Ping pong: Dems may ask House to pass Senate ObamaCare bill with no changes

posted at 4:46 pm on December 8, 2009 by Allahpundit

Smells like a bluff, but one that’s interesting enough to warrant a post. The Senate is the main obstacle to a final bill, of course, so if Reid finds a way to push something through, in theory House Dems should be so relieved that they’ll sign off on whatever he hands them to avoid making him run the gauntlet again. The left has convinced itself, per 1994, that passing nothing is the worst-case scenario for them politically, even though there’s reason to believe that passing an unpopular bill will hurt them worse, and Obama himself is willing to sign any crappy plan they put in front of him. Why shouldn’t Pelosi’s caucus feel the same?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is currently negotiating what’s known as a “manager’s amendment.” That amendment includes large and small concerns that senators want worked out before voting to end a filibuster. If Democrats decide to ping-pong the bill, the manager’s amendment becomes, in effect, the only place to work out differences…

“You would need pre-conference negotiations. That pre-conference negotiation would be what ends up in the manager’s amendment,” [Jim Kessler, head of the group Third Way] said. “Essentially, the manager’s amendment becomes the new conference.”…

The differences between the House and Senate approaches are legion and House sources say the lower chamber is very unlikely to rubber stamp a bill agreed to by the White House and Senate. The House relies, to a significant extent, on a tax increase on the wealthy to fund reform; the Senate instead taxes some health insurance plans. The House allows the government to negotiate for lower drug prices and otherwise requires a greater commitment from drug makers than the Senate bill does. The House plan covers more people and includes a public option; the fate of a government plan on the Senate side is uncertain. Major parts of the House plan kick in a year earlier — in 2013 — than in the Senate bill. And then there’s abortion…

[Progressive House leader Raul] Grijalva told HuffPost that the strategy would require progressives to back down so that the president could get a symbolic win. “Progressives will be jammed into a corner and once again asked, ‘You’ve got to do this for the president so he can give a State of the Union address,’” he said. “As much as the State of the Union becomes critical, this is not something we can get beaten up on to vote for.”

Given that this was fed to a progressive outlet like HuffPo at a moment when Reid’s negotiating on the public option, it sounds like a case of liberals trying to alarm their base into turning up the heat on him. If they think they’re stuck with whatever comes out of the Senate — which, by and large, they will be — then they have to make their stand now, not in conference committee later when Reid will inevitably plead that he can’t hold 60 votes if there are major changes. Although, frankly, I’m not sure how true that is: If the Senate passes its own bill, the pressure from Democrats on Blue Dogs like Nelson and Lincoln not to derail the dream of universal health care at the last moment by bailing on the final bill after it comes back from the conference will be enormous. They’ve got Reid over a barrel now, but if he gets to 60, he’ll have them over a barrel in the end.

Speaking of the public option, Queen Olympia’s sounding unimpressed with the latest idea of expanding a program that’s already destined for bankruptcy. Lieberman is conspicuously noncommittal, though, and HuffPo (again) is hearing that there’s “growing enthusiasm” for it on the Hill. Hmmmm.


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WHAT?!

ROGUE FRACKING GOVERNMENT

Hey I know, let’s just not even bother with the legislative process and just have Obama ordain from on high.

Skywise on December 8, 2009 at 4:48 PM

I see a Pelosi moving away from Harry Reid again in the future.

WashJeff on December 8, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Don’t forget either that the left has convinced itself, per 1994, that passing nothing is the worst-case scenario for them politically, even though there’s reason to believe that passing an unpopular bill will hurt them worse.

This is the stunner that keeps stunning me.

John the Libertarian on December 8, 2009 at 4:50 PM

they are desperate.

rob verdi on December 8, 2009 at 4:51 PM

They can ask. . . but it’s a show. They told Snowe that they wouldn’t have a public option in the final bill. That’s why she voted it out of committee. When Reid got it behind closed doors, it came right back in.

