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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Health Care Overhaul Becomes More Secretive

Throughout the 2008 campaign, President Obama promised the American people that the negotiations over his signature health care reform would be widely broadcast. Today, Democrats in Congress, with the blessing of the President, made it clear they have no intention of going that route:
President Barack Obama and congressional Democratic leaders agreed Tuesday to forgo a formal conference committee for reconciling the Senate and House health care bills, according to three Democratic congressional aides.

The decision means that the White House, Senate Majority Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will attempt to reach an agreement through private negotiations with key lawmakers. Once a deal is struck, the bill will go back to the House for passage, then to the Senate and on to the president’s desk — a legislative path that has been described as “ping pong.”

The decision to bypass the conference committee, which the aides said came during an Oval Office meeting Tuesday, formalized what many Democrats had long known: If they have any hope of passing the health care bill quickly, they would need to circumvent the normal order of business.

But the move — though not unusual in the increasingly gridlocked Congress — has drawn sharp criticism from Republicans and even some Democrats, who say Obama is not living up to his promise of a transparent process.
If you were curious, here are a few examples of the President promising transparency throughout the campaign, via Breitbart TV:

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