Friday, July 24, 2009

House To Vote On Obamacare After All?

An interesting new development:
Rahm Emanuel says House will vote on ObamaCare next week

Well, that’s what he says, and it’s important to note that Rahm Emanuel is acting as a repeater station for Nancy Pelosi, who has insisted that she has the votes to pass ObamaCare right now — even though more than 50 House Democrats have publicly balked at the proposal in the lower chamber.

The bills haven’t even yet come out of the various committees, so at the moment there’s nothing on which to vote. Besides, the incentive to move before the recess was all but lost when Harry Reid threw in the towel yesterday, and especially when Reid said that the process needed more deliberation than speed. Pelosi’s troops — even those inclined to support the bill — are worried that they will have to put themselves out on a limb with new taxes and benefits cuts, just to have the Senate version cut the limb out from under them.

But could they do it? It’s certainly possible, which is why it’s necessary to keep the heat on your elected representatives.
Don't let up. The other aspect of this vote that could throw things is that the so-called Blue Dog Democrats (that group of about 50 Dems who are supposed to be fiscally conservative, and currently the ones holding things up in the House) tend to throw a fit initially, but then fall into the Democrat line when the rubber meets the road.

Of course, the Senate has already indicated they won't vote on this dog until at least September, so it's hard to know how that will affect any potential vote in the House.

Here's another wrinkle:
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.

AoS provides the translation for us normal folks:
...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.

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?
Nice. I have to admit it's refreshing to see the Dem leadership hose their own right alongside the GOP -- it's the first truly bipartisan action they've taken this year -- but it's still nothing remotely like the 'most ethical Congress in history' we were promised.

Anyway, here's where the most pressure needs to land:
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.
Bottom line: keep the pressure up. Let's kill this thing for good.

There's my two cents.

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