Breaking: Hoyer says public option could go

posted at 1:23 pm on August 21, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

In a definite reversal of Congressional leadership the last few weeks, House Majority Leader and chief lieutenant to Nancy Pelosi Steny Hoyer indicated that the public option is negotiable after all. In a conference call with reporters, Hoyer says he wants a public option, but he wants a health-care reform bill more:

Hoyer (D-Md.) emphasized his support for a public option in a teleconference call with reporters, but also said he wants to ensure Congress sends a bill to the president.

“I’m for a public option, but I’m also for passing a bill,” he said. Democrats believe the public option is necessary, useful and important, he added, “be we’ll have to see.”

He then said there are many other important parts of healthcare legislation that have been approved by three committees in the House.

President Barack Obama already has signaled he won’t insist that a public option be included in final healthcare legislation, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Sunday opened a firestorm with the political left by saying that a public option was “not essential” to a healthcare bill.

Hoyer has long been seen as a voice for centrist Blue Dog Democrats, who have reservations about the public option.

Yesterday, as The Hill notes in this piece, Pelosi told an audience that she couldn’t get a bill passed in the House without a public option.  The two seem to be on different pages, or perhaps they’re trying to mollify different constituencies.  If Hoyer has more resonance with Blue Dogs, Pelosi certainly represents the leftist wing of the Democratic caucus in the House.

If this is just PR and strategy, it won’t last for very long.  Hoyer has given Blue Dogs hope that they can avoid voting for an increasingly unpopular part of reform.  Pelosi practically promised the Left that they will get their public option.  At some point, those two directions are diametrically opposed, and raising expectations in both camps looks more like a strategy for civil war in the caucus than for getting anything done.

Are Pelosi and Hoyer on the same page anymore?  Or has Hoyer thrown in with the Blue Dogs?  In these situations, we can only offer one piece of advice: pass the popcorn.


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Y’all probably remember Hoyer wasn’t Pelosi’s choice for the No. 2 leadership post… the legendarily corrupt John Murtha was.

either orr on August 21, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Bingo.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on August 21, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Wow. Could they be jockeying for a leadership struggle in the house in case Pelosi and her socialists do a Dr. Strangelove and ride this bitch down in flames.

elduende on August 21, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Indian style

That’s racist!

Unless, of course, you are talking ’bout Indians.

JoeinTX on August 21, 2009 at 2:01 PM

This is exhausting, but well worth a fight.

However….I don’t trust any of the Dems anymore. One way, or another, they WANT this public option, and by God they will get it! Unfortunately! :(

capejasmine on August 21, 2009 at 2:02 PM

This is bound to happen while Obama is on vacation.

The Dems have no leader other than him. They will all go off message.

faraway on August 21, 2009 at 2:02 PM

I’m turning Hoyer in to the WH snitch line.

mankai on August 21, 2009 at 2:05 PM

ladyingray on August 21, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Sing it, sister!

FontanaConservative on August 21, 2009 at 1:52 PM

WashJeff on August 21, 2009 at 1:51 PM

It’s not sweet enough or salty enough. It has just enough of both to remind me what I’m missing.

Laura in Maryland on August 21, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Laura in Maryland on August 21, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Until now, I thought I was the only one, but I HATE kettle corn, and I grew up in NJ not Texas.

Daggett on August 21, 2009 at 2:10 PM

It’s not sweet enough or salty enough. It has just enough of both to remind me what I’m missing.

Laura in Maryland on August 21, 2009 at 2:06 PM

I hear violins in the background.

FontanaConservative on August 21, 2009 at 2:10 PM

David Paterson, his governorship sputtering, suggested a racist media is to blame for his woes, and linked himself to Deval Patrick and Barack Obama, as well as two hapless home-state senate leaders:

“This state is not in the trouble that Michigan is in Pennsylvania is in and Massachusetts is in, but you don’t see in those other states this crescendo about getting rid of the governor just because we’re in a recession,” Paterson told [Errol] Louis this morning on AM 1600 WWRL.

“And I submit that the same kind of treatment that Deval Patrick is receiving right now in Massachusetts, and I’m receiving; the way in which the New York State Senate was written about, calling them a bunch of people with thick necks – they’re talking about Malcolm Smith and John Sampson – that we’re not in the post-racial period.”

“And the reality is that the next victim on the list and you see it coming is President Barack Obama, who did nothing more than try to reform a health care system that’s not ten percent of GDP and will be 20 percent of GDP in the next four years only because he’s trying to make change.”

He hasn’t, one imagines, been reading much of Jon Ralston’s coverage of Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, actually the most harshly covered executive in the country.

andy85719 on August 21, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Daggett on August 21, 2009 at 2:10 PM

por que?

