Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Blue Dogs are barking 

A funny thing might be happening on the way to a rapid passage of a health care reform bill this summer. AP is reporting late this afternoon:
"Conservative Democrats in the House are rebelling against their party leaders and trying to put the brakes on the push to pass a health care overhaul by August. The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition plans to present a letter to House Democratic leaders Thursday raising concerns about costs and other issues and asking for more time, members of the group tell The Associated Press.

"Democratic Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas says that if the Democrats' liberal legislative plan came to the floor as proposed, an 'overwhelming majority' of his group would oppose it. The Blue Dogs claim 52 members so that could endanger the bill."
My guess is that the Blue Dogs may end up making the House bill a little less grotesque on the expense side, but that some modified version will get passed sometime during 2009. If no bill is passed this year, that would be a fairly significant defeat for the Obama administration and for the Democratic leadership on the Hill. The chances of a similar bill being passed in 2010 -- with the mid-terms looming -- could not be that high.

UPDATE: The WaPo is reporting that Cap & Trade is stalled in the Senate until September. There seems to be a noticeable loss of legislative momentum today.


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