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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Daily Democratic Wire 3-18-2010

George Wenschhof

Today, President Obama will sign the 17.6 billion Jobs bill into law -
in a ceremony at the White House. The bill largely provides a $1,000 tax credit for employers who hire the unemployed and also allows the employer to pay social security for the employee for the remainder of this year. In addition, funds for highway construction are included in the bill. the Washington Post has more here.

Vice President Biden will be in Durham, North Carolina today to promote the Stimulus bill while visiting a company that makes light producing semi-conductor chips.

Last night, President held his own in spite of an attack style interview by Fox's Bret Baier who consistently interrupted the president as he was answering a question. A less than professional job by Baier, which once again shows why it has been said that Fox News is a wing of the Republican Party. President Obama deserves credit for appearing on Fox News and making his case for health care reform, realizing few Fox News viewers opinions would be swayed.


Health Care reform passage got a boost yesterday -
in addition, to Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.), five other "no" or "on the fence" House Democrats signaled they were going to support passage of the bill. has more here.

House Republican Leaders have indicated they have 200 solid "no" votes and are currently 16 votes short stopping the bill. House Democratic Leaders have been more coy, merely saying they feel confident they will pass the bill. In all likelihood, the final vote will be similar to what transpired in the House some time ago when they passed their version of health care reform by a 220-215 vote.

However, I am one Democrat who is opposed to using the "deem and pass" rule in the House. By using this procedure, the House would only vote once on the House amendments to the bill and deem passage of the Senate bill. This "dance" being considered because of House Democrats wary of Senate Democrats. The fear being the Senate would not pass the amendments plus they don't want to face attack this Fall by Republicans who will surely say, "you voted for it, before you voted against it" pertaining to the current senate version of the bill which contains all the silly concessions made to various Senators to secure their vote for passage of the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sent a letter to the House Democrats assuring them there were 51 Democratic senators on board for the amendments. That should be enough for the House Democratic caucus and I would hope there be two votes taken; one for passage of the current senate health care bill and the second for amendments to the bill.


Senate Republicans hone up on procedural rules as health care passage in the House nears -
While Republicans have been criticizing Democrats on their use of procedural rules to pass health care reform, they have been busy planning on using procedural rules in the senate to dilute or doom passage of the health care bill.

They intend to give a workout to the senate parliamentarian once the amendments reach the senate under the use of "budget reconciliation". They intend to challenge every amendment, thus slowing the process down and hopefully striking many of the proposed amendments by the House. Such is the state of politics today. has more


Congressional Budget Office releases projected health bill costs -
finally, the independent CBO released the figures which show a projected cost of 940 billion over the next decade and a 130 billion reduction in the deficit.

The current passed Senate bill had a 875 billion cost over the next decade and a 118 billion reduction in the deficit.

This now sets the 72 hour notice in motion. So, expect a vote Sunday morning in the House. has more


For those of you who are caught up in "March Madness", President Obama makes his "Final Four" picks.


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