Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus confers with an aide during Tuesdays health care bill markup. The White House is quietly assembling a bill that it could unveil if Baucus proposal falls short in the Senate.
Some on Capitol Hill have felt frustrated that the White House put out a number but failed to provide a road map for getting there. But others are content to have the White House stay out of the fray and let lawmakers take the lead.
The failure to share details of what the White House wants fits with a strategy that aims to allow lawmakers leeway in crafting a bill. The strategy appears deeply informed by the failure of President Bill Clinton in 1994 to get Congress to act on health care.
Several administration officials and advisers are veterans of the Clinton effort, which featured a detailed White House proposal that became a magnet for criticism from opponents. Some believe the effort by the White House to steer the debate is what led to failure.
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.