Democrats may hold the majorities in the House and Senate but they are losing the propaganda war daily to Republicans when it comes to opinions of the hearts and minds of the American people, especially on the divisive issue of health care reform.
Now, as House and Senate leaders push for passage of health care legislative through the reconciliation process, they face another public relations problem: How to do so without looking like it was just another back room deal.
Deals with lobbyists watered down health care “reform.” Deals for votes brought angry reactions from both the public and members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle.
So the use of reconciliation — and old tool for working out problems with differences in bills passed by the House and Senate — becomes just another back room deal when defined by Republicans.
That’s the problem Demcorats face. Republicans seized control of the message on health care months ago and control the agenda when it comes to public opinion.
“I’ll tell you one thing, if Speaker Pelosi rams this bill through the House using a reconciliation process, they will lose their majority in Congress in November,” Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia declared on Meet the Press Sunday.
Democrats counter by pointing out that Republicans love reconciliation when it suits their political agenda and have employed it when they had a simple majority in the Senate.
Democrats are also trying to rebrand the process, calling it a “simple majority” rather than “reconciliation.”
- Pelosi Says She’ll Get Votes Needed for Health Bill (nytimes.com)
- Up-or-down vote sought on health care (msnbc.msn.com)
- Pelosi Aide Calls Democratic Plan to Pass Health Care Bill “A Trick” (meganmcardle.theatlantic.com)
- Do Democrats Have the Votes in the House? (politicalwire.com)
- Democrats looking hard at 51-vote shortcut for health reform (cnn.com)