FontanaConservative on August 21, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Don’t buy it.

The will tell us the public option is out (head fake) and just rename it as a health care co-op.

How do you tell if a liberal is lying?

Watch his lips. If they move odds are it’s a lie.

The Rock on August 21, 2009 at 2:13 PM

If this is just PR and strategy, it won’t last for very long. Hoyer has given Blue Dogs hope that they can avoid voting for an increasingly unpopular part of reform. Pelosi practically promised the Left that they will get their public option. At some point, those two directions are diametrically opposed, and raising expectations in both camps looks more like a strategy for civil war in the caucus than for getting anything done.

I get the feeling that the “public option” is due to be inserted back into the picture at the conference phase of the process. Originally, it was meant for the House to put it in their version, the Senate to strip it, and the conference to bring it back; but the Dogs seem to be preventing that.

Are Pelosi and Hoyer on the same page anymore? Or has Hoyer thrown in with the Blue Dogs? In these situations, we can only offer one piece of advice: pass the popcorn.

Red-on-red fire: I LOVE it.

steveegg on August 21, 2009 at 2:13 PM

“pass the popcorn”

That’s not an advice. An advice would be something like:

“make more popcorn”

novakyu on August 21, 2009 at 2:13 PM

“pass the popcorn”

That’s not an advice. An advice would be something like:

“make more popcorn”

novakyu on August 21, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Nitpicker :-)

steveegg on August 21, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Dear Chekote-

Here is a list of your greatest posts from all over the net… You are Palin hater from way back. But I guess you only want to get the INVESTOR CLASS voters.

I am sticking with Giuliani by Chekote

Giuliani is the only candidate who will be competitive in states like New Jersey and PA. The GOP needs to break out of this Southern-Plains electoral box it has built for itself by pandering to the evangelicals. It is great to have religious people involved in party politics but they need to check their religious book at the door.

As far as Romney being the only candidate to keep the old Reagan coalition together, did it ever occur to you that it may be time to put together another coalition? Reagan is dead and has been out of office for 20 years. We need to capture the growing investor class. Giuliani is the man to do it. Romney could also have been the man to do it but he decided to pander to the evangelicals in Iowa.”

Chekote // Jul 27, 2009 at 8:53 am

Bill

I can’t believe you support Palin. She gave another incoherent speech and her constant lashing at the media makes her look thin skinned. Have all the conservatives forgotten what was said about Hillary? For goodness sake she was accused of murdering Vince Foster!

Chekote:
“Chekote // Jul 11, 2009 at 12:04 am

Today, I feel very encouraged. I am reading more and more pieces basically stating that Palin is a political dead end. I would recommend Noonan, Murphy’s pieces. But the best description of the Palin phenomenon is this:

“When I lived in NYC, Giuliani was constantly sued by the ACLU. The man never backed down. As matter of fact, everytime a new suit was threatened his response was “Get in line”. If all it takes for you to tuck your tail between your legs is frivolous lawsuits, you ain’t ready for prime time.

Comment by Chekote — 7/4/2009 @ 9:28 am

portlandon on August 21, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Dear Chekote-

Here is a list of your greatest posts from all over the net… You are Palin hater from way back. But I guess you only want to get the INVESTOR CLASS voters.

I am sticking with Giuliani by Chekote

Giuliani is the only candidate who will be competitive in states like New Jersey and PA. The GOP needs to break out of this Southern-Plains electoral box it has built for itself by pandering to the evangelicals. It is great to have religious people involved in party politics but they need to check their religious book at the door.

As far as Romney being the only candidate to keep the old Reagan coalition together, did it ever occur to you that it may be time to put together another coalition? Reagan is dead and has been out of office for 20 years. We need to capture the growing investor class. Giuliani is the man to do it. Romney could also have been the man to do it but he decided to pander to the evangelicals in Iowa.”

Chekote // Jul 27, 2009 at 8:53 am

Bill

I can’t believe you support Palin. She gave another incoherent speech and her constant lashing at the media makes her look thin skinned. Have all the conservatives forgotten what was said about Hillary? For goodness sake she was accused of murdering Vince Foster!

Chekote:
“Chekote // Jul 11, 2009 at 12:04 am

Today, I feel very encouraged. I am reading more and more pieces basically stating that Palin is a political dead end. I would recommend Noonan, Murphy’s pieces. But the best description of the Palin phenomenon is this:

“When I lived in NYC, Giuliani was constantly sued by the ACLU. The man never backed down. As matter of fact, everytime a new suit was threatened his response was “Get in line”. If all it takes for you to tuck your tail between your legs is frivolous lawsuits, you ain’t ready for prime time.
Comment by Chekote — 7/4/2009 @ 9:28 am

portlandon on August 21, 2009 at 2:14 PM

I think I momentarily derailed this thread with stuff about kettle corn.

where’s my 15 bucks?

