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Friday, March 19, 2010

Daily Democratic Wire 3-19-2010

George Wenschhof

Today, President Obama will travel to nearby Fairfax, Virginia -
for what may be his last rally on health care reform before the vote on Sunday. The Washington Post has more here.

The president cancels his already postponed trip to Indonesia and Australia as the House vote is now scheduled for Sunday, the day he was to leave. has more here.


House Majority Leader says Democrats prepared for any legal challenges to the passage of the health care reform bill -
even, should they use the "deem and pass" rule in the House to avoid an actual vote on the passed senate bill. has more here.

You can be sure there will be plenty of legal challenges coming from Republicans. I prefer the democrats not use the "deem and pass" strategy in the House, but am fine with the use of "budget reconciliation" in the Senate to pass amendments where 51 votes will still be needed for passage.


Reconciliation bill details released -
the House amendments to the passed senate bill make up 153 pages. They include the elimination of some of the ctazy deals done in the senate to ensure passage such as the so-called "cornhusker deal" struck with Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). has a list of the amendments here.


Immigration to be the next "health care like" bill to hit Congress -
an important issue Congress has ignored for quite some time. Senators Charles Shumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will be submitting bipartisan legislation. They have already met with the President who has offered his support for a bipartisan bill.

Current provisions in the bill include more immigration officials, the use of a special coded social security card which would be used by everyone, ways to gain legal status by paying fines and performing community service, and more. The NY Times has more

This is an issue, like health care reform, that can inflame passions. Let's hope this much needed discussion gets underway and the political nonsense we have witnessed over the passage of health care reform is not repeated.

As the House votes Sunday on health care reform, thousands of demonstrators are expected to arrive in D.C. to rally at the national mall for immigration reform. has more here.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls on Israel to freeze construction of settlements on West bank and to resume peace talks with Palestine -
this comes after a meeting in Moscow, Russia with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton. has more here.

Also expected to be announced soon is a U.S./Russia agreement on reduction of nuclear weapons.


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