Two scoops of awesome via Hengler. The key bit is his promise to scrutinize appropriations bills too. That’s how the horse-trading on this one will be done — in future bills, quietly, after the public’s disgust over dealmaking in ObamaCare has abated a bit. In fact, rumors are circulating that Bart Gordon’s vote was purchased with the promise of a job at NASA and that fellow retiree John Tanner might find himself with an ambassadorship if he plays his cards right. Can we place much stock in rumors, though? Remember, it was also rumored that Joe Sestak was offered an administration role if he dropped his challenge to Specter and there were no witnesses to that. Except, er, Joe Sestak.
This, of course, applies only to the House. In the Senate, they’re much more honest about displaying their graft:
Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) went on the defensive Thursday afternoon after Republicans seized on a carve-out in the health care reconciliation bill for his state as well as comments he made indicating the Senate would likely not be able to pass the bill unchanged.
Conrad told reporters that he has instructed his staff to ask the House to remove a provision from the bill allowing the state-owned Bank of North Dakota to continue receiving federal student loan subsidies, even though the program would be eliminated for other banks. Republicans had already dubbed the provision the “Bismarck Bank Job.”
“In this [partisan] environment, you can’t defend. It doesn’t matter what the merits are. It doesn’t matter,” said Conrad. “So I just told them take it out. … We negotiated this in good faith months ago. But it’s not worth it. It’s not right that it be used to misrepresent this package.”
Hey, Kent? It wasn’t just Republicans who were pissed. Exit question: Am I the only one who’ll miss the colorful names for Democrats’ legislative bribes when this is over? Cornhusker Kickback, we hardly knew ye.
Update: Looks like Floridian Dem Suzanne Kosmas is about to sell her vote for a NASA deal too, so we should probably get cracking on a name for this one.
President Barack Obama put the personal touch on his healthcare lobbying last week, inviting U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach, to the White House for a 15-20 minute discussion, according to congressional Democrats…
A congressional Democrat said Kosmas frequently pivoted the conversation to NASA — a major issue for Kosmas as she represents Kennedy Space Center. The NASA facility is set to lost as many as 9,000 jobs once the shuttle is retired this year and she is seeking help for those workers.