David Axelrod: Health Care Lobbyists Descending Like 'Locusts' On Congress


White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod warned on Sunday that health care industry lobbyists were descending on skeptical Democratic lawmakers "like locusts" in an effort to scuttle the final vote on a reform bill.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Axelrod rationalized the difficulties of getting a majority vote behind a final health care package by pointing to the pressures these lawmakers face.

"It has been a long and arduous debate," he said. "It is a tough issue for members of congress because there is an enormous lobbying campaign going on, on the other side. Lobbyists from the insurance industry descending on Capital Hill like locusts and trying to pressure people to vote against this bill. There is a lot of pressure on people, but I believe we will be there at the end of the day."

The Obama confidant used the same line during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" as well, telling host Candy Crowley that "the lobbyists for the insurance industry have landed on Capitol Hill like locusts, and they are going to be doing everything they can in the next week to try and muscle people into voting."

If, indeed, there was a ramped up lobbying campaign to move lawmakers against the bill, the White House (at least publicly) wasn't fretting its effectiveness. Axelrod, on both shows, predicted that health care reform would ultimately pass. As did White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who told "Fox News Sunday": "We'll have the votes when the House votes within the next week."

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