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The Congressional Black Caucus vs. the Blue Dog coalition

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Following the coverage yesterday about the role of fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats in the U.S. House who seem to have stymied President Obama’s health care reform timeline (including our story yesterday on the group’s campaign contributors), the Blue Dogs have now come under fire from a key group of fellow Dems.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which includes the 39 African-American Democrats in the House (plus the two non-voting Delegates from D.C. and the Virgin Islands) wrote to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama yesterday, demanding immediate action on health care reform and criticizing “some within the Democratic Caucus” who have raised “spurious claims that the cost of reforming health care in America is something our nation cannot afford.” The 52-member Blue Dog Coalition has opposed the House leadership’s initial reform proposals, demanding more cost cuts before they will back the legislation.

Interestingly, two members of the Blue Dogs, Reps. Sanford Bishop and David Scott, are also members of the CBC. More interestingly, of the $125,000 raised so far this year by the CBC’s own political action committee, $25,000 came from the health care industry.

That represents roughly 1/12th of the $297,500 (out of their $1.1 million haul) the Blue Dog PAC received from the health care sector PACs in that time. In other words, probably not enough to have nearly as much access to or influence with the CBC members.

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