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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Daily Democratic Wire 3-16-2010

George Wenschhof

President Obama maintains the push toward health care reform -
today, he taped an interview which will be aired tonight on ABC "World News with Diane Sawyer". Yesterday, in another campaign mode speech, he highlighted in Ohio, a sad story of a woman, now battling cancer; Natoma Canfield who had to drop her Anthem Blue Cross insurance after repeated premium increases left her unable to pay her mortgage. ABC News has more here.

The House will need 216 votes to pass the health care bill already passed in the Senate. There are 253 House Democrats, so only 37 can vote "No" and have the bill still pass. The Whip count is still fluid, but Roll Call has a finger on the pulse on 24 House Democrats who could make a difference. You can read it


Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to retire prior to end of Obama's first term -
the leader of the liberal wing of the Supreme Court will turn 90 next month. The Caucus has more here. He said he would give an announcement within the next month. Speculation had risen as he had hired only one law clerk, which retired Justices are allowed, as opposed to 4 law clerks allowed for active Justices.

This would make the second appointment for President Obama, who made history last year with the nomination and senate confirmation of the first Hispanic Justice; Sonia Sotomayor. The make up of the board would remain 5-4 in favor of conservative Justices.


Remember, the 15 billion Jobs Bill?
- It is finally scheduled for a vote in the Senate tomorrow after obstructionist Republicans delayed the vote. The bill includes money for employers who hire the unemployed and money for highway construction projects. It is now 17.6 billion, but this is way down from the bloated 50+ billion measure initially floated by Republicans and killed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). has more here.

I am one who favors using 100 billion or more of unused 800 billion Stimulus bill to pay for public service employment programs to put the unemployed back to work immediately and in public service areas hit hard by loss of state and local funding.


U.S. Middle East Envoy George Mitchell cancels trip as violence flares in East Jerusalem -
The Israeli announcement last week of an additional 1600 units to be built in this disputed area has further damaged peace efforts along with U.S.- Israel ties. whether the U.S. brokered "proximity talks" between Israel and Palestine can be rekindled is now in doubt.

Hundreds of Palestinians threw rocks at police and set tires and garbage cans on fire to express their anger over the Israeli announcement. AP has more


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