House Democrats Queasy About Health Care Reform Post-Brown
6:43 AM, Jan 20, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Barney Frank's statement last night, read by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, was a huge blow to health care reform in its current incarnation. Frank clearly gets it. Key quote: "If Martha Coakley had won, I believe we could have worked out a reasonable compromise between the House and Senate health care bills. But since Scott Brown has won and the Republicans now have 41 votes in the senate, that approach is no longer appropriate."
And Frank is not alone. Luke Russert reports that another powerful House Democrat, Henry Waxman, does not believe Congress should rush through the health bill before Brown is seated: "I don't think it's a good idea for us to do that. He ought to be seated and we'll see where we go -- if he wins!"
Frank and Waxman are both canny political operators who have been around the block. I suspect many other House Democrats will pay attention to what they've said. But Pelosi and Obama? I'm not so sure.
Thus another consequence of Brown's victory may be Democratic division and infighting. Up until now, the White House and Congress have been remarkably cohesive. The White House has been able to count on Pelosi and Reid to get its bills through. The amity ended last night.
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