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Wednesday, December 8

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The Mechanics
« Julie Hamos' (D-Evanston) statement on Madigan Tamms Year Ten Protest at The Tribune Today »

Wed Jul 08 2009

Reid's Backtracking But It Might Be Too Late

Looks like Harry Reid is backtracking a story excellently reported in Roll Call today where he was reported to have told Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to ditch provisions in a healthcare reform bill that were meant to get Republicans on board. CQ has the story:

Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine said Reid met privately with her and three other Republicans and assured them that the GOP would be included in negotiations with the House on a final version of the legislation.

"He said it would be a bipartisan, open conference" committee, Snowe said after the meeting.

I've got to say, it seems Reid was caught with his hands on the cookie jar here. He probably still thinks trying to attract a lot Republicans to the bill will ruin it. From the Roll Call story it sounds like Reid was trying to communicate this to his colleagues quietly so the Democrats didn't lose the votes of the moderate Republicans like Maine's Olympia Snowe who were already likely to support the bill as long as barely anyone noticed. Well, the cover's blown now.

I'm of two minds on Reid's opinion. On the one hand he's probably right that it's going to be really hard to get any but the most fence-straddled Republicans on board a healthcare reform bill. On the other hand, just because the Democrats have a 60-vote majority doesn't mean they're ever going to get all 60 votes in line on such a bill.

Reid needs these moderate Republicans and even if they want to vote for the bill, their conservative colleagues are going to pressure them hard not to, so they can't be visibly for it. Saying that they won't reach out to Republican will probably actually give interested moderate conservatives less of an opportunity to vote for the bill because if they do, it'll look like they're the left's lapdog. Reid's got himself in a tough spot.

(Crossposted)

 
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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

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It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

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It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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