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Tag: Brian Baird


Smith, Baird break ranks on tax vote

President Barack Obama was expected to sign an $858 billion tax bill this afternoon that will allow Washington state residents to deduct the state sales tax they paid on their 2010 and 2011 returns.

The House gave final approval to the compromise bill in the wee overnight hours Thursday after the Senate had approved it earlier in the week.

Even though the measure included the sales tax deduction, four Washington state representatives, Adam Smith, Brian Baird, Jay Inslee and Jim McDermott voted against it.

The rest of the state’s congressional delegation supported the measure.

“This compromise package isn’t perfect;

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Roll call: Washington delegation votes along party lines

Despite earlier questions about whether Reps. Adam Smith and Brian Baird would go along with fellow Democrats, Washington’s congressional delegation voted along party lines in the 219-212 vote on the health care proposal. Here’s how South Sound lawmakers voted.

Rep. Brian Baird
3rd District Democrat
“At the end of the day, this will be much better for the American people than what we have now. … On fiscal grounds this is sound, on humanitarian grounds it’s sound. I have been in the room when people died who didn’t have health insurance.”

Rep. Norm Dicks

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Brian Baird explains his ‘yes’ vote on health care

As we’ve reported, Congressman Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, has come over to the “yes” column on today’s health care vote.

“On balance, I believe this legislation will be much better than what exists today, I believe it represents a number of improvements in both content and process over the legislation as passed by the House, and, it is the best we are likely to be able to accomplish at the present time.”

Here is his statement, going into considerable detail on the reasons for his vote.

There is no question in my mind that our current health care system cannot be sustained and must be improved. Because of my background as a health care professional, working for more than twenty years before entering Congress, having focused extensively on health care during my time in Congress, as a parent of two young children, and as someone who has listened to countless constituents and groups from across the professional, patient and political spectrum, there is no other issue before Congress that has received as much of my personal attention and effort.

Providing health care is not a political issue for me, it was my chosen profession, it is something I feel deeply about, and it is a service to which I have dedicated much of my life.

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Baird says he will vote yes on health care bill

From reporter Les Blumenthal in the Washington, D.C., bureau:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, says he going to support the health care bill the House is expected to vote on later today.

Baird, along with Democratic Rep. Adam Smith, D-Tacoma, were the two undecideds going into the weekend. Smith announced Saturday he too would support the measure.

In a news release sent out this morning, Baird there was “no doubt in my mind that our current system cannot be sustained and must be improved.”

Baird said he had read the entire House and Senate bills, the reconciliation measure,

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Smith warming to health care, Baird still undecided

More from our D.C. guy, Les Blumenthal:

WASHINGTON – With pressure mounting and a weekend vote likely, Washington Rep. Adam Smith was apparently edging closer to endorsing Democratic health care legislation Thursday.

Smith’s movement came after the Congressional Budget Office said it would cut the federal deficit by $138 billion over 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the following decade if approved.

“I think the CBO numbers are positive,” the Tacoma Democrat said in a statement.

Meanwhile, even after a lengthy Oval Office meeting with President Obama, Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, remained undecided.

“Nothing has changed,” said Adam Hudson, a Baird spokesman.

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Smith, Baird remain undecided on health care vote

From Les Blumenthal in our D.C. bureau:

WASHINGTON – With a climactic vote on health care legislation expected in the House of Representatives late this week, two Democratic members from Washington state – Adam Smith and Brian Baird – remain undecided on how to vote.

Smith voted for an earlier version of the bill. Baird did not.

As House Democratic leaders and the White House scrambled Monday to secure the 216 votes needed to pass health care legislation, Smith said that while there might be a lot of good things in the measure, “I have not made up my mind.”

Baird, who is not seeking re-election, said he needed to see the actual language in the bill and an accompanying reconciliation bill before he would decide.

“Until I am able to read the new proposal and know the costs, I will not decide on how to vote on passage,” Baird said. “To do so would contradict what I have stood for throughout my congressional career.”

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U.S. Rep. Brian Baird won’t seek re-election

Les Blumenthal reports from the Washington, D.C. bureau that 3rd District Democrat Brian Baird won’t run for re-election next year.

Congressman Brian Baird, D-Vancouver
Congressman Brian Baird, D-Vancouver

He made the surprise announcement today, saying the time had come to pursue other options. Baird, whose 3rd Congressional District covers most of southwest Washington state, was first elected in 1996.

“This is not an easy decision to be sure, but I believe it is the right decision at the right time,” he said in a press release.

Baird has been a mostly-moderate-to-liberal congressman during his six terms, but drew criticism from his Democratic colleagues for supporting the Bush administration’s troop surge in Iraq.

His statement follows: Read more »