About Damn Time.

July 30th, 2009at 09:48pm Posted by Eli

I’ll believe it when I see a good bill emerge or a bad bill get shot down, but it’s nice to see House progressives actually flexing their muscles rather than just being railroaded into accepting Blue-Dog-friendly crap:

Liberals, Hispanics and African-American members — Pelosi’s most loyal base of support — are feeling betrayed after House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) reached an agreement with four of seven Blue Dogs on his committee who had been bottling up the bill over concerns about cost.

The compromise, which still must be reconciled with competing House and Senate versions, would significantly weaken the public option favored by liberals by delinking reimbursement rates to Medicare.

“Waxman made a deal that is unacceptable,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), one of about 10 progressives who met repeatedly with Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday.

“We signed a pledge to reject any plan that doesn’t include a robust public option, and this plan doesn’t have a robust public option,” he added.

By sundown Wednesday, the outcry from the left had become so loud that Waxman was forced to scrap a scheduled markup of the compromise measure. He rescheduled the meeting for Thursday morning and convened a mass question-and-answer session for a deeply divided Democratic Caucus — a meeting that is expected to be extremely contentious.

(…)

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) predicted that House liberals, who believe they have compromised away several core issues to further President Barack Obama’s agenda, might finally buck leadership if they are force-fed a weakened public option.

“I don’t think it would pass the House — I wouldn’t vote for it,” Frank, a CPC member, told POLITICO.

He answered “yes” emphatically when asked if progressives were willing to delay the entire process as the Blue Dogs have done.

Frank said liberals are becoming increasingly leery of the clout wielded by Blue Dogs and are learning from the success they have had in leveraging their numbers — a fraction of the liberals’ — into real power.

“If you allow one wing of the House to exercise all this influence, you have to do something or you lose all of your influence,” he said.

Apparently our progressives is learning.  Maybe the Blue Dogs’ reign of terror over the Democratic caucus is finally coming to an end.  (I know, I know, I’m not holding my breath)

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Democrats,Healthcare,Politics


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