HEADLINES -- March 3, 2010 at 9:07 AM ET
Wednesday's Headlines: Obama to Outline Health Care Plan, Ask for Vote
President Barack Obama will outline his plan to move ahead on health reform legislation in a speech Wednesday afternoon and is expected to call for an up-or-down vote on an overhaul package.
Democratic leaders are hoping the move will sway undecided lawmakers to move forward on the year-long effort to produce legislation on the president's signature domestic issue.
Obama is expected to stop short of formally calling for the use of reconciliation when he addresses his plans for health reform in remarks at the White House Wednesday, but officials say his message will be clear - Congress should take an up-or-down vote on a comprehensive plan.
In the Texas GOP primary, Gov. Rick Perry earned a commanding 51 percent of the ballots cast Tuesday, ending the gubernatorial bids of longtime Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and long-shot Tea Party hopeful Debra Medina, and avoiding a possible runoff vote. The Democratic nomination went to Houston Mayor Bill White.
The race had nabbed national headlines as part of a recent wave of votes seen to embody public anger with partisanship and political agendas in Washington in the lead up to mid-term elections in the fall.
"You have got to give Rick Perry and his team a great deal of credit for being the longest-serving governor in Texas history and still running a campaign as an outsider," Mark Sanders, a Republican consultant, told the New York Times. "Outsiders are what people want right now."
In Iraq, triple suicide blasts killed at least 30 people in the former insurgent stronghold of Baquba. The attacks come days before key parliamentary elections in the country.
Security has been ramped up in Iraq ahead of Sunday's vote, which is seen as a critical test of security as the United States prepares for a larger military withdrawal from the country.
The Washington Post reports that the political party office of former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jafari was among the targets of Wednesday's bombing. Jafari, a Shiite, is a candidate in the election.