Topics
Administration
Congress
Democrats
Elections
Ethics
Governor -- Alabama
Governor -- Alaska
Governor -- Arizona
Governor -- California
Governor -- Colorado
Governor -- Connecticut
Governor -- Delaware
Governor -- Florida
Governor -- Georgia
Governor -- Hawaii
Governor -- Illinois
Governor -- Indiana
Governor -- Iowa
Governor -- Kentucky
Governor -- Louisiana
Governor -- Maryland
Governor -- Massachusetts
Governor -- Michigan
Governor -- Minnesota
Governor -- Missouri
Governor -- Montana
Governor -- Nevada
Governor -- New Hampshire
Governor -- New Jersey
Governor -- New Mexico
Governor -- New York
Governor -- North Carolina
Governor -- North Dakota
Governor -- Ohio
Governor -- Oregon
Governor -- Pennsylvania
Governor -- Rhode Island
Governor -- South Carolina
Governor -- Texas
Governor -- Utah
Governor -- Vermont
Governor -- Virginia
Governor -- Washington
Governor -- Wyoming
Governors
Health Care
House
House -- Alabama -- 02
House -- Alabama -- 03
House -- Alabama -- 05
House -- Alaska
House -- Arizona -- 01
House -- Arizona -- 03
House -- Arizona -- 05
House -- Arizona -- 08
House -- Arkansas -- 01
House -- Arkansas -- 02
House -- California -- 04
House -- California -- 12
House -- California -- 26
House -- California -- 32
House -- California -- 50
House -- Colorado -- 02
House -- Colorado -- 04
House -- Connecticut -- 04
House -- Connecticut -- 05
House -- Florida -- 06
House -- Florida -- 08
House -- Florida -- 13
House -- Florida -- 15
House -- Florida -- 16
House -- Florida -- 18
House -- Florida -- 19
House -- Florida -- 21
House -- Florida -- 24
House -- Florida -- 25
House -- Georgia -- 05
House -- Georgia -- 10
House -- Georgia -- 12
House -- Idaho -- 01
House -- Illinois -- 01
House -- Illinois -- 03
House -- Illinois -- 05
House -- Illinois -- 06
House -- Illinois -- 10
House -- Illinois -- 11
House -- Illinois -- 14
House -- Illinois -- 18
House -- Indiana -- 03
House -- Indiana -- 07
House -- Indiana -- 09
House -- Iowa -- 03
House -- Iowa -- 04
House -- Kansas -- 02
House -- Kentucky -- 02
House -- Kentucky -- 03
House -- Louisiana -- 01
House -- Louisiana -- 02
House -- Louisiana -- 04
House -- Louisiana -- 06
House -- Maine -- 01
House -- Maryland -- 01
House -- Maryland -- 04
House -- Massachusetts -- 05
House -- Michigan -- 01
House -- Michigan -- 07
House -- Michigan -- 09
House -- Michigan -- 13
House -- Minnesota -- 01
House -- Minnesota -- 03
House -- Minnesota -- 06
House -- Mississippi -- 01
House -- Mississippi -- 03
House -- Missouri -- 09
House -- Nevada -- 02
House -- Nevada -- 03
House -- New Hampshire -- 01
House -- New Hampshire -- 02
House -- New Jersey -- 03
House -- New Jersey -- 05
House -- New Jersey -- 07
House -- New Mexico -- 01
House -- New Mexico -- 02
House -- New York -- 13
House -- New York -- 15
House -- New York -- 20
House -- New York -- 21
House -- New York -- 23
House -- New York -- 24
House -- New York -- 25
House -- New York -- 26
House -- New York -- 29
House -- North Carolina -- 03
House -- North Carolina -- 08
House -- North Carolina -- 10
House -- North Dakota
House -- Ohio -- 01
House -- Ohio -- 02
House -- Ohio -- 05
House -- Ohio -- 07
House -- Ohio -- 10
House -- Ohio -- 15
House -- Ohio -- 16
House -- Oklahoma -- 05
House -- Oregon -- 05
House -- Pennsylvania -- 03
House -- Pennsylvania -- 04
House -- Pennsylvania -- 06
House -- Pennsylvania -- 10
House -- Pennsylvania -- 11
House -- Pennsylvania -- 12
House -- Pennsylvania -- 15
House -- South Carolina -- 01
House -- South Carolina -- 02
House -- South Carolina -- 05
House -- South Dakota
House -- Tennessee -- 07
House -- Tennessee -- 08
House -- Tennessee -- 09
House -- Texas -- 07
House -- Texas -- 10
House -- Texas -- 14
House -- Texas -- 22
House -- Utah -- 03
House -- Virginia -- 01
House -- Virginia -- 05
House -- Virginia -- 09
House -- Virginia -- 11
House -- Washington -- 08
House -- West Virginia -- 02
House -- Wisconsin -- 08
House -- Wyoming
Inauguration 2009
International
Issues
Judiciary
Local Elections
Media
Miscellaneous
Morning Thoughts
Politics Weekly
Polls
Rankings
Republicans
Senate
Senate -- Alaska
Senate -- Arizona
Senate -- Arkansas
Senate -- California
Senate -- Colorado
Senate -- Connecticut
Senate -- Delaware
Senate -- Florida
Senate -- Georgia
Senate -- Idaho
Senate -- Illinois
Senate -- Indiana
Senate -- Iowa
Senate -- Kansas
Senate -- Kentucky
Senate -- Louisiana
Senate -- Maine
Senate -- Massachusetts
Senate -- Minnesota
Senate -- Mississippi
Senate -- Missouri
Senate -- Montana
Senate -- Nebraska
Senate -- Nevada
Senate -- New Hampshire
Senate -- New Jersey
Senate -- New Mexico
Senate -- New York
Senate -- North Carolina
Senate -- North Dakota
Senate -- Ohio
Senate -- Oklahoma
Senate -- Oregon
Senate -- Pennsylvania
Senate -- South Carolina
Senate -- South Dakota
Senate -- Tennessee
Senate -- Texas
Senate -- Utah
Senate -- Virginia
Senate -- Wisconsin
Senate -- Wyoming
Sports
Supreme Court
WH 08
WH 08 -- Democrats
WH 08 -- Republicans
WH 12
WH 12 -- Republicans
White House

