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July 24, 2009

House Democrats: Maybe We'll Just Skip This Annoying Committee Process And Shove Health Care Down Everyone's Throat Next Week

Rahm "We Saved The Economy" Emanuel made some noise this morning about the House still voting on health care next week. It sounded nuts considering that the Energy and Commerce Committee can't even get a bill marked up because of the Blue Dogs.

Now it turns out that Democratic leaders, having grown tired of running roughshod over just minority Republicans, are considering screwing their own members and simply reporting a bill to the floor without any committee action.

Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman told The Associated Press negotiations with fiscally conservative Democrats on his panel cannot go on "interminably" because they would "empower" Republicans and allow the minority party to take control of the panel.

The California Democrat said Friday if he can't reach agreement with the conservatives, the health care bill would go straight to the floor, and not through his committee.

Two House panels have already passed legislation. Waxman is stymied because seven conservatives—who call themselves Blue Dog Democrats—are sticking together. Negotiations continued.

This is a high stakes game of chicken right now. Obama wants a vote somewhere by somebody before his stated August deadline. Nancy says she has the votes (which isn't a given)but won't commit to bringing something to the floor and now this. Waxman is basically saying to his own committee members, you can have a say in this but only within certain limits, what's it going to be?

The other bet is it's better to pass something to keep the process alive rather than let members go home and get spooked by opposition and not be able to get a vote in September.

Remember, the game here is to get something passed in both houses so they can go to committee where they will basically start again.

Pelosi and Reid are in tough spots with few good options. I'm sure they are really happy with Obama right about now.

Given all of this, I really doubt they are going to vote something next week in the House.

First, they don't have a bill yet. They'll throw something together over the weekend and toss it out there next week. Will House Democrats really want to be on record for something that is sure to be slipshod and have lots of embarrassing crap in it and then have to spend the next month back home defending it?

That's assuming it even passes.

Don't forget a lot of House Democrats are now considered vulnerable because team Pelosi forced them to vote for the job killing Cap and Trade bill that is pretty much dead in the Senate. With Harry Reid saying there will be no Senate vote on health care next week, are House Dems really going to fall on their swords again for the sake of Pelosi and Obama?

It's kind of funny to see Waxman unable to get a bill out of his committee considering he was Pelosi's handpicked choice to lead the panel and she even helped engineer the overthrow of the previous chair, House Dean John Dingell. Nice job Nancy!

Via Karl Rove, here's a list of the "Blue Dogs". If you live in one of their districts, you may want to give them a call.


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posted by DrewM. at 12:49 PM

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