House Progressive Whacks Conrad and Baucus for Appeasing Heckler

As we’ve been reporting, Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Max Baucus (D-MT) responded to Rep. Joe “You Lie” Wilson (R-SC) with incredulity by implicitly affirming his false accusation that Democratic health care legislation will be a boon to illegal immigrants.

That move hasn’t gone unnoticed, and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)–a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus–has some pretty harsh words for the two.

“The senators are knee-jerking and over-reacting,” Grijalva told me today, denouncing the move.

Grijalva has emerged in recent weeks as one of the House progressives most committed to insisting health care reform legislation include a public option.“Part of the problem with the Finance Committee bill is that it’s being done to appease people instead of being done to put something together,” Grijalva said, calling the process “tainted” and “discredited” and noting that “the people putting it together are ex-lobbyists.”

Grijalva insisted he wants to “set the bar high and not do something that’s at the lower common denominator.”

“If that happens,” he said, “I thnk passage of the legislation will be very, very difficult.”