House Members Confront A Range Of Political Pressures As Health Bill Advances
Catholic Bishops are looking for a future in lobbying as they find their voice on health care reform and abortion, Politico reports. "Success in the House came after the church ran a classic lobbying operation (on abortion): deploying paid staff to Capitol Hill But it remains to be seen if the bishops can have the same results as the broader health bill moves forward or on more complex life issues such as embryonic stem cell research." The three places that the bishops have tried to influence legislation in the health care debate include abortion, religious conscience clauses and immigrants (Cummings, 11/23).
The New York Times reports that pressure from union-backed groups is building for House Democrats who represent New York and New Jersey. "The organizations - including the Communications Workers of America and the Working Families Party - say they are disappointed that these lawmakers voted against the bill approved by the House this month" and the groups left open the possibility that they could withhold support or work against candidates who don't back a final health care reform bill (Hernandez, 11/22).
Politico has Q&As with Reps. Tom Price, R-Ga., and Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif. on the health care reform bill in the Senate and how it differs with the bill House lawmakers passed. Price says the way to defeat the Democratic health proposals is to describe the consequences of legislation including "hundreds of billions of dollars of cuts to Medicare (and) raising taxes" (Mark, 11/23). For Woolsey, enough compromise on a government-run public option for health coverage has been made. "If we don't have a strong public option, there's no point of having one at all. The trigger would not do it," she told Politico (Mark, 11/23).