Crossposted from dailykos.com
The progressives in the House are about to take things up another notch. After being ignored now twice by the WH, as their calls for a meeting with POTUS have not been replied to, progs are gearing up for the fight to save the Public Option. Progs are organizing with key outside liberal groups to help push for the PO in the coming weeks. Progressives may find themselves cut out of negotiations with the WH right now, as Sen. Carper talks co ops and triggers with Obama and aides, but it looks like the CPC,CBC,CHC are aiming to change that game.
How? How about an official whip count from the CPC on where their members stand on voting NO on a bill without a robust PO from day one. This whip count will take place next week and be presented to the WH. Rep Ellison is one of the great fighters we have and his comments are encouraging.
Ellison says the caucus met after Obama's speech and their fervor to get the PO done is even greater. He thinks 80-100 can be put on the whip count as voting NO on a trigger happy bill. Another hero, Rep Grijalva understands this fight better than some. He knows this is about the Progressive Block being able to have influence over future watered down bills. He sternly warns the WH that cutting deals with conservadems and GOP without input of the tri caucus would not be advisable.
MSM obsesses over the woes of getting PO passed. They said 2 weeks ago it was dead. Oh but it lives. Sen. Harkin, in video below says he will make sure it is in final legislation. He chairs HELP which will be key. Of all the quotes Rep Waters is most profound on how progs on the Hill are feeling. In Huffpo she says the passion to fight to get the strongest PO in the bill is as great or greater than the passion progs had to end the Iraq War. Yep.
Next week will be another crucial one and CPC will need our help. Proving to the WH and Blue Dogs that they really have zero chance of getting their bill passed without the PO will be pivotal. This is what FDL and others having been working so hard on. If progs can show an exact number of congresspersons who are willing to possibly face the full might of Rahm and even lose DNC money and show the bill in t hese final weeks really had no chance unless there is a public option the chances of real reform will grow. And so will the stock of the prog caucus as the as the entire agenda is at stake. Lots below:
September 11, 2009
email@example.com | HuffPost Reporting
First Posted: 09-11-09 02:08 PM | Updated: 09-11-09 06:01 PM
Next week will be gut-check time for the bloc of progressives standing in opposition to any bill that doesn't include a public health insurance option.
The leadership of the Congressional Progressive Caucus plans a "whip count" for early in the week to gauge the strength of their coalition, caucus members tell the Huffington Post. The whip team will also approach members of the Congressional Black, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific American Caucuses.
Democrats hold 256 seats in Congress and need 218 to pass a bill, meaning 39 progressives, voting together, could tank the legislation, assuming all Republicans vote nay.
The whip count will send a message to the administration, said CPC co-chair Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.): "Don't cut deals with some elements of our party or with some elements of the Republican Party without including the progressives in that discussion," he suggested. "So we're going to count our votes, see how many we have and that's the number we're going to indicate to both the leadership and the administration."
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a member of CPC leadership, estimates that eighty to 100 members will make the pledge. The progressive caucus met on Thursday, following the president's speech, and members repeated their commitment to seeing the public option included in the bill, said Ellison.