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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Filed under Barack Obama, Ben Nelson, Charles Schumer, Chuck Grassley, Congress, Democrats, humor, Jay Rockefeller, movies, Olympia Snowe, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, Senate Finance Committee, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs
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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Filed under Barack Obama, Congress, Edward Kennedy, humor, Maine, movies, Olympia Snowe, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, Senate Finance Committee, snark, Susan Collins, Wordpress Political Blogs
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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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.
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.
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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From Ezra Klein at The Washington Post:
There’s been a lot of anxiety over leaks outlining the compromises being made in the Senate Finance Committee’s health-care plan. Among these compromises is a rejection of the public option and the absence of an employer mandate. Disappointing stuff. But, at this point, completely predictable.
Look at this picture. Study it. This is who is in the room helping Baucus put together his bill. Olympia Snowe, Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley, Jeff Bingaman and Kent Conrad. In a Senate of 60 Democrats and 40 Republicans, the health-care reform bill is being written by three centrist Democrats, one centrist Republicans, and two conservative Republicans. And until last week, Orrin Hatch was in the room, too.
(l to r: Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley, Max Baucus, Olympia Snowe)
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Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (D) opposed yesterday’s $410 billion omnibus spending bill because it was “bloated” and included $7.7 billion in earmarks. “At a time when so many American families are tightening their belts to make ends meet, Congress should be as equally committed to living within its means,” he said in a statement.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the spending bill a “missed opportunity” and urged President Obama to veto it. “The bill costs far too much for a government that should be watching every dime,” he said.
And Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe (R) said in opposition to the legislation: “Each and every time, whether a Republican or Democratic initiative, I have refused to go along with big government spending or big government solutions.”
But as it turns out, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, Bayh had four solo earmarks attached to his name in the legislation, worth $2.7 million; McConnell had 36 totaling $51 million; and Inhofe had 34 earmarks worth $53 million.
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comrades amigos kids! Yesterday, we explored The Republic of Texas and the new Russian Alaska circa 2010, as predicted by Igor Panarin. If you will remember, the deteriorating economy, immigration, and a lack of morality are going to swirl together and turn into a new American civil war. While we are at each others’ throats, foreign powers will swoop in and take over.
Today, I thought we would examine the new Central North American Republic (let’s call it CNAR), which will be part of Canada or under Canadian influence.
Just as in The Republic of Texas and the new Russian Alaska, politicians in the CNAR will try to adjust to the new reality. Let’s begin with Senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts. Hey, guys! Looks like you’re not in Kansas anymore! Eh?
Filed under humor, Justice Department, movies, parody, Pat Roberts, politics, Republicans, Russ Feingold, Russia, Sam Brownback, snark