Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Daily Strike-10/14/09-No Snowementum?

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. It's been a bit of a hectic day in Strike-land, so forgive this abbreviated entry.

HEALTH CARE: I just read a very disturbing article on about how Olympia Snowe's (R-ME) vote in favor of the Finance Committee Health bill has done little to allay the concerns of centrist Democrats. It's a brutal reminder of how difficult this process will be even after all five committees of jurisdiction have reported bills. The thing that worries me the most is that Snowe has taught centrist Democrats that if they hold out support for the bill, they can win all kinds of concessions. That's the power of being a centrist lawmaker, and that's why it's so appealing to Senators who have no real principles and come from unfriendly states. If we start to make concessions to one or two Senators, than other Senators will hold out to get their own pet priorities (or reductions) into the bill. It's pure nihilism, but it's the dynamic I think we'll see in the coming weeks as Senator Reid attempts to bring a bill to the floor.

Also, Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) announced today that the GOP wants 8 weeks to debate the bill on the Senate floor. This is absolute nonsense. No matter how many times Democrats will give in to silly delay tactics, Republicans will try and try to filibuster the bill to death. Over in the House, Majority Leader Hoyer (D-MD) now says that the House bill may not come up before Thanksgiving. This seems to indicate that House leaders are having more trouble than anticipating crafting a bill that can get 218 votes. I'm still confident that a good bill will pass, but today was a stark reminder of the challenges that remain.

Please read The Big Picture's post above, and excuse me for not updating you on what happened in Congress. I will give a full update later, but if you're really curious, the Senate agreed to shut off debate on the conference report for the Energy and Commerce Appropriations bill. Details forthcoming...

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