[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/17/john.king.political.analysis/art.sotomayor.john.king.gi.jpg caption=" CNN's John King says Republicans think they'll gain more ground on pocketbook issues than on Sonia Sotomayor."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - What the country could easily see this week was a major success story for the Obama White House: A confirmation drama featuring Judge Sonia Sotomayor that left even Republican critics predicting an easy path to confirmation.
But just as Sotomayor was making major advances, a bigger initiative from President Obama, health care reform, was dealt a bruising body blow.
Douglas Elmendorf, chief of the Congressional Budget Office, said this of the leading Democratic health care proposals in the House and Senate: "In the legislation that has been reported, we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount and, on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs."
Translation: The bills, as they stand, do not meet the president's promise to reduce the long-term drain of health care spending on the federal budget.