How Liberal Is Congress Willing To Be?
It seems as though the Blue Dogs are in charge, and that the liberal/progressive wing of the Democratic Party is losing interest in the health care plan. We elect a liberal president, a Democratic House and Senate, and rather than move the country decidedly to the left, we have a bunch of Democrats who are allowing conservatives, be they Republican or Democratic, to call the shots.
Liberals, Hispanics and African-American members — Pelosi’s most loyal base of support — are feeling betrayed after House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) reached an agreement with four of seven Blue Dogs on his committee who had been bottling up the bill over concerns about cost.
The compromise, which still must be reconciled with competing House and Senate versions, would significantly weaken the public option favored by liberals by delinking reimbursement rates to Medicare
Liberals like Jerry Nadler of New York and Barney Frank of Massachusetts are saying the compromise is unacceptable and they won’t vote for a compromised bill.
Two months ago, most of the 80-plus members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus signed a pledge that they would oppose any health care bill that didn’t contain a bona fide public option that would compete with private insurers.
On Wednesday, they seemed willing to stick to their promise.
If Democrats can’t move things forward with Obama in the White House, 60 senators, and a 255-178 House advantage, when can they?Click here for reuse options!
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