Monday, October 5, 2009

The Daily Strike-10/5/09-Delay of Game

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. Make sure you catch up on the upcoming week in politics by reading our Weekly Strike, available below. Not a lot of news out there today, so tonight's entry will be a brief one.

HEALTH CARE: Here we go again! The Senate Finance committee was supposed to vote on health care legislation as soon as they got a revised estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. That process was supposed to take about 3 days. Apparently, it is taking longer than 3 days. Reports today indicate that the committee will not vote on the bill until Thursday at the earliest. This pushes back the timeline for Senator Reid to merge the Finance and HELP bills on the Senate floor. Chairman Max Baucus agreed to this delay to assuage concerns from Republican Olympia Snowe (R-ME). I highly doubt that any members will change their views on the bill based on the score from the Congressional Budget office. In fact, chairman frequently change bills through "manager's amendments" to reflect changed CBO projections. The true effect of the CBO scoring is another in a long line of delays and missed deadlines. I sure hope that Olympia Snowe remembers this concession when she decides whether to vote for the bill or not.

Meanwhile, today at the White House the President held his first health-care related event in over a week. Doctors from all 50 states listened to the President make his standard case for the need for reform. President Obama urged the doctors to fan out and spread the pro-reform message. Sweet talking doctors is not a bad strategy at all. Let's face it, we all listen to our doctors no matter what they tell us.

After the event, the White House got an unexpected endorsement from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who gives some bipartisan (?) credence to the whole reform effort.

AFGHANISTAN: An addition to a scheduled Wednesday meeting with his national security team, the President has scheduled a meeting with Congressional leaders tomorrow to discuss the War in Afghanistan. Joining the President will be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV), House Minority Leader John Boehner (OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY). The President says that he is looking for additional input as he considers new strategies. It will be interesting to see how Boehner and McConnell react to this meeting. Both are intensely political figures who have, to my knowledge, shown almost no interest in policy. If the President decides to escalate the war by sending more troops, he may need the support of Boehner and McConnell to ensure funding in Congress. I hope that's a scenario we don't get to.

That's it for today. See you tomorrow evening!

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