Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Steny Hoyer Assesses the Healthcare Battlefield

It sure doesn't sound like the Democratic House leadership is leaning very hard on its members to pass the Senate Healthcare bill as a prelude to reconciliation in the Senate:
"House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says he hopes Congress can pass comprehensive health overhaul legislation like President Barack Obama wants -- but it may not be possible.

At his weekly media briefing, Hoyer said in such a scenario, doing something smaller would also be good.

A day after Obama unveiled a sweeping health bill, the comments from the Maryland Democrat amounted to an acknowledgment of reality: in a sour political environment, majority Democrats may not have the votes.

But Democratic leaders have been insistent throughout the contentious, yearlong debate that comprehensive legislation is the way to go. Hoyer said that remained the preferred course. Asked if it was all or nothing he said: "We may not be able to do all."

He said, 'If you can't do a whole, doing part is also good.'"
When the leadership concedes that failure is an option, failure usually follows.

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