They’re liberal. They’re conservative. Meet the Blue Dogs.
If you haven’t heard about the Blue Dogs yet, you will, especially once Congress gets back from its summer break after Labor Day.
They’re one of the groups in Congress being blamed for holding up the health care vote on the House floor, which won’t happen—as originally planned—before the vacation begins.
Who are they?
They’re a group of 52 Democrats in the House of Representatives who are socially moderate but fiscally conservative. There are many camps within the two parties that have their own agendas, but this one’s getting the most attention at the moment.
They got their name part from “Yellow Dog Democrats,” a popular term in the early 1900s for southern Democrats who were said to vote for a dog before voting for a Republican.
But this group is blue because—as they say–they were “choked blue” by their own party. You see, in 1994 the Democrats lost the House and Senate to the Republicans. So a group of moderate and conservative Democrats who thought the party had become too liberal and cost it the election formed a coalition. Today they are credited with helping Democrats win back control in 2008 by beating Republicans in otherwise conservative areas of the country.
What do they want when it comes to health care?
The group says it believes in reform, and very clearly they want to keep the associated costs low. But they aren’t crazy about a public health plan and the burden of possible costs on small businesses. Basically they are focused on finding a way to pay for anything that requires new spending or tax cuts before approving any plans. They have a running clock on their Web site that tells you the national debt and your portion of it.
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