TPM News

A week ago, many House Democrats were still reluctant to support health care reform. The Senate bill had too many vulnerabilities, they said, and they didn't believe the Senate would be able to pass a health care reconciliation bill to fix the problems. Fast forward to today, and the House is going to have to take up the reconciliation bill for a second time, and House leaders are shrugging it off.

What changed? The mood has eased since President Obama signed the bill into law. Basically, last week, passage of the health care bill was complicated by a crisis of trust between the House and the Senate. The House worried that the Senate would fail them again, and, in so doing, send back a reconciliation bill that had been dramatically altered--or worse, not send back a reconciliation bill at all.

Read More →

The Virginia Tea Partier who reportedly posted Rep. Tom Perriello's (D-VA) brother's address online -- and then explained it away as "collateral damage' -- said on MSNBC this morning that he never meant anyone to attack or vandalize the home.

After the address was published in a post urging anti-health reform activists to "drop by," someone cut a propane gas line at the house. The FBI is investigating.

"If someone did believe they were acting on my behalf, they were incorrect," said Tea Partier Nigel Coleman in a phone interview with MSNBC's Tamron Hall.

Read More →

In her weekly press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Republicans have a responsibility to condemn the threats against lawmakers.

Leadership, she said, has a responsibility to serve as "an example of how we express our differences and understand the impact that our words have on others. The best way to do that is to very clearly state that this is inappropriate."

"It's inappropriate for members of congress to stand up and cheer when these sentiments are expressed," she said, referring to an incident during Sunday's debate in the House when two tea partiers screamed "Kill the bill!" from the House gallery, to cheers from some Republicans. The protesters were removed from the gallery and arrested by Capitol Police.

Read More →

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), who is known for his fiery and comedic attacks on the Republicans, is getting some help in his re-election from former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who has written a fundraising letter for the self-proclaimed "Congressman with guts."

"Congressman Alan Grayson is a healthcare hero," Dean says, going on to explain that Grayson focused the health debate by "going on offense" against the GOP.

"He exposed the Republican healthcare plan as Don't Get Sick, and if you do, Die Quickly. Grayson changed the debate and put the Republicans on the defensive right before the first House vote in November. He's never been afraid to call Republicans out on their obstructionism and he isn't going to start now," Dean writes. "Alan Grayson is standing up for us. Now, we need to stand up for him."

Read More →

In a speech today on the House floor Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) renounced acts of violence against Democratic leaders but also condemned what he sees as slander of principled opponents of health care reform. Here are his complete remarks:

The American people don't want a government takeover of health care. The policy, the backroom deals and the arrogance have angered millions.

Read More →

Now that health care reform is actually law, Republicans who first attempted to kill it are faced with a key question -- would you repeal it? Repeal and revise? Repeal and replace? A full repeal -- or just the 'bad' parts? Or is repeal the wrong strategy?

Republicans are all over the map on this one.

TPMDC has been keeping a close eye on Capitol Hill Republicans who fought to kill the bill and how they are being forced to transition to a "What next?" scenario. They haven't landed on a consistent message, though many are leaning in the "repeal and replace" idea pushed by House Minority Leader John Boehner today in a Des Moines Register op-ed in advance of President Obama's visit to Iowa City. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested they are settling on "repeal and replace" as their 2010 mantra.

Read More →

The South Florida Tea Party released a statement today condemning acts of violence against Democratic leaders, though they maintain that such acts have not occurred. Here's the full statement:

WE the LEADERS of the Tea Party Movement of Florida stand in stark opposition to any person using derogatory characterizations, threats of violence, or disparaging terms towards members of Congress or the President.

Read More →

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has so far served as the public face for the legal challenge to the constitutionality of health-care reform. But on the legal heavy-lifting, McCollum has had help from a top member of Washington's conservative legal establishment and former Bush 41 White House lawyer, who once teamed up with the AG as a lobbyist.

David Rivkin, a lawyer with white-shoe DC firm Baker Hostetler, told TPMmuckraker that McCollum personally asked him to get involved with the lawsuit, once it appeared that the reform bill would indeed finally pass. "McCollum approached me on behalf of himself and several other AGs," said Rivkin, who along with Lee Casey, another Baker Hostetler lawyer, is listed on the lawsuit as "of counsel."

Read More →

The new national poll from Quinnipiac finds that Democrats still have their work cut out to sell the new health care law to the public -- though the fact of its actual passage has caused an immediate bounce.

The poll asked: "From what you've heard or read, do you mostly approve or mostly disapprove of the changes to the health care system just passed by Congress?" The result is only 40% approval to 49% disapproval.

The poll was conducted this past Monday and Tuesday, among registered voters, just after the bill was passed through the House of Representatives. In a poll taken in the days before the vote, 36% approved of the changes under consideration, to 54% against -- so there has been an improvement since then.

Read More →