Party Leaders Handle Key Finance Panel Undecided Votes Differently
"Democrats are tiptoeing around Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) these days," according to The Hill. How Rockefeller will cast his upcoming Senate Finance Committee vote isn't a sure thing, but his Democratic colleagues are avoiding the topic and instead letting President Obama do the talking. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus maintains that Rockefeller will vote for the bill, although they haven't discussed it. But "Obama has urged him to, both in person and on the phone, and now the West Virginian's colleagues seem to be giving him space to let the president's words sink in." Republicans are using a different strategy to press their own unpredictable member to oppose the panel's health reform measure. "Republican senators are reaching out to Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) to get a sense of how she intends to vote. But rather than confront her in large groups and risk rattling the centrist lawmaker, they are seeking private, one-on-one meetings to make their case against the bill" (Bolton, 10/7).
And in regard to the issue of timing, Senate Republicans have introduced a resolution that would require all bills be available to read for 72 hours before coming up for a vote, CNN reports. "The Republican resolution, which would require cost estimates for each (health care reform) bill from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, is designed to prevent what party leaders fear will be Democratic attempts to eventually ram redrafted legislation through Congress with little or no debate." The White House continues to woo Republicans with the hopes that one or more will support reform (10/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.