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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Daily Democratic Wire 3-24-2010

George Wenschhof

Yesterday, in a bill signing ceremony at the White House, President Obama signed into law the Health Care Reform bill.

Today, President Obama will sign the executive order which makes clear the "Hyde amendment" which restricts use of federal funds for abortion, also applies to the health care reform bill. He has invited about a dozen pro-life Democrats from the House, including Representative Bart Stupak (Mich.), to attend

Tomorrow, Obama is off to Iowa City, Iowa where he gave his first speech on the need for health care reform in May, 2007. Reports are over 16,500 have requested tickets online so far and the field House only holds 3,000.


Gallup poll shows Americans favored passage of health care reform -
in their daily tracking poll conducted a day after the House vote, 49% felt it was a good thing and 40% felt it was a bad thing. Voting was primarily along political party lines with Independents slightly in favor 46% - 45%. has more here.

This shows the American voter is not buying the myths and outright lies put forward by many Republicans in regard to health care reform. Look to see the margin for those who approve to increase as the components of the bill are implemented and for the Republican Party strategy of "No" to backfire on them in the upcoming mid term elections.


Senate vote on House amendments to Health Care bill nears -
after seven of the 20 hours of debate were used yesterday, senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yielded the remaining Democratic time. First Read has more here. That leaves about eights hours of debate and there is some speculation Republicans might also yield the remainder of their time for debate. this would allow the voting to begin in the senate. After, more than a year of debate, there is not likely to be new discussion at this point anyway. So, yielding the time for debate makes sense.

The latest Republican tactic to slow approval of the amendments is to offer new amendments which would be likely to pass and then require the bill to go back to the House for passage - and Republicans say Democrats use tricky legislative maneuvers.


President Obama meets with Israel Prime Minister -
for nearly two hours yesterday the two met. Interestingly, there was no press conference, no photos or press release following the meeting. has more here. Relations between the U.S. and Israel have been strained after Israel announced during a visit by Vice President Biden, the approval of 1600 building units on the disputed West Bank.

Middle East Envoy George Mitchell had spent the past year setting up "proximity" peace talks between Palestine and Israel. The start of these talks were to be announced by Vice President Biden during his trip to Israel. Biden did not issue the announcement and Palestine has since dropped out of the planned talks.

Netanyahu's visit to the U.S. has continued with a stubborn insistence on Israel's right to build settlements in disputed land they captured in the 6 day 1967 war. Interestingly, at an AIPAC conference yesterday the differences were highlighted with secretary of state Hillary Clinton speaking on how continued building of settlements undermined the peace process and Netanyahu boldly stating Israel will continue to build.

Netanyahu also moved to changed the subject somwhat when he called for more severe sanctions against Iran, who to date, has refused to be forthcoming in regard to their nuclear development. AIPAC and pro-Israel political action committees are very powerful and this is an important foreign policy issue in the U.S. so stay tuned...


Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) donates 1 million to Ellsworth campaign - has more here. Wow! is likely a record contribution. Bayh is sitting on 13 million in campaign funds from a reelection campaign he decided to end. The lucky one million recipient is Indiana Representative Brad Ellsworth (D) who is running for what will be an open seat. The one million will go to the Indiana Democratic Party who will spend it on efforts to elect Ellsworth. I wonder where the other 12 million will go....


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