Faced With Stalled Overhaul, Dems Still Wonder Who To Blame
Congressional Democrats continue to divvy up blame for the stalled health overhaul, with fingers now pointed toward centrist Democrats and Republicans, President Barack Obama or even White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, depending on the blamer's perspective.
Roll Call: A group of progressive Democrats from both the House and Senate will meet Tuesday night to discuss their health overhaul strategy, including their hopes for resurrecting the so-called "public option," which earlier lacked support in the Senate. "As for how to deal with Senate Republicans threatening to block any Democratic health care plan, [Rep. Raul Grijalva, R-Ariz., chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus,] said he will urge Senate progressives to 'let them filibuster. That will give our constituents an opportunity to weigh in'" (Bendery, 2/8).
The Hill: "Democrats in Congress are holding White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel accountable for his part in the collapse of healthcare reform. ... The emerging consensus among critics in both chambers is that Emanuel's lack of Senate experience slowed President Barack Obama's top domestic priority." Senate Democrats are now accusing Emanuel and other White House officials Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., also assigned blame to White House strategist David Axelrod of attempting to go forward with the overhaul without a clear-cut plan in recent months, resulting in the current gridlock. Nonetheless, Democrats are not seeking Emanuel's resignation and concede moving health care is a difficult task (Bolton, 2/9).
The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun: Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., chose to cast his blame all the way to the top. Nelson "said Friday that President Obama needed to 'start cracking the whip' to get the House of Representatives to pass the Senate's version of health care reform" (Crabbe, 2/5).