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Deal or No Deal?

Democrats seem to be in disarray—still—on health care. Sen. Tom Harkin wants to jam through the public option in the Senate on a party-line vote. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would like that, too, but House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has other ideas. The Hill reports that Hoyer is searching for bipartisan agreement on health-care reform, although he hasn’t actually met with House Whip Eric Cantor. The report explains:

Cantor says he’d still like to meet with Hoyer.

“In the absence of an invitation from the majority leader, Mr. Cantor will request a meeting with Mr. Hoyer this week to focus on the areas of agreement as outlined in previous public statements,” said Cantor spokesman Brady Dayspring. “Mr. Cantor looks forward to a positive policy forum where the exchange of ideas is welcome.”

Meanwhile, Howard Dean joins the crowd decrying the Baucus bill. And the president is busy not deciding what to do about Afghanistan and preparing to make his pitch for the Olympics. So Congress continues to dither and bicker. One doesn’t sense we are on the cusp of a deal. Forget the details; it’s not clear there is any agreement on the broad outlines of a bill or whether the Democrats are really committed to any sort of bipartisan deal. Maybe health care is getting to be like one of those deadlines for Iran—someday, maybe, we’ll reach the end of the road.



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