Blue Dog Dems Oppose Healthcare Bill

Health Care Talks Stall Among House Democrats, Timetable Further in Doubt

A key House committee chairman on Friday threatened to bypass moderate Democrats who are holding up the health care reform bill and bring the package straight to the floor, in the latest showdown on health care that is dividing Congress and Democratic party ranks.

…”It pretty much fell apart this afternoon,” said Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., part of the Blue Dog Coalition.

“I’ve been lied to. I’ve not had legitimate negotiations,” Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La., another Blue Dog, said after talks hit a wall between his group and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The intra-party drama almost certainly means Democratic leaders have to readjust their timetable for reaching a deal or risk completely alienating a key faction of the party.

It’s unclear which path they will take.

The committee is the only House panel yet to vote on the health care bill. With committee members unable to reach a deal, party leaders have floated the potentially destructive option of bypassing that panel and taking the bill straight to the floor of the House.

“I won’t allow them to turn over control of the committee to the Republicans,” Waxman said, threatening to bypass the committee process.

“I don’t see what alternative we have,” Waxman said of talks that have raged for days with the Blue Dogs. “This can’t be an interminable discussion.”

Waxman said he hopes it doesn’t come to that, and later in the afternoon he publicly apologized to Ross. Standing together, Ross and Waxman said all options are back on the table and they still hope to reach a deal next week.

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushes for a floor vote before the August recess, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said he’d rather wait until there’s agreement before forcing a vote…

Entire article is at Blue Dogs Stall ObamaCare

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