TPM News

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today regarding President Obama's health care proposal. Here's the full text:

"The President has crippled the credibility of this week's summit by proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on a partisan bill the American people have already rejected.  This new Democrats-only backroom deal doubles down on the same failed approach that will drive up premiums, destroy jobs, raise taxes, and slash Medicare benefits.

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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer issued a statement today regarding Thursday's bipartisan health care summit. Here's the full text:

"Over the course of the last year, the House and Senate thoroughly and publicly debated how best to make health care more affordable and accessible. The resulting bills are comprehensive solutions that would provide greater security in cost, access and quality to all Americans.

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The Torture Memos will forever be known as the work of John Yoo, the former Office of Legal Counsel lawyer who took the lead in preparing them. But the internal Justice Department report on the memos, released Friday, reveals that a less experienced OLC attorney, working under Yoo, played a key role in the process -- in some cases writing initial drafts of the opinions before getting feedback from Yoo and others.

The name of that lawyer is redacted throughout the report. But in what appears to be an oversight in the redaction process, a footnote identifies her as Jennifer Koester. (The Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the reason for the redaction, and about the oversight.)

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Here's the good news: reforming the filibuster -- technically speaking -- isn't that hard.

The bad news: It's unlikely Democrats have the political will to do it.

Threatened use of the parliamentary delaying procedure -- which requires 60 votes to overcome -- has become increasingly common since Republicans returned to the minority. And there's been quite a bit of talk of reforming it. Sen. Evan Bayh's (D-IN) for it. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) reportedly is too. Cal Cunningham, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Senate in North Carolina, is making filibuster reform a campaign issue. And a majority of Americans want the filibuster gone.

So what can be done about it?

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Americans can be an idealistic people. Just ask the guys who rake in millions selling never-used gym memberships and never-opened organizers -- or any NFL, MLB or NBA fan in Washington D.C. But when it comes to politics, it's a very different story. According to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll out today, our cynicism about our Presidents couldn't run any deeper.

The poll finds that nearly two-thirds of Americans don't believe George "I cannot tell a lie" Washington or "Honest" Abe Lincoln told the truth when they were in office.

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A new Siena poll of New York has some good news for Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and some bad news for the man who appointed her to the Senate, Gov. David Paterson.

Gillibrand, who has had to build up name recognition in a large state where she was unknown a year ago, has a 34% favorable rating and 28% unfavorable. One possible sign of trouble is that only 30% say they would vote to re-elect her, with 40% preferring someone else. However, this can be partly explained by her very low numbers among Republicans, who are solidly against her by a margin of 55%-23%. The 30% undecided figure is also still very high, and the cross-tabs show higher undecided numbers among such heavily Democratic groups such as African-Americans (38%) and Latinos (41%).

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In an encouraging sign for proponents of reform, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has released a fairly positive statement in response to the White House's plan to fix health care.

"The President today made available to all Americans the Administration's health insurance reform proposal, which contains positive elements from the House and Senate-passed bills," Pelosi said. "I look forward to reviewing it with House Members and then joining the President and the Republican leadership at the Blair House meeting on Thursday. This discussion will continue a year-long historic level of transparency and open debate of this crucial reform effort."

Pelosi has long held that the House can not pass the Senate's health care bill unless it's paired with a separate bill, making significant changes to that legislation. And that's what the White House's proposal amounts to: a fix to the Senate bill. That Pelosi seems to think it's a good start is the first step toward moving comprehensive legislation through the House.

You can read the entire statement below the fold.

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The White House released the transcript of the toast remarks delivered by President Obama and Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, the Chairman of the National Governors Association, at the 2010 Governor's Ball. Read the toast in full after the jump.

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Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) told Fox News this morning that the Senate should only pass health care legislation if it can get 70 or 80 votes.

He also called reconciliation -- a process by which Democrats could pass legislation with a simple majority -- a "trick."

"If you're gonna pass something that's gonna impact everyone in this country personally, their own personal health care, and impact one sixth of the economy, you ought to get something like this passed with 70 or 80 votes in the Senate," he said. "That's the way you get the American people to say, yes, this must be a good idea.'"

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LiveWire

Obama Prepares For DHS Shutdown

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama convened a meeting with key administration officials on Friday…