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Committee chairmen are unveiling legislation to expand health insurance coverage and curb global warming. Democratic leaders have called a lame-duck session next week to consider an auto industry bailout. And other economic stimulus measures may be enacted even before Obama is inaugurated.
But the congressional clamor raises a question that will loom larger after inauguration day: Will Congress be leading or following the Obama administration as it gets its sea legs?
Congressional leaders say they will take their cue from the new president and are consulting with the Obama transition team even as they step out on their own. But after cowering for eight years under President Bush's veto authority, many Democrats are champing at the bit.
"Congress is filled with people who have been working on these questions for a long time, and they're not constrained," said William A. Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former advisor to President Clinton.
Amid concern that economic problems may prompt Obama to delay action on healthcare reform, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) unveiled his own plan Wednesday and called for immediate action.
Former Clinton aide Galston, reflecting on his experience in the White House, warned, "It is easy for Congress to get overwhelmed if too many big things are submitted all at once."
One factor that can help or hurt Obama: His agenda includes complex issues that members of Congress have been working on for years.
And with Baucus' announcement, the first post-election health reform proposal has come from the Capitol, not the White House. Moreover, it includes elements that Obama opposed during the campaign.
Baucus' plan envisions sweeping federal intervention to ensure every American has health insurance.
Baucus was careful Wednesday to emphasize his cooperation with Obama.
"Much of what's here dovetails with the president-elect's own health plan," Baucus said. "And where we differ, I have committed to work with him to find a consensus."
Baucus also framed his plan as a move to avoid a repeat of the problems that doomed President Clinton's efforts to overhaul the healthcare system 15 years ago.
"The health proposal by the Clinton administration was too top-down," he said. "And, frankly, they waited a bit long before they sent it up to the Congress. Basically, they worked on their plan and said, 'OK, Congress, this is it.' "
Why would they be hurried when they control Senate, Congress, and WH next year? they don't trust Obama much?
Are they scared of Obama? Are they saying Obama or OH MAMA? We are going to find out soon.
Last edited by NEPatriot; 11-13-2008 at 01:59 PM..
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Maybe hes deaf,. Deaf people yell because hey can't tell how loud their speaking.
Big letters = YELLING! I get it
You got a couple of chuckles out of me on that one!
Harry's really, REALLY mad that Obama is his president. A fact that I take great pleasure in each day I read his posts. I've never looked forward to reading Harry's posts until Obama said "In your face Harry!!"
Last edited by PatriotsReign; 11-13-2008 at 11:09 PM..