Thursday, March 11, 2010
Can the Blue Dogs Save the Democrats?
That is the big question as we enter yet another “we almost have the votes” weekend in the nation’s Capitol. There is a whole lot of twisting of arms and gnashing of teeth in the offices of the House of Representatives. There is also a lot of rule changing being tried. For example, it has been reported that the White House wants the Louisiana Purchase and the Nebraska Corn Husker deals removed from the Senate Bill before the House votes on it. Pardon me. Don’t changes in the bill already passed by the Senate have to be voted on again? The House and Senate must agree and vote on the same bill before it goes to the President. If the House modifies the Senate bill both versions are not the same, so therefore there must be additional votes and discussion. So the only real path to passage is for the House to pass the current Senate bill and trust they will not be double-crossed by the President and the Senate. The question is whether or not the House leaders, in the names of Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn, are in the know on the double-dealing or are they in the dark also? It is widely believed that the if the House passes the Senate bill, the President will sign it and changes be damned. Obama will have his and the Congress will get theirs on Election Day 2010. Can the moderate Democrats and the Blue Dogs save the party’s hide? Can they stop the House from doing the inevitably stupid and prevent the passing of the Senate health care bill?