July 29th, 2009
02:30 PM ET
5 years ago

House Dem on Blue Dogs: 'Not everybody is on the same page'

(CNN) – House Democratic leaders and some members of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition might be happy with a deal that allows health care reform legislation to move forward, but some of their fellow Democrats remain skeptical and others openly reject the proposal.

"I cringe at the word 'deal.' It sounds back room," said Rep. Lois Capps, a member of the liberal New Democrat Coalition/Caucus who has also been that group's liaison during the ongoing negotiations.

Capps said she and other progressives on the House Energy & Commerce Committee need to look at the details of the plan before getting behind it.

Another member of the Energy and Commerce Committee who is also part of the Blue Dog Coalition, Rep. Charlie Melancon of Louisiana, is one of the three Blue Dog Democrats on that panel who did not sign onto the agreement.

"It was not a conscious split. If we were doing it as a group, the easiest thing for us all to do is to say yes or no. But that wasn't what it was about," Melancon told reporters off the House floor. "We all have to deal with our own politics, our own constituency. We just happen to be labeled by the press as the 'Blue Dog coalition.' If you poll the Blue Dog coalition individually and separately, you'll find that not everybody is on the same page and there is no position collectively."

Melancon pointed to the agreement's high cost, estimated to be near $900 billion, and his assessment that it would add too much to the deficit in future years as reasons for withholding his support.

"The bill coming out of the Finance Committee on the Senate side is more to the liking of a person like me... When they are talking about it in the tenth year it will start paying for itself and reducing the deficit, rather than what we've seeing as an explosion in the out years [of the House bill]. Those are things that I think attract me to what they are doing over there."


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. kdim

    They better had started cooperating. I can just see the next campaign ads now :" Blue dogs are Republicans in Democrats clothing" that is what I feel these blue dogs are. If they cause this whole healthcare bill to fail, there isnt an excuse in the world they could give their Constituents that could heal the wound. They wont be voted back in.

    July 29, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Bewildered by Hypocrisy

    Seriously? Anytime Vitter is put forth as the spokesman for core conservative values he should be laughed out of the room.

    How quickly we forget:

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/10/vitter.madam/index.html

    July 29, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Yeah Right

    Public option must be included!

    July 29, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Kelby In Houston, TX

    Yeah, the people are angry at The Blue Dogs. Some of my fellow liberal Democrats call them republicans in Dems clothing (kinda like the term RINO) But, I believe they really were trying to be prudent and careful in their decision making...now that it's going to pass The House. AND IT WILL PASS THE HOUSE!

    July 29, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Independent

    It is nice to finally see congress at WORK

    July 29, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. No Hillary = No Obama

    I hope Congress doesn't rub stamp whatever Obama wants. They rubber-stamped the Iraq war; they rubber-stamped deregulation of financial investment instiutions and look at what it "cost" the American people. Congress seems to operate on the principle of expediency and Presidential influence. Now they are crying foul about not being informed of what the CIA has been up to. We should all see a copy of this health reform bill and have the American people decide not these elitist who populate Congress, live in million dollar homes and don't have a clue how everyday Americans live.

    July 29, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. machtim akannah

    So they made a deal. Seems all too convenient and was an orchestrated move by the Democrats to strong arm the Republicans while not having to vote the bill because too many in Congress had already left for the break. Did everyone really read the bill. Probably not. I still have no idea as to the impact on me personally or on the American public. For sure, however, Congress will not participate. They will keep their current plan at our expense.

    July 29, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Polar Bears Against Palin

    Maybe, Colin Powell will jump back on the bandwagon now the Obama may have a health bitl and new reports suggest the economy is stabilizing.

    Powell talks about Professor Gates needing supervision. Yet, too bad nobody was supervising Powell when he was spewing his lies in front of the United Nations about mobil weapons labs, etc.

    Powell should be in prison.,

    July 29, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Zero.

    Iranian Squatters? Remember what happend In Georgia no long ago.

    They took over a town (Area)? Then Russian Tank's moved in.
    Now Georgia have lost that piece of Land. Iraq does not want the Same from Iran...

    July 29, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Bill in Calif

    I ALMOST FELL FOR IT. That is, that there are really independent thinkers AND doers in the Dimrat party. I had hopes that they would do what is right for the nation, not for their party or it's leaders. After the big swingers in the WH called them in on the carpet my hopes faded. They might claim independency but when the parade begins they will be in formation AND in LOCKSTEP as they've been trained.

    July 29, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. gt

    go blue dogs... help us from this massive give away ...

    July 29, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. MatthewDetroit

    Do not give into the spending.
    Nothing is wrong with the healthcare system.
    If you want to you can eliminate insurance and everyone can pay for themselves. The free market will force prices to drop.

    Paying for 9 million illegal aliens and bums is not the answer to our problems.

    July 29, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Doug, New Jersey

    The Democrats own the house, the White House, and have a fillerbuster proof majority in the Senate, yet all the sheep libs on the ticker and other media outlets are crying about those evil republicans, wow, the left sure has such a smart electorate.

    The republicans cannot do a thing about stopping Obama's socialized medicine scheme, oh, sorry, I realize that these days every Democrat in America considers telling the truth to be a hate crime, better call the thought police on me. LOL

    July 29, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Buckeye State

    There are as many thoughts and ideas in Democratic Caucus., “God created all man equal.” So it really comes down to what you believe..we don't have The Hammer aka Tom Daley ..that is why We Have a Parliamentary Majority,We are sending a clear signal that we are not a rubber stamp .... I am glad to see they work out their differences.a healthy political process

    July 29, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. IQ test required for all VOTERS!

    much like our republican representatives in office, it appears as if CNN is on the payroll of the corporations as well!!!

    Any posts criticizing the abhorrent performance or judgment of either gets DELETED!

    July 29, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. Buckeye State”,

    There are as many thoughts and ideas in Democratic Caucus., “God created all man equal.” So it really comes down to what you believe..we don't have The Hammer aka Tom Daley ..that is why We Have a Parliamentary Majority,We are sending a clear signal that we are not a rubber stamp .... I am glad to see they work out their differences.a healthy political process ..
    Now Let Us Move On

    July 29, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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