 

« Governor Campaign Committees Report Record Hauls | Blog Home Page | Michigan Dems Lose Top Gov Hopeful »

With Few Options, GOP Continues Health Care Fight

With Democrats in the House and Senate reportedly opting for the ping-pong method of combining bills rather than the more formalized conference process, Republicans are left with few if any opportunities to halt progress on or even kill comprehensive health care reform. GOP hopes of stopping it now mostly rest on Democrats' intraparty differences, however party leadership is adamant that Republicans are not giving up and that Democrats' day of reckoning will come soon.

"There is much not to like here. I haven't given up on stopping it," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday on Dennis Miller's radio show. "I think we've got another month or so to fight this out and we're going to fight it 'til the bitter end."

McConnell and other Republicans argue that despite the potential for no conference, Democrats in the two chambers remain far apart on a number of issues, such as the inclusion of the public option, stricter abortion language and how to pay for it. The GOP will also begin attacking the process, as the lack of a conference removes Republicans from the negotiating table and allows the bill to move forward faster.

The backroom negotiations are a sticking point with the GOP, which last year routinely complained about being left out of the legislative process, despite promises from President Obama that he was open to their ideas.

Despite media reports, House Democratic leaders have yet to confirm that no formal conference committee will be held. One House leadership aide maintains that whatever form the negotiations take, it will not simply be the House considering the Senate bill -- the less progressive of the two and which barely passed last month on a party-line vote.

Discussions among Democratic leaders and committee chairmen on the House side are set to begin today, as well as a full caucus meeting Thursday, as they set their priorities for the negotiations. The Senate won't return for another two weeks.

Republicans, though, are still calling for the health care negotiations to be televised on C-SPAN, as Obama promised during his campaign. The president has instead left negotiations for the most part in the hands of party leaders in Congress, who appear more eager to pass a bill than allow further bipartisan discussions that could continue to slow the process.

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) offered a resolution that would require the health care reform conference to be televised, though action on that bill was blocked by Democrats.

"Something as critical as the Democrats' health care bill, with its Medicare cuts and tax hikes, shouldn't be slapped together in a shady backroom deal," Michael Steel, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), told RealClearPolitics. "Skipping a real, open conference shuts out the American people and breaks one of President Obama's signature campaign promises. It would be a disgrace -- to the Democratic leaders if they do it, and to every Democratic Member who lets them."

Should the compromised bill pass both chambers, Republicans are expected to attempt to repeal it. However, with Obama in the White House and strong Democratic majorities in Congress, the tact will likely make more waves on the midterm election campaign trails than have any real chance of working.

As for the political ramifications of passing health care, GOP critics point to Nebraska as an example of the dangers to Democrats' electoral health -- a state whose Democratic senator's re-election prospects already look perilous because of his support for the bill, three years before he must face voters.

A poll last week found Sen. Ben Nelson trailing Republican Gov. Dave Heineman by 31 points, with 55 percent holding an unfavorable opinion of him. A day after the poll's release, Nelson aired a TV ad during the Nebraska-Arizona college football bowl game to defend his health care vote.

"This will be one of several, if not the biggest issue in the fall election and you've seen what it's already done to the credibility and career of one senator from Nebraska, and I think there will be others," McConnell said on "The Dennis Miller Show." "He's not up in '10, but this is one of those votes that's going to be remembered for a long time."