It is now evident to House leadership that their plan to amend the Senate health care bill and toss it back over to the upper chamber for final passage has been scuttled. Members of the House Democratic caucus are wandering far off the reservation, and the longer that persists, the more difficult it will be for leadership to pull them back into the corral.
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In an attempt to regain control over an increasingly chaotic situation, leadership will hold a caucus meeting this afternoon*, and at stake could be the fate of the reform drive that has eaten most of the first year of Barack Obama's presidency.
To right the course, they'll have to convince rank and file members--but particularly progressives, who are now in full revolt--that success is still possible, half measures won't do, and failure is not an option. Given what members are saying, though, that won't be easy.