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Though they're still not happy about it, Roll Call reports that Republican leaders will participate in the hcr summit [sub req].

Republicans, demanding to have a say in the summit’s format and warning for days they have no interest in attending a "public relations" exercise disguised as a substantive negotiation, say that is exactly what the nationally televised event is setting up to be. But Republican leaders will probably attend anyway – perhaps for their own public relations reasons — though they are already labeling the summit a failure.

"So now the president wants to have a little PR event to try to resell a tremendously unpopular plan to Republicans and the American people. The administration still isn't listening," a House Republican leadership aide said Monday....

In particular, Republicans say Obama’s request that they come to the bipartisan summit armed with their own comprehensive health care reform bill is evidence that the White House is trying to predetermine the event’s outcome for political advantage.

Republicans have declined to produce a massive health care overhaul of their own because they prefer an incremental approach, and insist any negotiation should start from scratch and not be based on the House and Senate health care bills passed late last year. Obama shot down that recommendation during a Feb. 5 news conference, saying he did not want to go through a Congressional committee process that could take another six to eight months.

Boehner, after his demand that the plan be posted online, abruptly changed that demand to starting with "a clean sheet of paper." Senate Republican whip Jon Kyl echoes that, saying the Dems have decided what they want to do anyway, so the only possible way to make this bipartisan is to start entirely from scratch.

While the summit is likely to be mostly PR, the "blank piece of paper" and "starting over from scratch" demands from the Republicans sound more like they just don't want to have to do the work of finally come up with a real plan.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 02:10 PM PST.

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