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Congress: Conrad's co-op push

"Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said on Sunday that Democrats won't have enough votes to pass a White House-endorsed healthcare reform package that includes a government-run option," The Hill reports. Of course, Conrad introduced a "co-op" proposal that has been seen as a counter to a so-called public or government option. As NBC's Ken Strickland has said, "Looks like a duck, smells like a duck, but don't call it a duck." 

 Video: Vice President Joe Biden discusses the president's plan for health care reform with NBC's David Gregory on "Meet the Press."

"House Democrats breathed a sigh of relief last week when the ethics committee confirmed an investigation that likely centers on some of the party's most senior appropriators," Roll Call writes. "The reaction was a testament to the success of the Republican pressure campaign to keep the heat on Democrats for dragging their feet on confronting the mounting controversy." But that doesn't mean this issue is going away for Democrats. In fact, depending on how widespread PMA goes within Democratic ranks, could give Republicans the ethics mantle in 2010, just four years after the Abramoff scandal was responsible, in part, in 2006 for several House losses.

Turning to the energy debate, the Al Gore group Alliance for Climate Protection is releasing a new national TV ad that encourages Americans to support the path away from foreign oil and toward clean energy now.

And House Minority Whip Eric Cantor has an op-ed in the New York Daily News that criticizes Obama on the economy. "When he took the reins of government, President Obama faced a choice. Would he change the ways of Washington and make the tough decisions that all Americans understand are necessary to return America to long-term growth and fiscal sustainability? Or would he lead under the guise that massive spending binges equal meaningful reform? So far, the administration has chosen the latter, kicking the hard choices down the road. President Obama has proposed policies that will accumulate more debt than was amassed by all previous Presidents over the past 220 years.