Just about an hour ago, negotiations between Blue Dogs on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and chairman Henry Waxman broke down, perhaps irreconcilably.
Earlier today, Waxman lashed out at the conservative Democrats for trying to "eviscerate" house health care legislation, and threatened to bypass their concerns completely in order to get a timely floor vote on a healthy bill. That seems to have sent tempers flaring.
"It pretty much fell apart this afternoon," said key Blue Dog Mike Ross (D-AR), who called Waxman's rhetoric "not helpful," according to Congressional Quarterly.
"It's my understanding that will be the last meeting we have," Ross said.
Now the ball is in Waxman's court. Will he try to mark the bill up anyhow? Or will he freeze them out completely. Democratic leaders will host a caucus meeting on Monday to address all members' concerns about the bill--a sign, perhaps, that they aren't going to wait for this intra-panel tiff to be resolved. If that's the case, all eyes will return again to the Blue Dogs to see whether they'll revolt against the bill. Showdown!