:D

FontanaConservative on August 21, 2009 at 2:14 PM

andy85719 on August 21, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Patterson should thank his lucky stars he wasn’t thrown out the very day he got into office and his sexual piccadillos were revealed. He’s a true slug in need of a salting.

progressoverpeace on August 21, 2009 at 2:15 PM

What is worse then the public option? Losing the support of attorneys, if they keep battling and then have to go to tort reform.
Sarah’s shot across the bow about tort reform has shaken them up.
If they keep fighting they are going to lose a lot more, and they know it.
Don’t give in Republican’s, we can get tort reform, and insurance companies selling across state lines.

right2bright on August 21, 2009 at 2:16 PM

See there? Hoyer is a member of the VRWC.

petefrt on August 21, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Wow. Could they be jockeying for a leadership struggle in the house in case Pelosi and her socialists do a Dr. Strangelove and ride this bitch down in flames

– That’s funny right there!

Flyboy on August 21, 2009 at 2:24 PM

por que?

FontanaConservative on August 21, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Caramel corn (or Cracker Jack) is the real thing on the sweet side. Regular popcorn is the real thing on the salty, buttery side.

Kettle corn is a crappy attempt to stick something in the middle.

By the way, I like all kinds of popcorn, but black jewel is a real treat. Smaller kernels, but sweet and chewy.

Daggett on August 21, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Daggett on August 21, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Nailed it.

Laura in Maryland on August 21, 2009 at 2:28 PM

While the Dems are pouring gas on each other, the GOP needs to step forward in unison with a comprehensive approach to reform that relies on free-market approaches.

Steal the issue from Obama, and prove to the country that Obama and Dems don’t know what they’re doing.

Palin’s putting in a yeoman’s effort in knocking down parts of Obamacare, but it’s not enough. It’s time to turn the tables on them.

BuckeyeSam on August 21, 2009 at 2:29 PM

FontanaConservative on August 21, 2009 at 2:14 PM

TxAg already collected on that. I think she used it to buy better popcorn.

Laura in Maryland on August 21, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Red-on-red fire: I LOVE it.

steveegg on August 21, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Don’t you mean blue-on-blue. The state-run media assigned the left “blue” because it would be too easy to see them for what they are if they were color coded red.

Personally I think the GOP should demand to be color coded green since that appeals to both the eco-friendly and captialists!

highhopes on August 21, 2009 at 2:30 PM

While the Dems are pouring gas on each other, the GOP needs to step forward in unison with a comprehensive approach to reform that relies on free-market approaches.

Steal the issue from Obama, and prove to the country that Obama and Dems don’t know what they’re doing.

Palin’s putting in a yeoman’s effort in knocking down parts of Obamacare, but it’s not enough. It’s time to turn the tables on them.

BuckeyeSam on August 21, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Absolutely spot on accurate. Maybe not quite yet but just before Congress goes back into session Bohner and McConnell hold a presser and present the Republican plan to sensible healthcare reform.

highhopes on August 21, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Daggett on August 21, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Meh, I see nothing special about caramel corn. It’s too chewy, (which I hate chewiness). The Kettle Corn I get is the perfect blend. The salt doesn’t over power the sweet and vise versa. Regular popcorn, I agree with you.

FontanaConservative on August 21, 2009 at 2:32 PM

highhopes on August 21, 2009 at 2:30 PM

O/T:
My favorite color is blue. Also what get’s me confused is why does red and blue change sides? I mean on the political spectrum Red means communist and Blue means Reactionary. But when we move on to just politics red means republican and blue means democrat?

FontanaConservative on August 21, 2009 at 2:35 PM

FontanaConservative on August 21, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Well, you know what they say: “There’s no accounting for taste.” For example, there’s good taste, and then there’s people who like kettle corn.

;)

Daggett on August 21, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Who cares what you think, Hoyer? You and the entire bill need to take a hike.

rlwo2008 on August 21, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Take the public option out—the bill still stinks.
Scrap it completely and start over with torte reform,otherwise do nothing.

DDT on August 21, 2009 at 2:44 PM

It could be that Red was chosen for Republicans since the MSM believes they will make the blood flow due to their hate speech and blue for Democrats because of blue skies and sunshine, lollipops and roses.

Of course one could say that blue is for they was Liberals make everyone depressed (economically and financially) but I don’t think the MSM would get the irony.

