ICYMI: SENATE GOP RE-UPS 2009 AFFORDABLE CARE ACT PLAYBOOK TO BLOCK INFRASTRUCTURE DEAL

As negotiations around the American Jobs Plan continue, with President Biden putting forward good-faith counter-offers and Republicans responding with unreasonable proposals that will hurt working families, it’s clear that Senate Republicans are falling back on their tired 2009 playbook of obstruction through feigning interest in a bipartisan deal.

The New York Times: Bipartisan Infrastructure Talks Recall Heated Health Care Summer of 2009

  • The template for today’s infrastructure stalemate was set in 2009. Then as now, a small group of senators, Democratic and Republican, were empowered to seek a deal.
  • “There was some sliver of hope that it would be bipartisan,” Peter R. Orszag, the White House budget director during health care negotiations, recalled in 2014. “But as time evolved from the transition during late 2008 to the summer of 2009, it became increasingly obvious that any such hopes were only hopes and not going to be reality.”
  • Partisan politics are worse now than back in the days of the A.C.A.,” [Max Baucus, the Democratic Finance Committee chairman during the Affordable Care Act negotiations] said this week, “and they were plenty partisan then.”
  • “[…] I recognized then and now that there are some in the other party whose really only objective was to bring President Obama’s administration down.” [said Kent Conrad, then a Democratic senator of North Dakota]. 

NBC News: Democrats fear health care 2009 déjà vu as Biden-GOP infrastructure talks drag

  • “The biggest thing is that they keep asking for more time. And they’re just running the clock,” [Jim Messina] said of Republicans. “If you’re McConnell he’s going to talk for as long as we want to talk, because he’s just trying to be an obstructionist.”
  • “The idea of 10 Republicans voting for something significant is farcical,” [Dan Pfeiffer] said.
  • “Every day that we’re participating in these so-called negotiations is a day we’re not legislating and getting a bill done to help working families and solve climate change,” [Charlie Ellsworth, former aide to Sens. Chuck Schumer and Ben Nelson] said.”
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