TPM News

TPM's Brian Beutler reports from Capitol Hill that House Democrats are moving forward on health care with or without prolife Rep. Bart Stupak and the dozen lawmakers he might get to attempt to block the bill.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters this morning that Democrats "have not discussed a third way" and that when he spoke with Stupak (D-MI) about the abortion provisions he wants in the measure, "I made it clear that I wasn't negotiating."

"We don't want to go without their votes, but we do want to forge ahead, and as you know Mr. Stupak has made it very very clear that he's very strongly in favor of achieving health care in this Congress. And I think that a lot of his colleagues feel the same way," Hoyer said.

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The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the pastor whose sermons caused controversy for President Obama during the 2008 campaign, spoke to the Washington Post this week about the president, who has since distanced himself from Wright.

Wright expressed dismay with the press for their portrayal of Obama, his former congregant.

"It is unrealistic to think that one person can change the mess that this country has gotten into, but to pick on him is like picking on one of my kids," Wright said. "I have been knowing him for 20 years."

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Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) said today that he expects to see language on the health care reform bill today, and expects a vote "in the next 10 days."

Earlier today, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced that President Obama would delay his Asia trip by at least three days to work on health care.

Senate Republicans expect a Rules committee markup of the reconciliation measure on Monday.

Additional reporting by Brian Beutler.

Interviewed by Rachel Maddow last night, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that what her staff was told last year about then-Rep. Eric Massa did not "even come close to any kind of an allegation."

She said the conversation, reportedly between Massa's chief of staff and a Pelosi staffer, "repeated something that had been in the newspaper the day before."

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The new survey of Colorado from Public Policy Polling (D) shows Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in a close race. This is itself an improvement from most other polls, which have shown him running behind his Republican opponents.

When tested against three Republican candidates, Bennet is tied 43%-43% against former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, leads Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck by 46%-40%, and leads state Sen. Tom Wiens by 45%-37%. The TPM Poll Average has Norton ahead of Bennet by 46%.1-41.0%.

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Last night, Stephen Colbert brought out his friend Karl Rove -- a loaf of ham wearing glasses.

Things ended rather badly for ham-Rove when Colbert took a "salty" taste, then stabbed him with his knife.

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The White House released a statement today announcing that First Lady Michelle Obama will visit Mexico City in mid-April on her first solo trip since her husband took office. Here's the complete statement:

In recognition of the deep ties between the United States and Mexico, First Lady Michelle Obama will visit Mexico City, Mexico, April 13-15, on her first solo official trip as First Lady. Mrs. Obama's international agenda will amplify the President's commitment to advancing mutual interests, mutual respect and mutual responsibility between nations and peoples around the world.

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Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said on MSNBC yesterday that the immigration provisions in the health care bill "are enough to say I can't support this bill."

That would be a big blow to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Gutierrez voted 'yes' on the House health care bill last year. Switching to 'no' on the Senate bill -- as Guitierrez suggested he would -- would take a key vote away from Pelosi as she tries to hang onto enough votes for the House to pass the Senate bill.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a long interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow yesterday, accused Republicans of hijacking the "good intentions" of pro-life Democrats such as Rep. Bart Stupak in order to kill health care reform.

"This bill is not about abortion. This is about health care for all Americans. And those who want the bill to fail hijack the good intentions of others who have concerns about the federal funding of abortion," Pelosi said, asserting that there is no federal funding of abortion in any proposed health care bill.

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Is it or isn't it?

Media reports based on anonymous sources are now in conflict about whether the ethics committee is still investigating allegations involving former Rep. Eric Massa.

The ethics committee, perhaps the most opaque institution in Congress, has been mum on the question. So let's review what's been reported.

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