Democrats Weigh Impact of Election Results On Health Reform
While some Democrats seem rattled by election results this week, others say the GOP victories in two races for governor won't change their approach to health overhaul legislation.
The Associated Press/The Boston Globe reports that Democrats celebrated, too, winning two House seats Tuesday, one a California that had been held by a Democrat and the other a New York seat that is traditionally Republican. "Depending on how quickly the newly elected lawmakers are sworn in, it was possible the most immediate impact of the elections would be to increase support for the legislation. 'From our standpoint we picked up votes last night,' said [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, D-Calif" (Espo, 11/4).
Democratic moderates also haven't let the Republicans victories in Tuesday's elections influence their votes on health care reform, Roll Call reports: "That's because many Democratic centrists - particularly those representing conservative states and districts - were already nervous about how their health care vote might be received at home." More Democrats were apt to blame the candidates instead of the Democratic Party for the governor losses in Virginia and New Jersey (Drucker and Newmyer, 11/5).
But the Los Angeles Times reports that some are rattled by the outcome: "Now, as the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate prepare for next year's midterm elections, some moderate Democrats are wondering whether they can afford to follow President Obama's ambitious legislative agenda on such controversial issues as healthcare and climate change."
"'There are going to be a lot more tensions between the White House and Congress,' predicted Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition of fiscally conservative Democrats. 'They've been under the surface so far - and they're going to come out in the open'" (Oliphant, Nicholas and Parsons, 11/5).