Obama Seeks To Mend Congressional Fences; Harkin Wishes For A Health Law Do-Over
The Washington Post reports on how politics and posturing related to the health law are playing out on Capitol Hill. In addition, Politico interviews incoming Ways & Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., about his policy visions.
The Washington Post:
Obama, Looking To Mend Fences With Congress, Is Reaching Out. To Democrats.
President Obama and his closest aides have determined that their best chance of success in the next two years will depend on improved relationships on Capitol Hill, but their behind-the-scenes efforts are more focused on Obama’s own party rather than the Republicans who are about to take full charge of Congress in January. ... On the Republican side, much of the outreach has come from Cabinet members and other senior administration officials. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell hosted a November breakfast for the top Republicans and Democrats on committees that oversee her agency. (Eilperin, 12/3)
The Washington Post:
Harkin: We Should Have Done Single Payer Health Reform
Veteran Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa) has a less-than-glowing review of the Affordable Care Act — which he helped write and pass in 2010 — and in his final days in Congress is suggesting that Democrats should have considered scrapping the bill altogether. (DelReal, 12/3)
Paul Ryan’s Plan: Broad Vision And Small Steps
In an interview with POLITICO on Wednesday, the Wisconsin Republican said he’s going to use his new perch in the House to pursue what he calls “phase one” of tax reform — focusing only on the business Tax Code — while understanding that he’s not going to get it all while President Barack Obama is in office. But that doesn’t mean he’s giving up on the big ideas he’s pitching to shape the Republican Party’s agenda for 2016 — and possibly keep his options open for a White House run of his own. He’ll keep talking up his Medicare premium support plan and repeal of Obamacare, even though he doesn’t expect either has a shot before the end of Obama’s term. (Faler and Haberkorn, 12/3)