UPDATE, 5:35p: And it appears they’ve already kissed and made up? From The Hill, at least they’re again willing to be in the same room together, but that’s about all. Meanwhile liberals are now whining for attention…
Hours after calling their chairman a liar, Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stood by that chairman’s side and announced together that the once-collapsed healthcare negotiations are back on track….
The fact that talks have resumed, however, do not mean that any additional agreements have been reached. And as they stood by each other’s side, both Waxman and Ross alluded to the fact that, substantively, talks haven’t budged from where they have been stuck for days….
As the Waxman-Blue Dog drama played out, House Democratic liberals warned that they should not be taken for granted….
Woah. Read this, from The Hill this afternoon:
House healthcare negotiations dissolved in acrimony on Friday, with Blue Dog Democrats saying they were “lied” to by their Democratic leaders….
The 7 Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stormed out of a Friday meeting with their committee chairman, Henry Waxman (D-CA), saying Waxman had been negotiating in bad faith over a number of provisions Blue Dogs demanded be changed in the stalled healthcare bill.
“I’ve been lied to,” Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chairman Charlie Melancon (D-LA) said on Friday. “We have not had legitimate negotiations….
“Mr. Waxman has decided to sever discussions with the Blue Dogs who are trying to make this bill work for America,” Melancon said.
Although those Blue Dogs were supposed to be headed back into another meeting… their anger was visible.
If the 2 sides cannot reach an agreement, the only hope for passage of the bill in the House will be to go straight to the floor, an option leaders shied away from endorsing but said was an option.
But the Blue Dogs issued dire warnings to leaders contemplating that approach.
“Waxman [pictured left] simply does not have votes in committee and process should not be bypassed to bring the bill straight to floor,” Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), the lead Blue Dog negotiator, said on Friday. “We are trying to save this bill and trying to save this party.”
Melancon said there would be 40-45 “solid no” votes from the 52-strong Blue Dogs, among other problems throughout the caucus. And Melancon said there are more Democrats who will vote against the bill.
“If they try to bring it to the floor, I think they’ll find out they have more problems than the Blue Dogs.”…
[HT: Dan McConchie of Americans United for Life]
On the topic of Nancy Pelosi inexplicably going around the committee Blue Dogs and calling for a vote on the healthcare bill on the House floor, I received this witty, instructive press release from Americans for Limited Government:
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ALG President Bill Wilson today condemned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Energy and Commerce committee chairman Henry Waxman for “agreeing to bypass the Energy and Commerce committee if members of their own caucus do not cave into dictatorial demands to bring the socialized medicine bill to the floor.”
According to Reuters, Waxman said “we are going to have to look at perhaps bypassing the committee” if no agreement could be reached with at least 7 Blue Dog Democrats on the committee that have held up the legislation because of its high price tag, which will cost more than $1.5 trillion according to Kaiser Health News.
Those 7 House Democrats signed a Blue Dog Democrat coalition letter against proposed government-run socialized medicine legislation that stated, “We do not support health care reform that is not deficit neutral.”
“Nancy Pelosi has gone completely insane,” said Wilson. “Democrats in the House should be concerned that the Botox has seeped completely into her brain. Like her forehead, the brain has stopped moving.”
Wilson said that circumventing normal procedure will cost her critical votes on the floor of the House. “Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman are cramming a bill through that virtually no one has seen nor read, all the while ignoring the legitimate concerns of a key segment of their caucus.”
“And to what end? To ram ObamaCare down the throats of the American people by the arbitrary August deadline. Even if Pelosi and Waxman bypass Energy and Commerce, get it to the floor for next week and get it passed by week’s end just to claim victory, it will be nothing more than a Pyrrhic victory,” Wilson declared.
Currently, there are 52 members of the Blue Dog Democrats in the House of Representatives, more than enough votes to defeat the proposal should they vote with the 178 member House Republican caucus.
Markup in the Energy and Commerce committee is expected to continue into the weekend. Yesterday, a markup session of the House Energy and Commerce committee was canceled because of opposition to the legislation by Blue Dog Democrats on the committee. And the committee also canceled a markup session on Tuesday for the same reason….
“This is the greatest demonstration of Nancy Pelosi’s weakness,” said Wilson. “This ObamaCare proposal is so bad that the Speaker of the House cannot even muster enough votes in her own party to bring the bill to the floor. And so in a hissy-fit she is simply circumventing the committee process altogether.”
“The Democrat House Leadership has lost its mind, plain and simple,” Wilson stated.
“Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman are telling the Blue Dogs that their legitimate concerns to slow things down and fully consider the astronomical costs of insuring ‘all Americans’ with government-run health care don’t matter. Why should they vote for the proposal now?” Wilson asked in conclusion.