These guys aren’t above lying. I won’t impugn either Reid or Pelosi’s religion because that would reflect on me pointing out their propensity to lie.

Reid and Pelosi might SAY this is a deal. But once they get 60 votes in the Senate, the final bill will be entirely different.

ThackerAgency on December 8, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Geesh. Just pass any crappy plan to claim victory?

I hate these people.

lorien1973 on December 8, 2009 at 4:55 PM

They’re trying to get around the filibuster.

Enoxo on December 8, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Interesting. That could happen. I think the “growing enthusiasm” is smoke though.

Spirit of 1776 on December 8, 2009 at 4:58 PM

Wacko’s from hell are invading!. stop the madness already!

hawkman on December 8, 2009 at 4:59 PM

C. S. Lewis:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Speakup on December 8, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Kill. The. Bill.

Until it sports a stake through its heart, it’s an existential threat to us all.

OhioCoastie on December 8, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is my country back!!!

annoyinglittletwerp on December 8, 2009 at 5:02 PM

You know what scares me? this “bill” is 2000+ pages of legalese…no single person on the planet knows 100% of what is actually in it.

/tinfoil hat time: Who in congress could possibly quote, with absolute certainty, what is and is not in the bill that actually gets voted on? I am sure that there are going to be HUNDREDS of last minute changes, followed by a late-night, holiday weekend, last minute, high-pressure vote.

Mord on December 8, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Go ahead, make my day!

rjoco1 on December 8, 2009 at 5:05 PM

How is it that Sen. Collins is aware of the experiment now failing in her own state but Sen. Snowe seems unmoved?

Cindy Munford on December 8, 2009 at 5:08 PM

Hmmmm.

Why would you buy into medicare … when you already buy into it as an employee per the taxes you and your empolyeer pays?

Something sticks! I think Reid is dead and is a red herring!

upinak on December 8, 2009 at 5:09 PM

“We need to convince political leaders that they owe their elections, at least in part, to the groundswell of support of [sic] universal health care, and that they face political peril if they fail to deliver on universal health care in 2009.”

From the “prison book” that Beck talked about last night.

Writen in 2007 he pretty much lays out their strategy. So this business about Hillarycare is just a frame put on it by Ax, but this book “forecast” the whole thing.

http://biggovernment.com/2009/12/07/was-democrats-health-care-strategy-written-in-federal-prison/

And their strategy re: R’s is pretty brazen:

http://biggovernment.com/2009/12/07/was-democrats-health-care-strategy-written-in-federal-prison/

Now, that doesn’t mean we say we have to negotiate with these guys, it means, you know, we want the train to be as long as possible, we just want the progressive vision to be in the engine here. So we’ve got to beat the crap out of the Susan – well, if Susan Collins loses, that’s wonderful – but some of the swing votes in the Senate in particular to get them with the program

I wonder if some of our RINO friends might feel a little “used” after reading that???? Hmmmmmm????

r keller on December 8, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Who gets to be on a conference committee when both the House and Senate bills are written by the Democratic leaders’ staff and sent directly to the floor? That in itself could be an epic fight. And conference committees are supposed to include the minority so they have a voice in the final bill. Anyone really think that is going to happen when only one Republican in the House or Senate has voted for either bill?

They have made such a hash of the process on this thing already, it almost doesn’t matter what they do now or how they do it, the majority of voters are going to be against it.

rockmom on December 8, 2009 at 5:15 PM

‘You’ve got to do this for the president so he can give a State of the Union address,’” he said.

So all this so he can mention it in a speech he’s required to give anyways? Damn them all the Hell.

SouthernGent on December 8, 2009 at 5:16 PM

SouthernGent on December 8, 2009 at 5:16 PM

it’s all about the O my friend…just makes you want to scream

cmsinaz on December 8, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Barring this Obamanition being defeated entirely, which seems less likely with each passing day, the next-best scenario is the mess they’re set up to pass now. The lefties are appalled at what they’ve (correctly) dubbed as a backdoor government subsidy for insurance companies during a recession.

