Gibbs Says The White House Still “Hopeful” On Bipartisan Support
"The Obama administration is still hopeful it can get bipartisan support for a health insurance overhaul, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday," Dow Jones Newswires reports. "In remarks to reporters at the White House, Gibbs disputed media reports the administration has cast aside such hopes and is preparing to push the controversial health-care bill through Congress on a party-line vote."
"'We continue to be hopeful that we can get bipartisan support' for health-care reforms, said Gibbs. He added that Senate Finance Committee members are negotiating health-care legislation that can garner Republican support, a process the administration doesn't want to short-circuit" (Burns, 8/19).
But The Boston Globe reports on its Political Intelligence blog that "there's quite a bit of buzz today that Democrats might go it alone on a health care overhaul, giving up on a bipartisan bill because of Republican intransigence and unwillingness to compromise. But that prospect isn't all that new."
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is "already pushing back... Robert Gibbs telling reporters this morning that it's still only mid-August and there is plenty of time to shape a bill that could win broad support."
Republicans, meanwhile, "are treating the possibility as old news." The office of Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, said today in its daily morning email that "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it clear for a while now that Democrats would pass a bill without GOP support" and that the White House has not made much effort to reach out across party lines. Cantor's email continues, "Truth of the matter is the administration made the 'go it alone' call a long time ago" (Rhee, 9/19).