the party produced presidents and presidential candidates like Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry. These men weren’t lovable losers. They were just losers. Even the lone winner among them--Bill Clinton--famously and infamously found ways to disappoint. But then Barack Obama came along.
House Liberals Tell Pelosi: No Sale
January 20, 2010
Via Greg Sargent at The Plum Line: In a private meeting in the Capitol just now, a dozen or more House liberals bluntly told Nancy Pelosi that there was no chance that they would vote to pass the Senate bill in its current form — making it all but certain that House Dems won’t opt for this approach, a top House liberal tells me “We cannot support the Senate bill — period,” is the message that liberals delivered to the Speaker, Dem Rep Raul Grijalva told me in an interview just now. Some had hoped Pelosi would push liberals to get in line behind this approach, in hopes of expediting reform, b
Grijalva: Use Reconciliation to Pass Reform
January 20, 2010
As Democratic leaders scramble to salvage the imperiled reform bill, Congressional liberals seem increasingly wary about a plan that would ask the House to pass the current version of the Senate bill and send the bill directly to Obama’s desk. “The House needs to be very careful about not merely rubber-stamping the Senate bill and sending that to the president… I just don’t think it’s wise policy or wise politics to merely regurgitate [it],” Rep. Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told me this morning.
Watching and Waiting
January 05, 2010
Despite reports yesterday that the White House had reached an agreement with legislators on the immigration provisions in the health-care bill, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus today denied that they had struck such a bargain with the Democratic leadership, and one leading Hispanic Representative said that he had not yet been approached about the matter. "The CHC's position remains the same: It opposes provisions in the Senate health care bill that would negatively impact immigrants," a CHC spokesperson told Ben Smith this afternoon.
Talkin' Bout a Revolution?
December 24, 2009
On the eve of the Senate vote, Representative Louise Slaughter, chair of the House Rules Committee, became the latest progressive to join a growing faction of liberals who have called for Congress to the kill health-care reform bill—and the first prominent legislator to do so. “The Senate health care bill is not worthy of the historic vote that the House took a month ago,” Slaughter wrote in an op-ed published yesterday on CNN.com. “A conference report is unlikely to sufficiently bridge the gap between these two very different bills.
Will the Dems Back Away from the Public Option?
November 02, 2009
For the moment, at least, House liberals still aren't backing away from their push to strengthen the public option in the reform bill. Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, sent a letter to Pelosi on Friday that demanded an up-or-down vote on the Medicare-plus-5 rates--the strong public option that was passed up in favor of negotiated provider rates. The next best thing? Setting another pre-determined price "ceiling" for the weaker plan's negotiated rates, which Grijalva proposes in a separate amendment.