Friday, July 24, 2009

Hold the Line, Blue Dogs!

I'd say that Obamacare is in real jeopardy right about now; from The Hill:

The seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stormed out of a Friday meeting with their committee chairman, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), saying Waxman had been negotiating in bad faith over a number of provisions Blue Dogs demanded be changed in the stalled healthcare bill.

“I’ve been lied to,” Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chairman Charlie Melancon (D-La.) said on Friday. “We have not had legitimate negotiations. “Mr. Waxman has decided to sever discussions with the Blue Dogs who are trying to make this bill work for America,” Melancon said.

Although those Blue Dogs were supposed to be headed back into another meeting of the Energy and Commerce Democrats, their anger was visible. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, the only hope for passage of the bill in the House will be to go straight to the floor, an option leaders shied away from endorsing but said was an option. But the Blue Dogs issued dire warnings to leaders contemplating that approach.

"Waxman simply does not have votes in committee and process should not be bypassed to bring the bill straight to floor,” Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the lead Blue Dog negotiator, said on Friday.

“We are trying to save this bill and trying to save this party.”
Melancon said there would be 40-45 “solid no” votes from the 52-strong Blue Dogs, among other problems throughout the caucus. And Melancon said there are more Democrats who will vote against the bill. “If they try to bring it to the floor, I think they’ll find out they have more problems than the Blue Dogs.”

Polls indicate that the public is against Obamacare as the legislation currently stands. Fred Barnes cites a Fox News poll in which 45% of those polled believe their health care will be worse under the plan while only 29% believe it would be better. 58% of those polled believe it will cost them more money while 24% believe they would save money.

According to Rasmussen, as of Wednesday, 53% of Americans polled are opposed to Congressional health care reform; these numbers do not factor in Obama's speech this week.

Meanwhile Rahm Emanuel told NPR this morning that there will be a vote in the House next week.

It's all stacking up to be dramatic theater. If the Dems insist on bringing this straight to the floor for a vote, bypassing Waxman's committee, I'd expect the Blue Dogs to hold firm. My suggestion is that everyone pick up their phones and call the Blue Dogs. Tell them to stand fast!

Here are your Blue Dogs.

Here is an email and FAX number list.

Much more at Memeorandum.


Red said...

Got an email from the Vitter camp saying that Melancon is endorsed by Obama. What's your take?

Red said...

Best version of "stratego" on celluloid ;-D

G.R. said...

Isn't Melancon one of the Blue Dog Democrats crying about his Cap-N-Tax vote and saying he was lied to by the party leaders to vote yes?

You can't tell me he didn't know what he was voting for. Either he is LYING or he's stupid or both and hoping that those who vote him won't catch on or know the difference.

And the Democrats ran on a platform of transparency and an honest and open government free of corruption. HA!