Progressives on the Energy and Commerce Committee shut down the markup scheduled for this afternoon while they look at the compromise made.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) postponed the health bill markup that he planned to hold Wednesday afternoon amid a backlash from liberals to the deal that he cut earlier with four conservative Blue Dog Democrats.
Waxman told reporters that he intended to keep meeting with committee Democrats on Wednesday night, resume the markup Thursday and still finish the bill Friday.
“[Energy and Commerce Democrats] have a lot of questions about the legislation, and I think it’s more important that we sit in the Democratic Caucus and let people ask questions, get answers, hear each other out,” Waxman said.
Good. As long as we're slowing down the bill, at least progressives can force some changes to it instead of going along with whatever compromise gets hashed out by the Blue Dogs. They should also inform their counterparts, many of whom come from rural areas, that they'll never vote for their farm subsidies if they sabotage this bill. They won't vote for their pork barrel projects and will join with Republicans to take them out of appropriations. They will simply make it difficult for Blue Dogs to bring home the bacon in the way they currently do. The Blue Dogs exist through power in numbers. The Progressive Caucus has MORE numbers, and they can use them.