Baucus the go-to senator on health AND climate? Harkin predicts passage of plan with public option
By Al Cross
A powerful, increasingly conservative senator from a state with vast rural areas, Democrat Max Baucus of Montana, has become the bellwether of the Senate, first on health care and now on climate change, reports Lisa Lerer of Politico.
“His power play could put Baucus at the helm of the Obama administration’s domestic agenda, giving an unpredictable Montana Democrat control over legislative proposals that could define the Democratic Party for years to come,” Lerer writes.
But on climate change, the Finance Committee chairman is in a turf battle with liberal Democratic Sen. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “Boxer and Baucus bring dramatically different approaches to the climate issue, so combining their ideas won’t be easy,” Lerer writes. (Read more)
Meanwhile, liberal Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the new chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, “declared that a health care reform bill would pass both houses of Congress ‘by Christmas,’ and that it would include a government-run, not-for-profit health insurance plan,” Chase Martyn reports for the Iowa Independent.
Reprinted with permission from The Rural Blog. Al Cross, former Courier-Journal political writer, is director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and The Rural Blog.