Missed Deadline? Taking the Focus Off Health Care? Press Secretary Gibbs Unknowingly Outlines Democratic Strategy...

Published March 11, 2010, 2:23 pm, CST

by Diane W. Collins


Yesterday, in St. Louis, MO President Obama called for the Congress to "Vote now," saying he was tired of the health care debate and that it was time to "move on." Regardless, we all continue to concentrate on how Pelosi gets her votes and the Senate handles the possibility of reconciliation, not to mention the CBO's score on the new bill (not the current Senate bill's re-formed score). And, what about the deals written and unwritten? Which will be included in any final health care reform legislation? But, there is something more. Today Press Secretary Gibbs may have given us a small glimpse into the Democrats strategy. It has to do with financial services reform.


Currently, Sen. Chris Dodd is forming in committee a financial services bill that addresses the various abuses credit card companies and banks levied against consumers. A topic that carries a lot of pathos. The bill is expected to be in mark up form prior to the President leaving on March 18th for Indonesia and Australia. Does this signal a new Democratic strategy? We think so and it surrounds the debate between President Obama and Speaker Pelosi on the March 18th deadline. They can't make the deadline. Not because Pelosi doesn't want to. It has everything to do with congressional procedure. It takes time to pass legislation. That means Democrats need new talking points that will focus negative attention toward Republicans while the President "vacations" in Indonesia and the Congress adjourns for Spring recess where they will be forced to face their constituents, no doubt getting an earful on health care reform.


The push is on for a financial services bill the President can endorse before leaving on March 18th. Democrats will attempt to fill the airwaves with reports about Republicans favoring financial service companies rather than the public, and Democrats will return to Washington, DC to face a vote on health care reform in a slightly better light. That's how we see it. Keep your eyes open.










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