POLITICS
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

How Drug-Industry Lobbyists Got Their Way On Health Care

In Congress, committee chairmen are known as the old bulls for a reason: it's unwise to provoke them. So it isn't often that you see one get rolled by his own committee especially when the chairman in question is the formidable and canny Henry Waxman and the issue in question is one that matters a lot to him. But that was what happened on July 31 as the House Energy and Commerce Committee was putting the final touches on health-reform legislation. Waxman's fellow California Democrat Anna Eshoo offered a last-minute amendment that Waxman opposed. Knowing he would lose, Waxman decided to save face with a quick voice vote. But Eshoo insisted on a roll call, which would put every member on record. Waxman snapped at her, "You promised you wouldn't do that!" The final tally was 47-11 against the chairman.

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