Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mid-week update

This Politico article provides a good review of today's health care reform action. In advance of the President's news conference, Sen. Dick Durbin (D Ill.) remarked that the President's August recess deadline for floor action on health care reform is infeasible in the Senate. To further complicate, the Senate Finance Committee's activities, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, of Utah dropped out of the bipartisan talks today, "saying they were going in a direction he just couldn't support," according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.

The Politico reports that "The new Democratic thinking is that Obama can legitimately claim progress if two Senate committees and three in the House approve bills by the August break. But even this goal is still not a foregone conclusion, as lawmakers continue to grapple over major issues." Reuters reports that the Blue Dogs Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee want Chairman Henry Waxman to hold off on a mark up of HR 3200 until the CBO scores the bill. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that "Several senior House Democrats [including Rep. Pete Stark (D. Calif.)]voiced strong concern Wednesday with a [Blue Dog Democrat ] proposal [supported by the White House] to empower the executive branch to restrain Medicare spending." As a wise man once said, "There are two things you don’t want to see being made—sausage and legislation."

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