First Edition: January 27, 2010
Both Democrats' congressional confusion about how to proceed with health reform and voter angst about the direction of the country will play roles in what President Obama says in tonight's State of the Union address.
Looking Back On Obama In 2009: 'Health Reform Will Not Wait Another Year'
While tonight marks President Obama's first State of the Union speech, last year he addressed a joint session of Congress, in which he passionately committed his administration to health reform. Kaiser Health News provides excerpts from last year's speech in which the president talked about health care and health reform (Kaiser Health News).
Democrats Put Lower Priority On Health Bill
With no clear path forward on major health care legislation, Democratic leaders in Congress effectively slammed the brakes on President Obama's top domestic priority on Tuesday, saying they no longer felt pressure to move quickly on a health bill after eight months of setting deadlines and missing them (The New York Times).
Democrats Slow Efforts On Health
Senate Democrats, struggling to find a way forward on their health bill, signaled Tuesday that they are no longer in a rush to pass the overhaul (The Wall Street Journal).
Dem Impasse On Health Bill Continues
Democrats searching for a way to resuscitate health reform ran into a wall of opposition from party moderates Tuesday - throwing into doubt whether congressional leadership can salvage the sweeping reform plan that once was President Barack Obama's top domestic priority (Politico).
Congress Slows Down On Health Care
Congressional leaders are taking health care legislation off the fast track as rank-and-file Democrats, wary of unhappy midterm election voters, look to President Barack Obama for guidance in his State of the Union address (The Associated Press).
Democrats Woo Snowe, Collins In Hope Of Saving Health Reform Legislation
Centrist Democratic senators have circumvented party leadership to approach Maine GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins about reviving healthcare talks (The Hill).
Anger All Around For Democratic Leaders
The anger is most palpable in the House, where Pelosi and her allies believe Obama's reluctance to stake his political capital on health care reform in mid-2009 contributed to the near collapse of negotiations now (Politico).
Backroom Health Care Deals Fuel Voter Anger
Special legislative favors, especially one designed to secure a Nebraska senator's vote for the embattled health care package, ignited so much public outrage that President Barack Obama is calling them a mistake and House leaders say the bill can't be resurrected unless such sweetheart deals are scrapped (The Associated Press).
Americans Want Obama To Spend More Time On The Economy, Poll Finds
According to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 51% of Americans believe Mr. Obama has paid "too little attention" to the economy. Forty-four percent think he has paid "too much attention" to his proposed overhaul of health care. A plurality continues to think that Mr. Obama's health-care plan is a bad idea (The Wall Street Journal).
NPR Poll Shows Vulnerability Of Obama, Democrats
The poll of 800 likely voters finds that opinion has soured on Obama's No. 1 legislative priority this year: an overhaul of the country's health care system (NPR).
Mass. In Mind For State Of The Union
President Obama is expected to deliver a State of the Union speech tonight with a simple but politically crucial acknowledgment: Massachusetts, I heard you . Until Brown had so successfully tapped into voter angst over Obama's health care overhaul, the president had been expected to make its passage a key point in the address. But with Brown's victory last week and with efforts to rescue the initiative stalled and in danger of collapsing yesterday, the president was not expected to lay out any specific plan to jump-start the legislation, once his top domestic priority (The Boston Globe).
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