Clinton, Hillary Rodham, Finance Committee, Health care, Majority Leader, Pepper Commission
Christopher Charles Jennings was born in Athens, Ohio, to Lucille and Eugene Jennings, both musicians. He grew up in Ohio and attended Miami University (Ohio). After graduating, he received a fellowship to work for Senator John Glenn in Washington, D.C. and later worked for Senators Melcher and Pryor. He worked on the Senate Aging Committee and became director by 1992. He also worked on the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care (the Pepper Commission). In 1992, he helped with Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, focusing on domestic policy. He also worked on Clinton’s presidential transition team, then took on the role of congressional liaison for health care reform for the duration of Clinton’s presidency. At the time of this interview, he maintained his own consulting business in Washington, D.C. serving a variety of clients who are pursuing improved health care policy.
Interview includes discussion of: Jennings’ history working for the Senate; the Senate Aging Committee; the Pepper Commission; the 1992 presidential campaign; the 1993-1994 health care debate; the Bipartisan Policy Center; first impressions of Senator Mitchell; Mitchell’s role on the Finance Committee and as majority leader; Mitchell’s running for leader and David Pryor’s support; working with Hillary Clinton on health care reform; Mitchell’s dedication to getting health care reform legislation through Congress and his rejection of being considered for an opening on the Supreme Court; the possibility of using reconciliation to get the bill passed; Senator Moynihan’s role with health care reform; sending the legislation to Congress already written; other issues facing President Clinton; the Republican majority in 1994; and Senator Mitchell’s role in 1990s health care reform.
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