Dark-Star on December 8, 2009 at 5:23 PM

Ping Pong?

More like Donkey Kong.

fogw on December 8, 2009 at 5:23 PM

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is my country back!!!

annoyinglittletwerp on December 8, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Ain’t it the truth. I daydream regularly about how happy I will be if this bill fails.

Missy on December 8, 2009 at 5:23 PM

This process just gets curiouser and curiouser, I am glad I can’t keep up with all the stupid gyrations.

fourdeucer on December 8, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Nelson will cave, after a bit of theater, and Lincoln knows she’s probably out of a job, regardless.

a capella on December 8, 2009 at 5:24 PM

The democrats leadership should be charged with treason. The military should arrest them all.

darwin on December 8, 2009 at 5:28 PM

The democrats leadership should be charged with treason. The military should arrest them all.

darwin on December 8, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Clarence Thomas to take charge on a temporary basis…since we are making dream comments.

WashJeff on December 8, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Where is the “straight talk”…..tell the American people the truth.

No more aisle crossing, etc….

Republicans stand up and say….Creamer is a felon and he wrote this horrible bill.

nondhimmie on December 8, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Speakup on December 8, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Can’t say it any better than that. C.S. Lewis is one of my favorites.

chemman on December 8, 2009 at 5:53 PM

I wonder if some of our RINO friends might feel a little “used” after reading that???? Hmmmmmm????

r keller on December 8, 2009 at 5:15 PM

You presume too much. I doubt the RINO’s read anymore than the dims do.

chemman on December 8, 2009 at 5:56 PM

Clarence Thomas to take charge on a temporary basis…since we are making dream comments.

WashJeff on December 8, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Who’s dreaming? The entire government is out of control.

darwin on December 8, 2009 at 6:02 PM

This bill is going to pass. Glenn said he thinks it’s going to pass before the year is out. It’s not going to be watered down. I think Nancy will vote on this bill. There will be no changing it cause they can always change it later, they know that.

When this bill is passed by both houses, it will be to loud cheers and clapping. Then they will come out and say they did it.

It will collapse our system within a few years. But that’s ok they passed it. I feel sick knowing there is nothing to do to stop this. American’s don’t want this piece of shit, we are being forced fed and it sucks. A LOT.

Brat4life on December 8, 2009 at 6:05 PM

[Progressive House leader Raul] Grijalva

That there exists a “Progressive Caucus” in the first place is the basic problem. There should no more be Progressives in Congress than there should be 1920s-style Italian Fascists, whom they closely resemble, philosophically.

The political problems we face will only be solved when it is as politically unviable to be a self-confessed Progressive as it was to be a self-confessed Communist in the 1950s.

JDPerren on December 8, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Nelson will cave, after a bit of theater, and Lincoln knows she’s probably out of a job, regardless.
a capella on December 8, 2009 at 5:24 PM

I agree and raise you…all the Dems in certain races know they are already the walking dead, “short timers,” regardless – so it’s a safe bet they will all fall on their swords for The One.

I keep writing entreating emails to Lieberman. He’s my Senator and has less obligation (after 2006) to figuratively ‘eat a bullet’ for the Democrat Party.

marybel on December 8, 2009 at 6:56 PM

I’m making plans now for a move to Mexico in 2013. There is socialized healthcare there, but there is also the option of buying private health insurance, including catastrophic if that’s what you choose.

My husband and I are due to retire in the next few years, so this is a practical plan for us. I hate to leave my country, but it isn’t really my country anymore. That was gone some time ago and I really miss it.

hachiban on December 8, 2009 at 9:00 PM

There is no point in worrying about who will vote for this bill in the Senate. They will have their faithful 61 – 58 Dems, 2 Ind and Snowe. So many were impressed with Ben Nelson and Leiberman. Right. Leiberman likes to talk about his independence, but other than backing McCain, he will always go back to the huddle of sheep.

Oleta on December 8, 2009 at 9:19 PM