Finance Committee Democrats Buck the White House

For the most part, 13-10 vote tallies on the Senate Finance Committee’s heath reform bill this week will be strictly along party lines. There are 13 Democrats on the committee, including Chairman Max Baucus, and 10 Republicans. But a 13-10 divide this afternoon on an amendment from Democrat Bill Nelson indicated a different kind of split.

President Obama is in the Room

Not really, but his promises are – namely, his health reform promise that “if you like what have, you can keep it” and his campaign pledge not to raise taxes on American families whose income is less than $250,000 year. Republicans are doing their best to keep these promises fresh in everyone’s mind, while pointing out how they …

My First Markup

Hi Swamplanders. I’m staff writer Kate Pickert and I’ve been covering the health care reform debate for I’m joining the Swampland crew for a few days this week to help Jay Newton-Small and Karen Tumulty cover the Senate Finance Committee markup of Chairman Max Baucus’s health reform bill. Here in the Hart Senate Office …

Senate Constipation

I don’t know if Chuck Grassley’s been having digestion issues, but he rates my quote of the day. From the Senate floor this morning talking about how the Dems plan on doing a package of popular bi-partisan tax extenders outside of regular order:

The Senate is constipated. This legislative body needs a function, a laxative. …