TPMDC Morning Roundup

March 24, 2010 4:56 am

McConnell: GOP Will Run On ‘Repeal And Replace’
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared on CNN, explaining how the GOP will run against the health care bill this year. “Repeal and replace will be the slogan for the fall,” said McConnell, explaining that the party will run against the new taxes and cuts to Medicare Advantage. He added: “And we’re going to remind the American people of that in the future and hopefully we’ll be able to repeal the most egregious parts of this and replace them with things we could have done on a bipartisan basis much earlier this year.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama will meet at 9 a.m. ET with Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN). He will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:35 a.m. ET. He will meet at 10:15 a.m. ET with Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) to discuss financial reform. At 2:30 p.m. ET, he will sign an executive order reaffirming the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s consistency with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion, joined by a group of pro-life Democrats including Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and others.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden will attend President Obama’s daily briefing at 9:35 a.m. ET. He will host a lunch meeting at 12:30 p.m. ET with Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA). He will meet with senior advisers in the afternoon. At 5:30 p.m. ET, he will attend an event for the Democratic National Committee in Baltimore, Maryland.

Obama Meets With Netanyahu
President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night, in the midst of a diplomatic feud over expanded Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that the two leaders “met privately for approximately 1.5 hours, in a good atmosphere,” and that advisers on both sides were holding follow-up discussions.

Conrad ‘Highly Confident’ That Reconciliation Can Withstand Challenges
The Washington Post reports that Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) says he is “highly confident” that the budget reconciliation package for the health care bill can survive parliamentary challenges from Republicans: “We have spent an extraordinary amount of time going over this.”

NYT: In Health Care Bill, Obama Attacks Wealth Inequality
The New York Times dubs President Obama’s health care bill the biggest move to attack economic inequality in the last three decades: “Over most of that period, government policy and market forces have been moving in the same direction, both increasing inequality. The pretax incomes of the wealthy have soared since the late 1970s, while their tax rates have fallen more than rates for the middle class and poor. Nearly every major aspect of the health bill pushes in the other direction. This fact helps explain why Mr. Obama was willing to spend so much political capital on the issue, even though it did not appear to be his top priority as a presidential candidate. Beyond the health reform’s effect on the medical system, it is the centerpiece of his deliberate effort to end what historians have called the age of Reagan.”

The Hill: Dems Debate What’s Next
The Hill reports that Congressional Democrats are debating whether to use their increased political capital from the health care bill on more policy initiatives, or to hoard it more cautiously for the midterm elections: “Liberals argue the new momentum offers a rare opportunity to pass top priorities, such as immigration reform and climate change legislation, and warn that the party is likely to see its large majorities in the Senate and House diminished next year…But conservative Democrats, many facing tough reelection fights, say the time has come to rein in the ambitious agenda and focus on creating jobs and spurring the economy.”

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