Monday, August 3, 2009

Mike Enzi: Blocking Health Care Reform From The Inside

Glenn Thrush tells us that Republican Mike Enzi of Senate Finance is refusing to accept a September 15 deadline for getting health care reform out of committee.

At this point you have to give him credit for a clever approach to blocking the bill. If he had just come out with forceful opposition from the beginning, nobody would've included him in negotiations. Instead, he's part of the bipartisan "Gang of Six" on Finance that's writing (or actually, not writing) legislation while Jay Rockefeller and Chuck Schumer sit on the sidelines. Max Baucus was initially thinking that his committee would produce legislation first. Now as we go into the August recess, every other committee has reported a bill while Grassley and Enzi stall Finance. As Jonathan Cohn reports, the Senate GOP doesn't want a bill at all and will be very upset if these guys do anything but get in the way. Publius' satire is right on.

When the rest of the Senate Democrats finally pressure Baucus to end the bipartisan clown show and get a bill through committee, Grassley and Enzi will be well-positioned to raise a big stink about how nasty and partisan Democrats are. It's a trick they couldn't have tried if they just came out with their opposition to health care reform from the beginning.
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