Beaglemom on August 21, 2009 at 2:46 PM

way, not was

Beaglemom on August 21, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Kettle corn v. popcorn v. caramel corn… Yes, the conservatives are fractured.

myrenovations on August 21, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Is it within the realm of possibility that Michelle Obama is a shemale? Obama allegedly likes tube steak from time to time.

In the words of Austin Powers, “You have to admit, she is rather MANish!”

uknowmorethanme on August 21, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Is Hoyer gunning for Nancy’s position as Speaker?

GarandFan on August 21, 2009 at 2:53 PM

myrenovations on August 21, 2009 at 2:49 PM

HA!!! alright, I’ll be serious
Daggett…your on thin ice mister :)

FontanaConservative on August 21, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Hoyer is still a Milk Carton fugitive. Coward

playtime on August 21, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Watch the head fake . . . the problem with poor rationed and denied care for our senior still exists. This entire socialist healthcare manifesto must be thrown in the trash can.

rplat on August 21, 2009 at 2:57 PM

FontanaConservative on August 21, 2009 at 2:32 PM

TAKE.
THAT.
BACK.

Laura in Maryland on August 21, 2009 at 3:25 PM

are you kidding me…the blue dogs are democraps who will give in at the end with hoyer at their side!

FloridaMike on August 21, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Don’t know if anyone has mentioned this but FWIW, if this is not just a PR ploy, it may signify Hoyer distancing himself from Pelosi.

Let’s hypothesize that Hoyer thinks HCR is going down. If that happens, I think there is a large probablility that Pelosi will have lost enough confidence in her leadership abilities that there may be a call for a new Speaker of the House.

By positioning himself with the Blue Dogs and moderate Dems in the House with an ability to compromise with Republicans, Hoyer may be in prime position to challenge San Fran Nan.

Anyway, it’s a theory . . . :p

Greyledge Gal on August 21, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Anyway, it’s a theory . . . :p

Greyledge Gal on August 21, 2009 at 3:34 PM

It’s plausible, maybe probably.

Even east coast liberals consider San Fran Nan and her comrades to be a more than a little out there.

Laura in Maryland on August 21, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Beaglemom on August 21, 2009 at 2:46 PM

It could be that Red was chosen for Republicans since the MSM believes they will make the blood flow due to their hate speech and blue for Democrats because of blue skies and sunshine, lollipops and roses.

I swear I believe that Republicans used to be blue and Dems used to be red when I was younger — possibly that this change even occurred 1996/2000? I had a game called “Election” back in the mid-1970s (kind of like “Risk” for political junkies) that was set up that way.

Anyone else remember a change or am I just having a brain fart?

Greyledge Gal on August 21, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Laura in Maryland on August 21, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Laura, I lived in Cecil Co. for the first 44 of my 47 years so am pretty familiar with the cutthroat politics in MD. Pelosi was born and raised in it. She just exported it to California. :)

Greyledge Gal on August 21, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Greyledge Gal on August 21, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Shhhh! I’m hoping everyone forgets the Bawlmer connection.

And congrats for escaping from Ceciltucky;)

Laura in Maryland on August 21, 2009 at 4:00 PM

I swear I believe that Republicans used to be blue and Dems used to be red when I was younger — possibly that this change even occurred 1996/2000?

Anyone else remember a change or am I just having a brain fart?

Greyledge Gal on August 21, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Don’t remember what election it was changed but when Reagan was first elected Repiblicans were blue.

agmartin on August 21, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Kettle corn v. popcorn v. caramel corn… Yes, the conservatives are fractured.

myrenovations on August 21, 2009 at 2:49 PM

I will eat the one Meg McCain doesn’t eat…

…I hope can still eat popcorn.

WashJeff on August 21, 2009 at 4:47 PM

What would you expect from these surrender monkeys?

Sure, they’re socialists, but they are cowards above all else. Always willing to fight to your dying breath. We must offer them no quarter, no “bi-partisan” compromise. Let them own whatever they can squeeze out of their oh-so-temporary majority.

Thank God (literally) for incompetent adversaries. Now if we can rid ourselves of similar ilk we can get our country back on track.

PolicyWonk on August 21, 2009 at 7:45 PM

When will his constituents say Hoyer can go?

second digit on August 21, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Don’t you mean blue-on-blue. The state-run media assigned the left “blue” because it would be too easy to see them for what they are if they were color coded red.

highhopes on August 21, 2009 at 2:30 PM

No; I mean Communist Red-on-Communist Red. I am old-school, after all.

Besides, red is the color of the enemy on a battle map.

steveegg on August 22, 2009 at 12:38 AM

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