No more reconciliation, no more backroom deals, no more dictating terms. A clean start to the process, or else they’re “reluctant” to waste their time on his little photo op. That ain’t gonna happen, needless to say: The main reason the Dems are desperate to pass O-Care at this point is simply to get their base to turn out in November, and a bill that’s watered down with real concessions to the GOP simply won’t accomplish that. If anything, it could suppress turnout as the left stays home in disgust at having had to compromise with Rethuglikkkans despite a year with a 60-vote majority. The GOP doesn’t have any incentive to compromise either, really, since tea partiers will revolt at any bill that expands federal oversight of health care. So all this is about is political posturing and framing the narrative in a way that’ll deliver the most votes in November.
In which case, this letter from Boehner and Cantor to Rahm Emanuel is a nice bit of framing.
Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward on health care in a bipartisan way, does that mean he will agree to start over so that we can develop a bill that is truly worthy of the support and confidence of the American people? Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said today that the President is “absolutely not” resetting the legislative process for health care. If the starting point for this meeting is the job-killing bills the American people have already soundly rejected, Republicans would rightly be reluctant to participate.
Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward in a bipartisan way, does that mean he has taken off the table the idea of relying solely on Democratic votes and jamming through health care reform by way of reconciliation? As the President has noted recently, Democrats continue to hold large majorities in the House and Senate, which means they can attempt to pass a health care bill at any time through the reconciliation process. Eliminating the possibility of reconciliation would represent an important show of good faith to Republicans and the American people…
Will the President be inviting officials and lawmakers from the states to participate in this discussion? As you may know, legislation has been introduced in at least 36 state legislatures, similar to the proposal just passed by the Democratic-controlled Virginia State Senate, providing that no individual may be compelled to purchase health insurance. Additionally, governors of both parties have raised concerns about the additional costs that will be passed along to states under both the House and Senate bills…
Finally, as you know, this is the first televised White House health care meeting involving the President since last March. Many health care meetings of the closed-door variety have been held at the White House since then, including one last month where a sweetheart deal was worked out with union leaders. Will the special interest groups that the Obama Administration has cut deals with be included in this televised discussion?
More at the link. I think this is a bluff, incidentally — the GOP’s not actually going to boycott The One’s invite for a televised meeting lest it seem petulant — but using the invite as a platform to raise these issues before accepting is a shrewd move. Via the Right Scoop, here’s Limbaugh from today’s show reminding them that there’s nothing wrong, and plenty right, with saying no no no.