Obama Tactic Shields Health Care Bill From a Filibuster

At the prodding of the White House, Democratic Congressional leaders have agreed to pursue a plan that would protect major health care legislation from Republican opposition by shielding it from last-minute Senate filibusters.

By Carl Hulse
The New York Times

The aggressive approach reflects the big political claim that President Obama is staking on health care, and with it his willingness to face Republican wrath in order to guarantee that the Democrats, with their substantial majority in the Senate, could not be thwarted by minority tactics.

While some Democratic senators were reluctant to embrace the arrangement, Mr. Obama made clear at a White House session on Thursday afternoon that he favored it, people with knowledge of the session said.

Mr. Obama has given way in some battles with Congress, but the new stance suggests he may be much less willing to compromise when it comes to health care, his top legislative priority, even if it means a bitter partisan fight.

The no-filibuster arrangement is fiercely opposed by Republican leaders, who say health care is too important to be exempted from the Senate rules that usually mean major bills must win support from 60 senators.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/2
5/us/politics/25budget.html?_r=1&hp

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