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January 6th, 2010
04:52 PM ET

Sources: Obama, Dems to sidestep GOP on health care

Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh
CNN Capitol Hill Team

President Obama gave his blessing Tuesday for congressional Democratic leaders to bypass formal House and Senate talks to meld their health care bills, according to two congressional Democratic leadership sources.

The two sources told CNN that Obama and Democratic congressional leaders will instead hold informal negotiations to sidestep possible Republican delays of the process, likely shutting out Republicans from talks on the final health care bill.

Avoiding a formal conference has long been expected, and is not uncommon, but one of the Democratic leadership sources said the president used Tuesday evening's White House meeting with Democratic congressional leaders to formally clear the idea.

To hold a formal conference, conferees - members of the House and Senate - must be appointed by both bodies with resolutions passed by the Senate and the House.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care • Raw Politics
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Blutarski

    The issue is not really that the Republicans have been shut out again, they are not going to vote for it anyway, no matter what it looks like(right or wrong).

    The issue is that Obama PROMISED transparency in government, and PROMISED on his campaign trail that the entire Health Care Legislation would be televised on C-Span. His own Democrat leader in Congress smugly admitted he was lying when he said that during the campaign with her snied comment to reporters "there were a number of things he was for on the campaign trail".

    People voted for President Obama because of his campaign promises, now he is turning his back on them. Guantanamo is still open a year later, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars still continue to drain this country of precious resources(in fact he stepped up drone attacks in the Afghan conflict resulting in numerous civilian casualties, and increased the number of troops), the Patriot Act is alive and well(still listening to wireless calls aren't we?), and the largest most significant legislation in recent history which effects every single American is being negotiated in secret.

    As a lifelong Democrat, I am extremely disappointed in this President, he is just another politician no different from all the rest. All he knows is the Chicago Way-say what ever you need to in order to get elected, then do what you want, scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. . . . .THERE IS NO HOPE FOR CHANGE.

    January 7, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  2. Ann-Virginia

    Anderson,I don' understand why you can't see that when Obama first took office he tried to reach out to Republicans,he tried to include them & their response was"NO."Now the Reps want to try & blame Dems for a hc bill they wanted no part of & tried to halt with their negative tatics & misinformation.Unfortunately,there were plenty of Americans who believed the garbage put out there by the right,thus the "teabaggers"were born.They are very active in my state & seem to be more radical as time goes by.It's very sad,what's going on in this country.

    January 7, 2010 at 2:49 am |
  3. Gary Ferrulli

    You asked David why the public push back on health care? Before the election those who voted for this President and Congress didn't hear about giving more than a Trillion dollars to private enterprise with virtually no strings attached, the national debt going to historical levels in less than 10 months, unemployment going above 10% and now health care votes being bought with out tax payors money and not allowing the transparency promised. People voted for campaign promises and got this in return, so why are you surprised that there is push back, doubt? Wait until November election results, we'll see how many of us paid attention

    January 7, 2010 at 12:03 am |
  4. Mary Livingstone

    This is RIDUCULOUS! What about bipartisan politics!

    I am STRONGLY opposed to the current health care bill. Although I support some form of reform, not at the expense that this bill promises during a time when the country is going through a recession and our deficit is OUT OF CONTROL!!! If healthcare reform is so important to Democrats/Obama, then why didn't he kill two birds with one stone and instead of spendings trillions of dollars on wasteful pork a.k.a. the stimulus, spend it on constructing healthcare clinics across the country. Seems to me if that would have been done, jobs would have been immedciately created – construction, staffing, equipment, office suppliers, restauranteers in the area, etc. Plus, people that needed it would have had a place to go. I think that could have received bi-partisan support – instead of the behind closed doors, Democrat only negotiations that are currently underway. My husband and I are EXTREMELY OUTRAGED by the lack of fiscal responsibility of this administration.

    January 6, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  5. Betty McGinnis

    Why won't you talk about the deal Florida got, that they can keep medicare advantage, and the rest of the states can't? Aren't we all Americans. I can understand why AARp signed onto this bill, they will gain a lot of clients. but believe me I know what my mother pays a month for AARP, three huindred a month, and people like myself cannot afford that.

    January 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  6. Bruce

    Obama was supposed to be Change We Could Believe In instead he is the same old political hack we have seen before. He talked of having a transparent government and he is just another 'Chicago type politician.
    Bruce
    Hollywood, FL

    January 6, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  7. Cecil

    That's just more of the same! The democrats have written the bill behind closed doors and now they want to make a slam dunk despite the fact that a majority of Americans have reservations about their healthcare plan.

    January 6, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
  8. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Going back on both promises of transparency and bipartisanship. What a surprise. Loss of the 60 Senate seat majority won't come soon enough.

    January 6, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  9. Charlicia

    Side stepping the Republicans is side stepping millions of Americans who rely on those elected Republicans to represent them. Do the millions of Americans who do not want the Health Care Bill not matter to this administration?? I thought that the President and the congress were supposed to represent ALL Americans, not just the ones who agree with the sitting party.

    January 6, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  10. Tammy, Houma, LA

    Let the partisan games begin... so glad politics as usual wasn't happening in this administration.

    January 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  11. gail

    Why not the Republicans have done nothing to move this process forward. i just wish the bill was one line-Medicare for all!!!

    January 6, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  12. David, Indiana

    media is so expert it could take bill summary published online and go thru provisions thoroughly quickly but instead we get Richard Heene as entertainment or jamming on any number of people in the news. As there's been no conversation about Health Care, I have reservations about HC.

    January 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm |