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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Daily Democratic Wire 2-25-2010

George Wenschhof

Health Care Reform Summit set to begin -
Let's hope for meaningful discussion and a positive outcome. For six hours between 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM ET, Republicans and Democrats will meet at the Blair House, televised for all to see. Here is a list of the final attendees.

Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) was invited by the White House a few days ago but declined as she had not been included by Republican leadership. Snowe is a Republican on the fence in regard to health care reform so this was a good move by the White House and a stupid move by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Republicans should be fearful for several things. One; if they continue to be obstructionists and the "Party of No", voters will be turned off and it will hurt Republican hope for big gains in the mid term elections.

Second, a failure to offer meaningful input and show a willingness to compromise will serve to bring together Democrats who had not previously been in agreement on various aspects of the bill. Expect the House to then move to pass the existing Senate version of the health care reform bill and budget reconciliation to be used in the Senate to amend the bill.

Americans want health care reform and Republicans blocking it will only serve to further weaken and fracture them as a political party.


Unemployment claims up 22,000 for the week ending February 20 -
initial filings stood at 496,000, up 22,000 from the previous week. has more here. This is an example of how huge the unemployment problem is in the country. The 15 billion Jobs bill passed yesterday by the Senate is estimated to create 250,000 to 1.2 million jobs which is not enough to combat the slow growth in the U.S. at the present time.

On top of this report, yesterday Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, testifying before the House Financial Services Committee said the job market remains grim. has more

I would like to see a large chunk of the remaining money from the 800 billion Stimulus bill be used to fund public service employment programs to put people back to work.


Conservative darling Mark Rubio spent thousands with GOP credit card -
the silliness continues as the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Florida was using an American Express card issued to him when he was Florida Speaker of the House to but groceries, repairs for his minivan and purchases from a wine store. The St. Petersville Times has more here.

Rubio is in a close race with Republican Governor Charlie Crist in the Florida Republican Senate primary.


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