Gregg Ready For ‘Dialogue’ On Health Reform, Pelosi Ready For Reconciliation Fight
Politico: "Is [Sen.] Judd Gregg [R- N.H.] a tease or a real potential partner for President Barack Obama in trying to salvage some health care reform in this Congress? ... [T]he New Hampshire conservative brings both a proven ability to swing Republican votes and a background in health care and deficit issues. In a letter to Obama released late Tuesday, Gregg welcomed the [Feb. 25] meeting as a chance for 'constructive dialogue'" and he told Politico he is "open to specific deficit-reduction and cost-containment steps that could be taken to win Republicans' support for health reform," though he has rejected the president's proposals. "He brings a record of bipartisan deal making and good personal ties to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid" (Rogers, 2/11).
Meanwhile, Roll Call reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "is pinning the blame on Republicans for a lack of bipartisanship in Congress and plans to bypass them if they continue to oppose efforts to enact near-universal health care. 'A constitutional majority is 51 votes,' Pelosi said in an interview Tuesday with Roll Call. 'If in fact the Republicans are going to say nothing can be done except by 60 percent, then maybe we all should be elected with 60 percent. It isn't legitimate in terms of passing legislation...'" During the interview, "Pelosi stopped short of saying the filibuster should be done away with altogether, but she used some of her bluntest language yet to defend the use of reconciliation as something that has been used with regularity by Republican and Democratic presidents alike" (Dennis, 2/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.