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Obama's challenge

Mark Mardell | 19:34 UK time, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The president is throwing down the gauntlet to Republicans:

"I believe the United States Congress owes the American people a final vote on health care reform.  We have debated this issue thoroughly, not just for a year, but for decades.  Reform has already passed the House with a majority.  It has already passed the Senate with a supermajority of 60 votes.  And now it deserves the same kind of up-or-down vote that was cast on welfare reform, the Children's Health Insurance Program, COBRA health coverage for the unemployed, and both Bush tax cuts - all of which had to pass Congress with nothing more than a simple majority." 

Republicans will reject this almost instantly. One conservative website has already put together a montage of clips showing Obama saying he wouldn't govern like this.

CNN are quoting a White House insider saying this is a "last helicopter out of Saigon " strategy.

Fleeing a lost war is not the most optimistic metaphor for an adviser to adopt. And it still may go down in flames.


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