Grassley fires back at White House

The rebuke comes in response to comments Axelrod made yesterday accusing Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), two members of the bipartisan “Group of Six,” of negotiating in bad faith:

“If you’re sitting at a table negotiating in good faith, then you probably don’t send out mailers saying, ‘Help me stop Obama-care.’ That’s just common sense,” Mr. Axelrod said. The two senators’ actions, he said, “suggested they don’t want to participate” in bipartisan talks. “They’re satisfied with the status quo. We are not,” Mr. Axelrod said.

Grassley’s spokesperson shot back today saying the so-called “Group of Six” senators would continue to work for a compromise despite his comments. She said Axelrod was “driv[ing] Senators away from the table.”

“Attacks by political operatives in the White House undermine bipartisan efforts and drive senators away from the table,” Jill Kozeny told the Associated Press. “Anyone who’s working on an alternative plan–one that would actually drive down costs and not drive up the deficit–knows how difficult the issues are.”

The White House has thus far shied away from laying out its demands for healthcare reform, preferring to allow Congress to negotiate it’s own compromise. That might change soon, as President Obama is reportedly considering a televised address in which he’ll lay out his healthcare priorities.

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