TPM News

RNC chairman Michael Steele is warning against the very, very, really high price of the health care bill.

In an interview with the blog Right Wing News, Steele laid out the arguments against the bill; "Call it what it is. This is a takeover by the federal government of health care. OK, that's number one. Number two, it's going to cost us over a trillion dollars a year to do it."

Over a trillion per year? Where is Steele even getting that number?

Our request to the RNC for comment was not returned.

(Via Media Matters.)

As if Democrats didn't have enough to worry about. Overnight and into tomorrow, Washington, D.C. is preparing for a major snow storm, complete with thunder and high winds. A winter snowpocalypse.

On any other weekend, that would be no biggy for Senate Democrats, but tomorrow, they need all hands on deck if they hope to keep on track to pass their health care bill by Christmas. And remember, they can't afford a single slip-up.

So here's another wrinkle: Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has skipped town.

Already, they've wheeled in the cots for members and staff who choose to slumber party the night away in the Capitol, or Senate offices. But tomorrow, bright and early, all of them could need to be on hand for procedural reasons. For instance, Democrats expect to have to waive a budget point of order they expect Republicans to raise against the defense appropriations bill. That requires 60 votes.

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In its latest anti-health care effort, the RNC brings us back to our childhood with a mock Mad Libs filled with choice propaganda from their message.

The RNC sent out a link on its Twitter feed to its "game."

It includes a fill-in-the-blank letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid detailing all the bad things they say will happen with health care.

A sample:

In addition to those income tax increases, certain fees will be assessed on wheelchairs/Botox/Band-Aids/eyeglasses/chicken soup/aspirin.

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This just in from Copenhagen after daylong talks between President Obama and key world leaders at the climate summit: a deal has been made.

A U.S. official tells the press the United States "has reached a meaningful agreement with China, India and South Africa."

We'll keep you posted, but check out our earlier coverage here and here.

Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod, Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ).

• CBS, Face The Nation: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

• CNN, State Of The Union: Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I), Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA).

• Fox News Sunday: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

• NBC, Meet The Press: Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod, former DNC chairman Howard Dean.

To help run the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the nation's largest provider of civil legal aid for the poor, Senate Republicans have picked an attorney from a far-right legal organization that has a history of ideological opposition to legal-aid work.

The White House announced yesterday that it had nominated Sharon Browne of the Pacific Legal Foundation as one of three Republican board members of the LSC. Minority party nominees for the LSC board are traditionally generated by the Senate leader of the party that doesn't control the White House, and Don Stewart, a spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, confirmed to TPMmuckraker that McConnell's office had recommended all three GOP nominees.

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After the Food and Drug Administration fired off a letter that helped kill a measure fiercely opposed by the drug industry, one Democratic senator is accusing the Obama White House of using the FDA -- which is supposed to offer apolitical opinions -- as a bludgeon.

The drug importation amendment to the health reform bill, which would have saved the government and consumers billions of dollars by allowing prescription purchases from Canada and elsewhere, was killed in the Senate late Tuesday with an assist from the FDA letter. The 51-48 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed.

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MoveOn has been very involved in the health care debate with fundraising emails and pushes against conservative Democrats who would filibuster the legislation, but now the progressive group is asking its members to fight the bill as a "massive giveaway to the insurance companies."

MoveOn asked members to sign a petition asking progressive senators such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to block the bill unless it's improved.

"America needs real health care reform--not a massive giveaway to the insurance companies. Senator Bernie Sanders and other progressives should block this bill until it's fixed," the petition reads, later naming Sens. Roland Burris (D-IL) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) as other progressives who might be swayed.

"But there's enormous pressure from all sides to pass a bill quickly, no matter how weak it is," the email says. "Let's show Bernie and other progressives that we're counting on them to block this version of the bill--and we'll get their backs if they do."

The MoveOn team says there is still a chance to "win" the health care fight and said the House bill is strong and has "a real public option."