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The Last Senate Committee Standing On The Hill

For a while, the Energy and Commerce Committee was the last House committee standing on the Hill, and that’s now changed with the passage of the House Tri-Committee out of the committee on a vote of 31-28 today. All the three House committees and the Senate HELP committee were able to pass the health care legislation out of their respective committees. None of the Republicans voted for the Tri-Committee health care bill in the three House Committees, and neither did the Republicans on the Senate side.

So then what’s the excuse for the hold-up on the Senate Finance Committee, and their delay of the vote to September 15th? It’s Senator Baucus’s bipartisanship fetish at display here, as he says below:

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Baucus and Grassley have been among the fiercest critics of a single-party approach.

"Fundamentally, legislation that is historic, that is comprehensive, that has a large number of senators supporting it is more durable," Baucus said in an interview. "It will be more sustainable and will inspire more public confidence."

Baucus, who came to the Senate in 1979, and Grassley, who joined two years later, have let that philosophy guide them since they assumed senior posts on the finance committee eight years ago.

Utter lies, Senator Baucus. Most of the progressive legislation that still endures today such as Medicare, was passed without Republican votes. The Republicans in each of the three House Committees, and in the Senate HELP Committee, voted AGAINST health care reform. Does Senator Baucus really think that Republicans will vote for real health care reform? Is he that deluded in his need to please his bipartisanship fetish? 

Senator Baucus knows that the delay of the committee vote to September 15th, 2009, allows time for the murder-by-spreadsheet industry to ramp up their PR attacks to scare Members of Congress into voting against any real semblance of health care reform such as the public option and a strong national insurance exchange. He knows that pursuing bipartisanship allows the Republicans to kill progressive legislation. Here are the words straight from a former Republican aide for Senator John Kyl:

Ron Bonjean, who formerly served as chief of staff under Senator Kyl, said: "Creating bipartisan coalitions on key issues is important to prevent Democrat legislative victories."

It’s time for Senator Baucus to realize over the August recess as his constituents and liberal advocacy organizations ramp up their calls for real health care reform with a strong, robust public option, that his bipartisanship fetish isn’t going to cut it this time.

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