Democrats Bicker While Health Care Reform Stalls

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2009 9:45 AM CDT
In this July 21, 2009, file photo, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., speaks after he and other Blue Dog Democrats met with President Barack Obama at the White House.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
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(Newser) – House Democrats looked on the verge of inter-party warfare yesterday, as they openly battled over health care, the Washington Post reports. Tempers ran especially hot in the Energy and Commerce Committee, where Chairman Henry Waxman accused Blue Dog Democrats of “empowering Republicans,” and suggested the bill bypass his committee entirely. That infuriated the fiscally conservative Democrats; “I feel like I’ve been lied to,” said one.

After a 1-hour meeting that focused mostly on smoothing over hurt feelings, the sides emerged with an agreement only to continue negotiating. “Our colleagues have pulled us back from the brink,” crowed Waxman. But the House now seems further from a deal than it had been on Monday. Steny Hoyer said the odds were “very small” that a bill would be ready by the August recess.