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Arizona Capitol Times: Sinema, Biggs offer views on health care changes

The Arizona Capitol Times writes,

U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who joined Biggs in a forum sponsored by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, said the original bill rolled out by House Speaker Paul Ryan, the American Health Care Act, was “bad.”

“It was basically Obamacare but worse,” she said.

Sinema, a member the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, said bipartisanship is the most effective way to pass health care reform.

“If (Ryan) wants to get something done, there is a group of Blue Dogs that are willing to do this,” Sinema said. “And we are fiscally conservative Democrats that are willing to find market-based solutions, and I think it would make a lot of sense for him to come and talk to us.”

Read the whole article here.

Orange County Register: New Democratic Congressman Lou Correa goes to Washington, D.C.

The Orange County Register writes,

Jose Luis Correa was the first in his family to graduate from high school, going on to earn MBA and law degrees from UCLA. He’s lived in the district nearly his entire life.

In the November race to replace outgoing Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Correa trounced then-Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen, 70 percent to 30 percent.


“He’s a good guy who knows how to get along with people,” Baugh said, noting Correa’s sensitivity to the priorities of his constituents. “He votes his district and he’s not beholden to one side or the other.”

Besides his burgeoning relationships on both sides of the Congressional aisle, this approach manifests itself in his membership in two moderate Democratic Capitol Hill groups, the Blue Dog Coalition and the New Democratic Coalition. He’s also building a reputation of lending early support to GOP-sponsored bills he agrees with.

While he opposed the GOP proposal to replace Obamacare, he readily acknowledges what he views as the shortcomings of the current plan and has called on Republicans to help fix it.

“I’m not a partisan guy,” Correa said. “I really hate the Republican versus Democrat stuff. Nobody has a monopoly on wisdom.”

Read the whole story here.

ABC News: Democrats’ strategy on health care

ABC News writes,

More moderate House Democrats say they turned down an invitation to go to the White House to meet with a staffer on the issue. “With all due respect to the folks there, if that particular staffer wants to meet, come meet with the Blue Dogs here,” Rep. Henry Cuellar, (D-Texas), a moderate leader of the Blue Dog Caucus, told ABC.

Read the whole article here.

National Journal: Meet the New Bridge Between Democrats and Donald Trump

The National Journal writes,

But the bipartisan talks seem imperiled even in their infancy. Schrader, a member of both the Blue Dog and New Democrat coalitions, said he is known for working with Republicans but many in his district don’t want him to work with Trump. Rebuffing the president is easier given his extremely partisan posture on some issues—for instance, the administration’s move this week banning the Environmental Protection Agency from using the words “climate change,” Schrader said.

“He makes it easy not to work with him, because he’s wrong on so many issues that are important to so many Americans, whether it’s the budget, immigration, health care,” Schrader said. “That shows how little experience and knowledge he has of dealing with real people and particularly people in this legislative body.”

Schrader added that he also thinks the efforts may ultimately be fruitless because Trump does not know policy enough to negotiate: “The emperor really has no clothes. He has no substance.”

Read the whole article here.

National Journal: Trump Tries Outreach to Moderate Democrats

The National Journal writes,

Rep. Henry Cuellar said White House staff reached out Monday to him and some individual members of the Blue Dog Coalition and the New Democrat Coalition, two groups filled with moderate and conservative Democrats, many of whom represent swing districts and have reputa-tions for working across the aisle.

“His congressional-affairs folks have reached out to us and they’ve invited some of us to the White House to meet with his legislative director [Marc Short],” Cuellar said. “If it was Trump, we should give him the courtesy. But when, with all due respect, it’s a staffer, I think he needs to come to us. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to reach out to him and say, ‘Hey, if you want to come and talk to us come over to the Congress.’”

Cuellar, a Blue Dog co-chair, said he hopes to set up a meeting for sometime next week. However, he added that he and his fellow members view the invitation with suspicion. Firstly, he said they aren’t sure if the offer is sincere.

“I don’t know if he’s using us as a pawn,” he said. “When they said, ‘Maybe we’d be willing to work with Democrats,’ was that a way to say, ‘Hey, tea-party folks, straighten up or we’re going to work with them’? Or was he really sincere that he wanted to work with us? We don’t know.”

Read the whole article here.