TPM News

In a statement released yesterday, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) denounced claims that his vote for health care reform was linked to Federal Aviation Administration grants for three airports in his district. Here's the full statement:

Individuals and organizations who are falsely trying to link my vote for health care reform to annual FAA maintenance grants awarded to my district are simply grasping at straws. It is absurd to think I would change my vote for a tow truck and a fence to keep deer from walking onto the runway of an airport in Escanaba. I have long advocated for comprehensive health care reform and voted in favor of the House health care reform bill - a fact that many opponents of health care reform can't seem to acknowledge.

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RNC Chairman Michael Steele said last night that when the Republicans talk about repealing the health care reform bill, they aren't "talking about repealing the bill for the sake of the bill," but that they "want to repeal the bill and replace it with something that's based on what doctor's and patients think needs to be done."

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After the historic health care reform vote in the House Sunday, more Americans say that President Obama has done a better job on health care reform than either party. That's according to new USA Today/Gallup poll out this morning.

Among all voters surveyed Monday, 46% said Obama did and "excellent or good" job on health care reform. Thirty-two percent said the same thing about Democrats in Congress, and just 26% said it about Republicans on Capitol Hill.

The numbers split along party lines, as would be expected. But among independents, Obama remains the highest-rated figure of the reform debate -- 37% give him an "excellent or good" rating, while the Democrats in Congress get a 22% rating and the Republicans in Congress a 27% rating.

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In recent days, hawkish conservatives have seized on the case of a Guantanamo detainee who was ordered freed by a federal judge this week after a years-long saga in which the detainee was reportedly tortured by American interrogators.

U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson on Monday ordered the release of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who was once dubbed the "highest value detainee" by a top Pentagon official.

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Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) appeared on Sean Hannity's TV show last night, and gave his prediction for what a Republican Congress elected in 2010 will do to fight President Obama on health care: Shut down the government (again).

"My prediction is you're going to get a Republican Congress in 2010 in the election. They're going to come in and they're going to refuse to fund any of these new offices. And they're just kind -- they won't pass the appropriations," said Gingrich. "Then in 2012, you get a new president. And I think probably in February of 2013, they repeal the entire bill. Replace the good parts. Because there are some things -- out of 2600 pages, there are probably 200 pages that are pretty good."

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As Americans are learning about reform Congress passed on Sunday night, more have signed on to the historic legislation according to a CBS poll released yesterday.

On Monday and Tuesday, CBS re-surveyed 649 people it had previously asked about the reform bill in the days before it passed and signed into law. And though most still said they were opposed to the bill, support for the reform package climbed five points as did support for the man most think are responsible for the bill's passage, President Obama.

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney has endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in Kentucky's Republican Senate primary.

From the Grayson campaign's release:

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A new national poll sheds some interesting light on the tea party movement. Though it confirms that the group is more white and more Republican than anything else, something other polls in the past have suggested, it also shows that your average tea partier is more likely to be a woman than an man. And she's likely to be very angry at the government and a very big fan of Sarah Palin.

The Quinnipiac poll out this morning shows the just 13% of voters all themselves tea partiers, and those that do are on the far fringes of anger at and distrust of the government. The group is basically Republican -- 77% identified themselves that way, with just 5% calling themselves independent. In a surprise, 55% are women, while just 45% are men.

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