In response to critics who argue that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is not negotiating the health care bill in good faith, a Grassley spokesperson issued this statement:
Jill Kozeny, a spokeswoman for Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, said the accusations were unjustified. She said Grassley and five other Senate Finance Committee members — half Republicans, half Democrats — will hold their scheduled conference call Friday…Kozeny said Wednesday: “Attacks by political operatives in the White House undermine bipartisan efforts and drive senators away from the table….” She also called Democratic-crafted bills “policy failures and they’ve been rejected at the grassroots.”
Greassley’s summer tour to discredit the Democrats’ health care bill certainly speaks louder than his spokesperson’s commitment to bipartisanship, which Grassley promises to pursue during Friday’s phone call. But will he be looking for genuine compromise or obstruction? In other words, is there a difference between Grassley the politician and Grassley the policy maker?
All signs point to no. During a recent interview with Kaiser Health News, for instance, Grassley indicated that he has not had “any conversations” with Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) about his recent suggestions that the public option would pull the plug on grandma, refusal to to vote for an “imperfect bill” or statement that “the only way to get a bipartisan agreement is to defeat a Democratic proposal on the first hand.” Grassley said there was “nothing” “that needed to be clarified or straightened out” in his relationship with Baucus.
In fact, the above statement re-affirms Grassley’s commitment to obstructionism. Democratic-crafted bills are “policy failures and they’ve been rejected at the grassroots,” Grassley’s spokesperson says, on the eve of Grassley’s “bipartisan negotiations” about said policies. A more honest broker would have admitted that voters haven’t rejected Democratic-crafted bill; they’ve rejected Republican rumors about the Democratic bills.