Battle Lines Drawn for Recess Fight
By Ben Pershing
The Senate doesn't leave town until Friday, but the battle lines for recess are already drawn: Republicans will attack Democrats' health-care plans, and Democrats will attack the insurance companies.
Nancy Pelosi got the ball rolling on the latter campaign Friday, saying of insurance companies: "Facts mean nothing to them. Mythology is their game. Misrepresentation is their currency of the realm, and we intend to set the record straight." Tell us what you really think, Madame Speaker. Politico wonders whether the industry will "commence a big, mean anti-reform counterattack -- à la 1994's 'Harry and Louise' ads." The broadsides against insurance companies and the overall reform debate, the Wall Street Journal reports, have "provided a big boost to lobbyists for health-industry interests," as insurance and drug companies have both upped their lobbying expenditures significantly even as the weak economy has depressed K Street overall.
As the Senate Finance Committee continues to inch toward consensus on reform, disarray within the majority party remains the dominant storyline this week. To explain the events of the last year or so, Financial Times reports on "one quip doing the rounds in Washington ... 'Republicans can't get elected and Democrats can't govern.'" Democrats from conservative and rural districts are in a tough spot over the break, the Los Angeles Times writes. Bloomberg describes Democrats' recess tasks as, in order: "trying to resolve discord within their party, fending off Republican attacks and taking on insurers." And the New York Times says Democrats' "August offensive" on health care "will feature town-hall-style meetings by lawmakers and the president, including a swing through Western states by Mr. Obama, grass-roots lobbying efforts and a blitz of expensive television advertising."
August 3, 2009; 8:32 AM ET
Categories: The Rundown
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