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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Daily Democratic Wire 3-17-2010

George Wenschhof

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

President Obama is busy today attending various St. Patrick's Day events -
Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen first has breakfast with Vice President Biden and then heads to the White House to meet with the president. Obama then heads to a St. Patrick's Day luncheon hosted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, before hosting an evening event at the White House.

The President will also appear on Fox News tonight
- he will make his case for health care reform with anchor Bret Baier.


This morning, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) discuss health care reform on ABC "Good Morning America" -
you can watch a clip here.

Part of the discussion is the high probability the House Democrats will use a "House Rule" which will allow them to only have to vote once. The procedure would "deem" the passage of the senate health care bill while they passed amendments to it.

Democrats should be wary of using the "deem and pass" rule in this case as it may not pass constitutional scrutiny. A constitutional challenge would surely follow and past Supreme Court rulings do not appear to support this action. has more here.

There is no need to risk ultimate passage of the health care reform bill over Democrats skittish about taking two votes; one to approve the Senate bill and the second to offer amendments to it.


Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.) to announce today his vote on the health care bill -
The far left Democrat has argued the bill does not go far enough to protect consumers without the inclusion of the "public option". He has been publicly saying he would vote "No" because of this omission and he also voted "No" previously.

Since that time, President Obama has visited Ohio and the fired up crowd was urging Rep. Kucinich, who was present, to vote for the bill. Every vote is critical as this time for Democrats who have put everything into passing this bill. I'm hoping he changes his vote to "Yes" and makes a statement saying this is a good start and more needs to be done.

10:30 AM ET update - Kucinich announces he is now a "Yes" vote for health care reform.


"Tea Party" rally in D.C. falls flat -
the crowd estimated in the hundreds arrived in D.C. yesterday in a planned demonstration against health care reform orchestrated by former Republican Rep. Dick Armey and his Freedom Works organization, along with The Tea Party Express and Americans for Prosperity. Many in the nearly all-white crowd expressed disappointment at the turn out. has more here.


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