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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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Filed under Barack Obama, Charles Schumer, Democrats, Harry Reid, humor, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, movies, Olympia Snowe, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, Senate Finance Committee, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

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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