The seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stormed out of a Friday meeting with their committee chairman, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), saying Waxman had been negotiating in bad faith over a number of provisions Blue Dogs demanded be changed in the stalled healthcare bill.
“I’ve been lied to,” Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chairman Charlie Melancon (D-La.) said on Friday. “We have not had legitimate negotiations…
If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, the only hope for passage of the bill in the House will be to go straight to the floor, an option leaders shied away from endorsing but said was an option.
But the Blue Dogs issued dire warnings to leaders contemplating that approach.
“Waxman simply does not have votes in committee and process should not be bypassed to bring the bill straight to floor,” Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the lead Blue Dog negotiator, said on Friday. “We are trying to save this bill and trying to save this party.”
Melancon claims there are 40-45 “hard no” votes right now; it’s unclear to what extent that number overlaps with the 40 potential no’s if the bill ends up with a provision funding abortion. Rather than blather on, though, I’ll hand you over to this enjoyable report from FNC about the ongoing meltdown. Pay particular attention to what James Clyburn has to say about the extent of the infighting. What a week.