Democrat Infighting

Progressives Protest Blue Dog Concessions

Can't Henry Waxman (D-CA) catch a break? On Wednesday the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman scored a breakthrough compromise with the House's stubbornly moderate Blue Dog Democrats—and almost immediately, the committee's progressives demanded yet another markup delay. Waxman told reporters that, rather than rush the legislation, "it's more important that we sit in the Democratic Caucus and let people ask questions, get answers, hear each other out." Waxman's watershed Blue Dog deal slashed more than $100 billion from the bill, has the support of House leadership and the White House, and limits the public option—to progressives' dismay. Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) said the public option "has to be much stronger to get our support." Woolsey adds, "We've got a long way to go before this gets to the House floor," but Waxman appears to disagree—he remains committed to finishing the bill on Friday.