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Democratic Opposition To Cost-Cutting Board Gains Momentum

Also in the news, The Wall Street Journal profiles the White House staffer who is negotiating with congressional Republicans on the budget.  

The Hill: ObamaCare Cost-Cutting Board Faces Growing Dem Opposition
ObamaCare’s cost-cutting board — memorably called a “death panel” by Sarah Palin — is facing growing opposition from Democrats who say it will harm people on Medicare. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean drew attention to the board designed to limit Medicare cost growth when he called for its repeal in an op-ed late last month (Viebeck 8/8).

The Wall Street Journal: Budget Chaos To Test White House’s Envoy
Mr. McDonough, a 43-year-old former Obama campaign aide with a background as a foreign-policy expert, is an unlikely person to bridge the division over the budget. He has quietly built a career assisting various elected officials and candidates, unlike predecessors Rahm Emanuel, Bill Daley and Jacob Lew, who were peers and colleagues of many of the people Mr. McDonough is facing at the negotiating table. Mr. McDonough must now persuade Republicans that he isn’t simply an Obama loyalist, but a fair broker intent on surmounting differences. Those differences remain vast, including whether to raise tax revenue again or tackle persistent problems such as the cost of Medicare. House Republicans have said they would demand spending cuts in return for raising the debt ceiling, while the president has said he won’t negotiate over something as serious as paying the nation’s bills (Nicholas, 8/7).