President Barack Obama is set to put into law the most sweeping piece of social legislation in decades Tuesday when he puts his signature on the health care overhaul bill in a White House ceremony.
After the ceremony at 11:30 a.m., the president will head for the Department of the Interior, where he will kick off a Democratic effort to sell the $940 billion to a still skeptical public.
Meantime, with the Senate preparing to take up changes to the legislation, the GOP is vowing to make a repeal of the bill a central theme of the 2010 campaign season. Already at least one traditional ally has said it won’t support that effort.
“Republicans find themselves again being portrayed as the party of no, associated with being on the losing side of an often acrid debate and failing to offer a persuasive alternative agenda,” writes the New York Times’ Adam Nagourney.
Democrats, for their part, appear to be daring Republicans to run on a platform of repeal. As the president’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, put it to Judy Woodruff on Monday’s NewsHour:
“I invite…anyone who wants to run for public office to go to small businesses and say, ‘You know, that 35 percent tax cut for health care you just got, we want to take that away from you’ … If people want to campaign on that, they’re welcome to do it, and we will join that debate.”
That’s fine with Critical Condition’s Jeffrey Anderson, who writes, “[F]ar from striking a fatal blow to the cause of limited government and fiscal responsibility, Obama has awakened a sleeping giant.”
Good luck, says the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder, who sees “Republicans in Disarray.”
“Health care reform has been a rich vein for the GOP,” says Time’s Swampland blog, but there are good reasons why the party should drop the issue. “In opposing reconciliation the GOP would, in some cases, be opposing things that they, um, actually like.”
Obama to Meet With Netanyahu
Later Tuesday, the focus at the White House shifts from health care to the Middle East, as President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two leaders are at odds over an Israeli plan to build 1,600 homes in East Jerusalem. At Monday’s meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Netanyahu asserted his nation’s “right to build.”
Because it seems the health care debate seeps into every discussion imaginable, Marc Lynch at Foreign Policy asks if it is possible President Obama’s hand abroad has been strengthened by health care reform.
China Hits Back at Google
China has shot back at Google over Monday’s announcement that it would stop censoring search results in the world’s largest internet market.
China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency early on Tuesday quoted an unnamed official saying, “We’re uncompromisingly opposed to the politicization of commercial issues, and express our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conducts.”