GOP Clashes on Health Care in Wake of Tragedy

Congress rightfully postponed official business this week in favor of national mourning, but Republicans are already butting heads on what to do about their proposed health care repeal.

It's well known that a blanket revocation of the health care bill is completely unpassable, and that the GOP's proposed vote is largely symbolic -- a waste of time meant to curry favor with their base before they begin attempting to dismantle it piece by piece. But in the wake of the Arizona tragedy, and widespread calls for the parties to disagree more civilly, Republicans are infighting over their next move, reports the Los Angeles Times. Going full-bore into a repeal vote next week could appear insensitive to the national mood.

But because of the delay, the Tea Party is already getting restless. The Times:

"This is not the serious getting-down-to-business in Congress that people voted for," said Andrew Ian Dodge, a tea party leader in Maine who said he had heard from other activists frustrated by the delay on the vote. "I think it's a mistake. It shows a sort of lack of spine and will and it's disappointing."

The repeal is particularly sensitive because the last debate was so vitriolic. By now, the whole nation knows that on the night of the vote, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' glass office door was damaged by a rock or a gunshot. The Congressional mood is akin to “PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] about the last healthcare debate,” Rep Chellie Pingree (D-ME) told the LA Times.

So far, Republican leaders have not said when the vote might resume, but an announcement is expected as early as today. Go here for more.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at January 13, 2011, 4:52am

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