Who knew Democrats needed Barack Obama’s permission to take shots at him and his awful health care law if it will help them win reelection? A piece at Politico acknowledges that “at the pleading of senior White House officials,”
Senate Democrats are holding off on demands to delay major aspects of the health care law until the Obama administration has the opportunity to fix the website problems that are thwarting enrollment in the program.
Democratic senators facing reelection have a green light to bash the White House and call for certain legislative fixes. But they’ve been urged by senior administration officials not to insist on delaying the controversial law’s core: The mandate for individuals to purchase insurance coverage or face penalties. [Emphasis added]
The “agreement” follows news that top party members discreetly met with the president and Joe Biden on Wednesday. One of the attendees at the meeting — which was so hush-hush that it was not listed on the official White House agenda — was Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). In a two-hour session described variously as “tense” and “spicy,” Coons reports that Obama asked for “a little bit” of breathing room.
But not all Senate Democrats are willing to give even a little. When asked if he would agree to withhold calls to delay major aspects of the law, Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas said somewhat huffily, “I don’t work for the White House.”
Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2014m was also unequivocating in his desire for self-preservation, He told Politico:
We’ve told them pretty directly that they need to get this ready and resolve these issues. They have committed to Nov. 30 to get this done, which I think is good and I think that’s a fair timetable. But we’re going to keep on it.