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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Daily Democratic Wire 8-1-2009

George Wenschhof

Health care reform passes in two crucial House committees - last night around 9:00 PM ET, the Energy and Commerce Committee passed 31-28 the America's Affordable Health Choices Act. All 23 Republicans opposed and were joined by 5 Democrats. The Ways and Means Committee had already passed a bill so now the two bills will be reconciled in the House. The NY Times has more here.

The passage of the bill out of committee prior to the August Congressional recess gives a boost to President Obama and his efforts to bring health care reform to Americans. There is still a long ways to go before a bill hits the president's desk to be signed. Stay tuned.


Three American Tourists taken captive in Iran - sure to inflame an already volatile relationship between Iran and the U.S. Early reports indicate three tourists were in the northern Kurdish village Sulaimaniya and went out hiking along an unmarked border area with Iran and were detained by Iranian security. has more here.

Makes one wonder - certainly not an area where tourists would knowingly go hiking. Stay tuned.


Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele spent $370,000 to win position last year - you may remember, it took the Republicans six rounds of balloting before Steele won with 91 of the 168 votes taken. Contributors included oil company executives who donated as much as $25,000 to his effort to win the chair. Questionable money has followed Steele throughout his career from when he reportedly was paid during his run for Lt. Governor of Maryland. has more here.


Is Newt Gingrich back? - his group, "American Solutions for Winning the Future" raised 8.1 million in the first six months of this year. With Republican 2012 presidential hopefuls Sanford and Palin fading, is this a sign of strength for Gingrich? His chief operating officer Dan Varroney says the organization is not the start of a presidential campaign and instead is focused on finding solutions to the problems that exist today. has more here.

I would not count out the man who fueled the Republican comeback in Congress the last time they were outnumbered when he was aided by his catchy slogan "Contract with America".


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