That's the word out of Washington -- that President Obama is backing down from the impending economic stimulus showdown over funding for this key democratic point:
House Democrats are likely to jettison family planning funds for the low-income from an $825 billion economic stimulus bill, officials said late Monday, following a personal appeal from President Barack Obama at a time the administration is courting Republican critics of the legislation.
Hillary Clinton wouldn't have backed down, and I made that point often early in the primary process, that Obama was a moderate who would give into the opposition rather than mow them down as Clinton would.
We big-D Democrats got what we wanted, but we progressives aren't the winners here.
Update: It's out.
From NBC's Mike Viqueira The provision within the stimulus that would allocate money for contraceptive programs through Medicaid will be pulled out of the package.
NBC News confirms that the president called Henry Waxman, the chairman of the committee that inserted the contraception provision into the stimulus during the mark up last week, to ask him to remove the measure from the bill, according to a Democratic leadership source.
In short, the idea has simply become too controversial. Speaker Nancy Pelosi's defense of the program over the weekend, where she indicated that it would be a money saver, was not well received.
So that provision is out.
Complicating matters, both Minority Leader John Boehner and No. 2 Eric Cantor have told House Republicans that "all Republicans should vote against the stimulus" if it remains "in its current form," according to a GOP leadership aide.
Is that going to be enough, or will Obama keep giving the Republicans more and more?
Remember that Obama didn't have to give an inch to get this bill passed - he's just doing the right's bidding.
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