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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kosmas skips financial hearing to raise cash



Kosmas U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach, blew off a lunchtime Financial Services committee meeting Wednesday to attend a fundraiser instead, reports the Huffington Post.

The fundraiser was held by Doyle Bartlett, a lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, Morgan Stanley, Federal Home Loan Bank and others. As it happens, Bartlett was chief of staff to former Congressman Bill McCollum, way back in the 80s.

It's a sign of how critical fundraising is for the freshman lawmaker, who is being targeted by the GOP in the upcoming midterm elections. But the hearing she missed dealt with a priority of President Obama, a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

Said her spokesman Marc Goldberg, "Committee schedules are notoriously unpredictable but Congresswoman Kosmas is working extremely hard to create jobs and move Central Florida's economy forward.”

Goldberg cited committee meetings as an example of how busy his boss was this week and why she was unavailable to discuss the emerging health care reform legislation.

He provided a statement instead that said Kosmas is supportive of lower prescription costs, improved veterans' care and minimizing cost to small businesses. "I am hopeful that a complete health care reform bill will accomplish these goals, but I am not sure that we are there yet," the statement said.

When asked specifically about the public option and surtax components of the House Democratic plan released this week, Goldberg said Kosmas is "reviewing the bill carefully and evaluating all of the details.”

The cautiousness is shared by other Democrats, particularly those in GOP-rich districts like Kosmas', who fear (or think their constituents fear) the government is taking too big a role in health care.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:52pm]


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