FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Hank Waxman Loses a Blue Dog: Space Splits, Leaving Obamacare Compromise in Doubt Yet Again
For whatever reason — perhaps it was Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick’s stubborn insistence on a fully-funded, competitive “public option” for her black constituents, whom she seems to think have no other option in life but to be on the public dole — Rep. Zack Space (D-OH) is rumored to have withdrawn his support from the ongoing negotiations over HR 3200, the Orwellianly-titled “Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009.”
One of four Blue Dog Democrats whose willingness to continue negotiating about the fine points of the thousand-page bill was the only thing keeping the possibility of a pre-recess vote on life support, a withdrawal by Space would effectively end E&C’s ability to continue marking up the health overhaul bill, at least for the present.
Even if he relented this evening and returned to the negotiating table, though, the compromise amendment stemming from the Blue Dog capitulation — which has not yet been written — would have to be completed by noon Friday if it is going to be considered by E&C during the markup period, which Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) has said would end at 2:00pm.
Additionally, the four Blue Dogs whose compliance has allowed the bill to remain alive in the Energy and Commerce Committee had predicated their support on their inspection of a Congressional Budget Office scoring of the compromise bill they are helping to craft — and, reportedly, no such score has been forthcoming to date.