Category Archives: Olympia Snowe

Do Your Magic, Harry

From The Washington Post:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) announced Monday that he will seek to bring a health-care bill to the Senate floor that includes a government insurance plan, a major reversal from just two weeks ago, when Reid was leaning against the idea.

He also called for the bill to include a version of the so-called public option with an clause that would allow states to decide by 2014 not to participate in the government plan.

“The best way to move forward is a public option with the opt-out provision for states,” Reid told reporters, adding that he “clearly” believes that such a bill would have “the support of my caucus.”


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Original comic book Olympia Snowe is holding
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The GOP Looks a Little Flushed Lately

From THINK PROGRESS:

In April, former Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) switched his party affiliation to caucus with the Democrats after being targeted by right-wing activists and others within the GOP. Shortly before his departure, an anti-Obama tea party rally focused its attention at Specter, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh demanded that Specter be “flushed” out of the party. A campaign with the theme “Benedict Arnold” subsequently harassed Specter for voting for the stimulus.

Now, after voting to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and expressing a willingness to build a compromise approach to clean energy legislation, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appears to be the new target of tea party activists. At a Graham town hall in Greenville yesterday, activist Harry Kimball of “RINO HUNT” protested by constructing a display that depicted Graham, as well as moderates like Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), being flushed down a toilet:

KIMBALL: This is for every RINO who has failed to represent us. […] [the toilet represents] flushing them, flushing them.


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One attendee of the event asked the senator, “when are you going to announce that you are switching parties?” The question drew loud applause from the crowd. Graham defended himself, and denounced the influence of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) on the Republican party:

GRAHAM: I’m going to grow this party, I’m not going to let it get [inaudible], I’m not going to let it be hijacked by Ron Paul. […] I’m going to find people in Maine, Delaware, Illinois, other places–

AUDIENCE: Move there!

GRAHAM: That can win as Republicans, and I’m going to go up, and we’re going to move this party, and this country forward, and if you don’t like it, you can leave.

Graham’s fellow South Carolina senator Jim DeMint (R) was an outspoken proponent of ejecting Specter from the Republican Party. DeMint told a conservative blogger Specter “cut our knees from under us.” He added that conservatives in the Senate need to aggressively “go after” Specter and other GOP moderates.

Update According to the newspaper The State, Graham repeatedly responded to those who accused him of being a “traitor” to “chill out.”

(Video at THINK PROGRESS link above)

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If Olympia Had Been a Man, Max Baucus Would Be a Snowe Blower

From Ezra Klein at The Washington Post:

The list of senators charged with merging the Finance and HELP bills into the legislation that will actually come to a vote on the Senate floor is vanishingly small, and every participant is there for a reason. Harry Reid will preside. Max Baucus, chairman of the Finance Committee, will be one of the chief negotiators. Chris Dodd, who led the HELP Committee’s health-care efforts, will be the other. And that’s about it. Oh, except for one other person:

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid, said that Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, the lone Republican on the Finance Committee to vote in favor of the bill, would be invited to future sessions. And Mr. Manley said the Democratic leader was prepared to go to substantial lengths to keep Ms. Snowe’s support.

“He is prepared to do what he can to keep her on board while putting together a bill that can get the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster,” Mr. Manley said.

Democrats really want this bill to be bipartisan — to the point that they’re giving the Republican a space in the negotiations equivalent to the chairmen of the two relevant committees.


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The ‘Put Health Care Reform to Death’ Panel

From The Washington Post:

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is urging three Republican colleagues to sign off on the $900 billion health-care reform package they have helped to negotiate over the past two months, in order to add a bipartisan proposal to the mix before President Obama’s speech to Congress on Wednesday.

The Baucus plan, circulating among the Finance Committee’s “Gang of Six” this weekend, sets forth provisions that have already gained the bipartisan group’s unofficial support and adds nothing that the group has not already deliberated, senior Senate aides said. But Democrats are wary that two of the three GOP negotiators — Sens. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) and Mike Enzi (Wyo.) — could walk away, under pressure from their Republican colleagues to allow Democrats to fight for a bill on their own.


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Forecast: A chance with Snowe

From KENNEBEC JOURNAL & Morning Sentinel:

The health care reform debate that has polarized the country appears to have no middle ground, yet that’s exactly where Maine’s Sen. Olympia Snowe finds herself.

The Republican is something that has become increasingly scarce in Congress — a centrist who’s willing to work across the aisle for compromise. As such, she has played an influential role on Capitol Hill in recent years.

That role, her current committee assignment and her track record have made her the epicenter of health care reform efforts in Washington.


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The Gang’s All Here

From Robert Reich at the Wall Street Pit (August 21, 2009):

Last night, the so-called “gang of six” — three Republican and three Democratic senators on the Senate Finance Committee — met by conference call and, according to Senator Max Baucus, the committee’s chair, reaffirmed their commitment “toward a bipartisan health-care reform bill” (read: less coverage and no public insurance option). The Washington Post reports that the senators shared tales from their home states, where some have been besieged by protesters angry about a potential government takeover of the nation’s health care system.

It’s come down to these six senators. The House has reported a bill as has another Senate committee, but all eyes are fixed on Senate Finance — and on these three Dems and three Republicans, in particular. But who, exactly, anointed these six to decide the fate of the nation’s health care?


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Enough is Enough!

From THE HILL:

Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), the powerful Republican who has spent weeks working on a healthcare reform compromise, is urging Democrats not to abandon bipartisan talks despite growing pressure from liberal activists and White House officials.

Grassley reacted Wednesday to news reports of growing sentiment among White House officials that Democrats should pass a partisan healthcare reform package, relying entirely on Democratic votes.

…snip…

Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over paying for a healthcare overhaul, struck a conciliatory tone a day after Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) called on Democrats to scrap their proposals and start over.

…snip…

Kyl’s statement and earlier statements from Grassley have led Democratic leaders to more carefully weigh the prospect of passing a reform package without any Republican votes — going alone, just as many liberal activists have demanded.

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Supreme Irony

From abcNEWS:

The Senate voted to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court today, making her the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice and just the third woman to sit on the court.

The 55-year-old Sotomayor, who was confirmed by a vote of 68-31, will be sworn in on Saturday at the Court.

Despite strong and vocal opposition from some Senate Republicans, nine GOP senators voted for her confirmation, more than the number of Democrats who supported Justice Samuel Alito, but fewer than the number who crossed party lines to support Chief Justice John Roberts.

One of the Rethug votes against was Captain Underpants. One of the Rethug votes for was Lindseypoo. Does this mean the end of the romance? Nah, they don’t know how to quit each other.

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