TPM News

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is unveiling the House health care reform bill this morning. In her opening remarks, she said, "Today we are about to deliver on a promise of making affordable quality health care available for all Americans, laying a foundation for a brighter future for generations to come."

Pelosi said the bill will "insure 36 million more Americans" and "will not add one dime to the deficit" -- covering 96 percent of Americans and costing less than $900 billion. The bill includes a public option and will end "discrimination for preexisting medical conditions."

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Steve Miller, the head of ACCCE, is testifying about the forged letters which were sent on behalf of the coal-industry lobby he runs.

Among other things, Miller said that Bonner would not be paid for its work for ACCCE, and would never work for them again.

We're watching the Congressional hearings on those forged letters to lawmakers sent by an astroturf lobbying group working on behalf of a coal-industry lobby group.

And Rep. Tom Perriello, who received some of the forged letters and was first to testify, just had a nice flourish that's worth highlighting.

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In a new book recounting the campaign, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe tells the story of how President Obama and his advisers whittled down a list of candidates -- which included Hillary Clinton -- to just three names: Sen. Joe Biden, Sen. Evan Bayh and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.

In an excerpt of The Audacity to Win released to Time, Plouffe recounts his surprise that Obama was seriously considering Clinton as his number two.

"I still think Hillary has a lot of what I am looking for in a VP," Obama told Plouffe. "Smarts, discipline, steadfastness. I think Bill may be too big a complication. If I picked her, my concern is that there would be more than two of us in the relationship."

And, Plouffe writes, Clinton supporters who wanted her as vice president should have been grateful she was considered.

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Bill O'Reilly sent his correspondent Griff Jenkins after Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), to try to get Grayson to explain or apologize for some of his controversial remarks: Calling a female lobbyist a "K Street whore" -- for which Grayson has already apologized -- but also for calling former Vice President Dick Cheney a vampire with blood dripping from his teeth, saying that Fox News is an enemy of America, etc.

Grayson was none too happy, repeatedly telling Jenkins to make an appointment. Interestingly, Jenkins also claims that he staked outside Grayson's office for several hours, and that Grayson attempted to get the Capitol Police to get rid of him. Jenkins said he's tried to make an appointment with Grayson's office, but there's been no luck.

MSNBC's Mike Viqueira said a moment ago that the House health care reform bill that will be unveiled this morning has an $894 billion price tag and will result in a $30 billion surplus at the end of its first 10 years.

Viqueira also said the bill doesn't include a "robust" public option, has rates that aren't based on Medicare plus 5 percent, and includes provisions for rates to be negotiated by region.

Republican Dede Scozzafava and Democrat Bill Owens are splitting the big newspaper endorsements in the NY-23 special election, which has become a three-way race due to the presence of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman -- who in turn is getting bad reviews in the press.

The Watertown Daily Times, the biggest paper int he district, is endorsing Scozzafava and scolding Hoffman:

Her answers to questions posed by this newspaper about district issues reveal both a breadth and depth that are unmatched by her opponents' responses. During this campaign she has been the candidate most focused on the district, the most willing to debate and the least likely to be diverted by outside interests.

Mr. Hoffman, an accountant and businessman who lives outside the district in Lake Placid, has harnessed a national firestorm of conservative dismay with government. But his ideological stands could harm the district. An example: He has sworn on principle not to request congressional earmarks even though they were essential to raise federal funds for the expansion and improvement of Fort Drum. Would he hew to this stand at the expense of the district which has benefited mightily from Drum's development?

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Today is a big day on Capitol Hill, featuring the rollout of the House Democrats' health care bill -- and possibly a Tea Party protest against it.

An e-mail was sent out last night on the Tea Party Patriots e-mail list, asking anyone within driving distance of Washington to head to the Capitol at 10 a.m., the scheduled time for the unveiling of the House health care bill.

The event has also been described in conservative Twitter-land, including Erick Erickson, as a "flash mob."

So will a bunch of people show up? Let's see what happens.

Check out the full e-mail after the jump.

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After House Democrats reveal their version of the health care bill this morning on the Capitol steps, President Obama later this afternoon will hold a private meeting with some of the most key groups he must keep united to pass a plan.

The White House says Obama will gather in the Roosevelt Room with members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

As TPMDC has written, Obama's relations with these groups have not always been warm. Progressives were irritated the conservative Blue Dog Democrats were hosted at the White House to discuss health care last month.

On an unrelated note, we're wondering if Obama will discuss with the members of the minority caucuses the accusations from Republican lawmakers that the Council on American Islamic Relations planted spies on Capitol Hill as interns.


I'm here!