The White House is denying that its nomination of Scott Matheson for U.S. Circuit Court Judge has anything to do with the fact that his brother, Congressman Jim Matheson, is on the fence when it comes to supporting the President's health care reform proposal.
The Utah Democrat, who last year voted against the health care bill in the House, was invited to the White House Wednesday evening for a reception to thank members of Congress who supported Pay-As-You-Go or PAYGO legislation. The list of invitees for the reception included several lawmakers who remain undecided on the current reform proposal the President has outlined.
Conservative bloggers and some Republicans have suggested that the nomination of Scott Matheson for the Tenth Circuit is an effort by the Obama administration to buy his brother's vote on health care.
But the White House insists this isn't a case of quid pro quo.
"I think based on Mr. Matheson's ABA rating, based on Mr. Matheson's long legal resume, and based on the support he has from somebody important like [Utah Republican Senator] Orrin Hatch, who has agreed to help shepherd his nomination through the Senate, I think it's a pretty silly argument," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.