[Updated] White House pressuring Sen. Reid to cut a deal with Lieberman

Not long before some of the front-pagers started writing about the duplicitous nature of Lieberman, Politico ran this story:

W.H. to Reid: Cut deal with Lieberman

The White House is encouraging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), which would mean eliminating the proposed Medicare expansion in the health reform bill, according to an official close to the negotiations.

But Reid is described as so frustrated with Lieberman that he is not ready to sacrifice a key element of the health care bill, and first wants to see the Congressional Budget Office cost analysis of the Medicare buy-in. The analysis is expected early this week.

"There is a weariness and a lot of frustration that one person is holding up the will of 59 others," the official said. "There is still too much anger and confusion at one particular senator's reversal."


But as is habitual for this WH, whenever one of their backroom deals are exposed (PhRMA deal, their lobbying to table Sen. Dorgan's drug reimportation amendment in lieu of that deal) they released a carefully worded denial. However, TPMDC has independently confirmed this story :

As Politico first reported, the White House is pressuring a reluctant Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to keep the prospects for health care reform legislation alive, a keyed in aide confirms.

Reid's inclination is to wait until the CBO reports back on the public option compromise at the root of Lieberman's filibuster threat. But the White House has made it clear that they don't want to mess around.

Further confirmation is now being provided independently by Ryan Grim at Huffington Post:

Rahm Emanuel visited Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in his Capitol office on Sunday evening and personally urged him to cut a deal with recalcitrant Sen. Joe Lieberman, two Democratic sources familiar with the situation said.

Emanuel, President Obama's chief of staff, has long been identified as leading a faction of White House advisers who have been pushing the Senate simply to pass any health care bill, no matter how weak.

His direct message to Reid (D-Nev.), according to a source close to the negotiations: "Get it done. Just get it done."

There you have it folks. The WH is desperate to pass a bill, any bill, that has but the name health care attached to it and celebrate it as a great "victory". It really does not matter to them that the final bill will in fact shift the cost on to the consumer. In the end it is the Baucus bill with the Max tax that will be embraced by our Democratic leaders.

Now I ask again, don't you just love the sterling transformative leadership being provided from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Also don't forget to donate $25 to OFA folks, because even though you are not getting meaningful healthcare reform and may even have to pay a Max tax, you might win a pony called "Change" ......if you are lucky.

Update [2009-12-14 20:22:28 by tarheel74]:

This is from the TPM who reaffirms their story:

Emanuel didn't just leave it to Reid to find a solution. Emanuel specifically suggested Reid give Lieberman the concessions he seeks on issues like the Medicare buy-in and triggers.

"It was all about 'do what you've got to do to get it done. Drop whatever you've got to drop to get it done," the aide said. All of Emanuel's prescriptions, the source said, were aimed at appeasing Lieberman--not twisting his arm.

This is the second Senate aide to provide nearly identical accounts of the White House's position. It seems very much as if officials there desperately want the Senate to pass a bill, at all costs.

Washington Post now reports that the Senate Democratic caucus emerged from a special meeting where they decided to drop the Medicare buy-in plan:

In the Monday evening meeting, Reid urged Democrats to accept political reality and move the $848 billion bill across the finish line without the proposal.

"It appeared that would be necessary," Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), a moderate, said in response to a question about whether the Medicare expansion would be dropped as he left the caucus.

"To use an old cliche, the general consensus was we shouldn't make the perfect the enemy of the good," Bayh said.

Tags: Lieberman, obama, rahm, Reid (all tags)


1 Comment

There it is....

Now clap your hands and praise the leadership. Also don't forget to donate to OFA.

by tarheel74 2009-12-14 03:27PM | 0 recs


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