Cutting deals to nail down votes is under way leading up to a House vote on healthcare reform. Trust that promises will be kept is key, but it's been eroding between House and Senate this session.
President Obama says he is 'exploring' four Republican healthcare ideas from last week's summit, in a bow to bipartisanship seen largely as a public relations move.
Twelve senators so far have opted not to run again, the second-highest number of retiring senators in 75 years. Among their frustrations: the Senate's increasingly partisan climate.
Behind the scenes, the Senate is having the Congressional Budget Office estimate the cost of its healthcare reform bill. Leaders want to make sure it has the right policies and price to pass.
Look at the margins of victory, among other things, as the returns for Election Day November 2009 come in.
They're talking about using the budget reconciliation process for some parts, but it could be risky. Part 2 of two.
The senator said healthcare would be Obama's 'Waterloo' – if Obama lost, it would break him. Now, Obama is using the comment as an example of crass Beltway obstructionism.
A successful vote Friday could give the administration momentum on its biggest priority: healthcare reform.
Lawmakers and others who were against the Iraq war generally support the president. But they worry about another 'quagmire.'