I don’t blame him. The longer this drags out, the more time they’ll have to actually read the bill. Witness the fierce urgency of fiscal catastrophe:
After another intense day of closed-door negotiations, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and other senators emerged from a meeting Thursday to admit they had not reached the finish line.
“We’re ready when we’re ready but we’re not going to be ready today,” Baucus told reporters. “We’re very close to reaching agreement. By close, I mean it’s a matter of couple, three or four days, maybe.”
That may not be close enough for Obama, who has repeatedly said he wants both the House and Senate to approve their respective versions of healthcare reform before Congress departs for its August recess…
Following the White House gathering, the urgency of Baucus’s work appeared to intensify. But in announcing the senators had not made a deal, Baucus also said they would not meet again until next week…
“It takes time and that’s what I expressed to the president today, that I hope we can have flexibility on the timeframe so that we can make the best decisions possible on this monumental challenge,” [Olympia] Snowe said. “Well, I don’t know that he necessarily agreed.”
In fact, Snowe said, the Senate should wait until after the August recess to give senators time to review the combined Finance and HELP committee package and get feedback from constituents.
Everyone’s a bit jaded about The One’s modus operandi by now but it’s worth stepping back to drink this in. We’re talking here about his signature policy issue, the most significant domestic legislation that Congress has considered in decades, and rather than take his time and be meticulous about it, Obama’s trying to ram it through as quickly as he can for reasons of either ego or pure political expediency. That “pass something, anything!” approach could be understood (if not forgiven) in the case of the
stimulus recovery “stabilization” bill, since the whole point was to start pushing money out the door as quickly as possible — which didn’t happen, natch. But what’s the excuse this time? What pressing policy consideration demands that this turd be pinched off before August instead of letting Congress take its time? Any lefties want to help me out?
So confident is The One in the success of his program that he’s desperately seeking another “bipartisan” fig leaf a la the Snowe/Specter/Collins votes for the stimulus to share blame when everything goes wrong. Exit question via Ace: How long will it be before Obama starts insisting that he never said universal health care would save money in the long run?