GOP threatens Dems: If you try reconciliation, we’ll go nuclear with amendments; Breaking from NYT: Dems “slam the brakes” on ObamaCare

posted at 7:46 pm on January 26, 2010 by Allahpundit

I kind of hope they do it now, because this would simply be traffic gold.

The GOP Senate leadership has privately settled on a strategy to derail health reform if Dems try to pass the Senate bill with a fix through reconciliation, aides say: Unleash an endless stream of amendments designed to stall for time and to force Dems to take untenable votes…

Senator Judd Gregg is getting some attention today because he vowed to make it an “extraordinarily difficult exercise” for Dems to pass the Senate bill through the House while getting the Senate to fix the bill with a “sidecar” through reconciliation…

[T]here’s no limit on the number of amendments GOPers can offer, [a Republican] aide said, or on their subject matter. A senior Democratic aide confirmed that this is the case — and that it’s a concern weighing on Dems.

“If you bring a reconciliation bill to the Senate, it’s a free for all of amendments,” the GOP aide said, cautioning that this was only part of the overall strategy. “There is no way to limit the number of amendments that are voted on. You can’t close debate. Democrats will have to vote on every politically perilous amendment that you can possibly think of.”

Bayh and Lincoln came out today against reconciliation, but that was expected and their votes aren’t needed anyway. More interesting is Dodd, who called for an ObamaCare “cooling off” period after Brown won the Massachusetts election and is now pushing Reid to invite the GOP to the table to forge a compromise bill. Presumably he thinks McConnell et al. will walk away and the Dems can then claim they have no choice but to go with reconciliation, which should soften public disapproval of the tactic. But even if it does, 48 percent now say Congress should start over entirely on the bill (three in 10 support the current bill) and 93 percent say there’s too much partisan infighting on the Hill. If only for that reason, McConnell probably wouldn’t walk away but would offer his own list of suggested amendments, which would be duly rejected by Reid in favor of reconciliation and then the Dems would own the issue going forward.

As for the House, Clyburn’s talking tough but Pelosi reiterated tonight that they’re “not anywhere near” having enough votes to pass Reid’s bill without some sort of reconciliation fix. But even with the fix, do they have the votes? Hmmmm:

Senior Congressional aides said that lawmakers and the White House were increasingly focused on a plan by which the House would adopt the health care bill approved by the Senate on Dec. 24, with any changes made in a separate bill using the budget reconciliation maneuver.

But Democratic leaders are no longer confident that rank-and-file House Democrats would be willing to go along. The victory by the Republican, Scott Brown, in Massachusetts last Tuesday not only denied Democrats their 60th vote, but raised a specter of fear for Democrats over the midterm elections…

Some Democrats seem prepared to give up on a health care bill or to put it off for several weeks. Others have begun calling for a sharply scaled-back measure that they hope could win bipartisan support.

Exit question: Unless The One pulls some sort of rhetorical rabbit out of his hat tomorrow night, is ObamaCare finished?

Update: This show just went on hiatus.

With no clear path forward on major health care legislation, Democratic leaders in Congress effectively slammed the brakes on President Obama’s top domestic priority on Tuesday, saying that they no longer felt pressure to move quickly on a health bill after eight months of setting deadlines and missing them.

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, deflected questions about health care. “We’re not on health care now,” he said. “We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.” He added, “There is no rush,” and noted that Congress still had most of this year to work on the health bills passed in 2009 by the Senate and the House…

Some Democrats said that they did not expect any action on health care legislation until late February at earliest, perhaps after Congress returns from a weeklong recess. But the Democrats stand to lose momentum, and every day closer to the November election that the issue remains unresolved may reduce the chances of passing a far-reaching bill…

“It’s a timeout,” Mrs. Feinstein said. “The leadership is re-evaluating. They asked us to keep our powder dry.”

Unless they get GOP support to make it a very stripped-down bipartisan bill, the Blue Dogs’ appetite for revisiting this subject any closer to the midterms will be zero. The bill’s in a coma now. The only two questions: Will McConnell and Boehner agree to reshape it, a la Gingrich’s suggestion? And why did the Dems pull the plug on the eve of the SOTU, knowing that it’s going to cast a pall over The One’s big moment?


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Ah, with healthcare dead, you free marketeers get to crack open up a beer and once more laugh at those without.
Grow Fins on January 26, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Your tears are so very, very sweet. And, for the record, you’re the only one I’m laughing at…

joejm65 on January 26, 2010 at 10:56 PM

So now that Reid is saying that they’re not working on healthcare now, and that there is no rush, will the nutcase Alan Grayson be making a statement about how Reid is responsible for killing 1000 people per day because of this?

exceller on January 26, 2010 at 11:00 PM

exceller on January 26, 2010 at 11:00 PM

The left’s theme of “XXXX people are dying every day…” is only used until it becomes a tool that won’t work, ie. people get tired of the Chicken-Littleism and stop paying attention.

When it’s power wears out, they drop it like a rock. Same with “for the children!” and similar phrases. It’ll be resurrected when their cause begins to build up steam again.

Dark-Star on January 26, 2010 at 11:08 PM

It’s not dead… they’re just stepping out of the bright light for now so they can work on another version of the abomination. This was never about health care.

itsacookbook on January 26, 2010 at 11:10 PM

Ah, with healthcare dead, you free marketeers get to crack open up a beer and once more laugh at those without.
Grow Fins on January 26, 2010 at 8:17 PM

You’re truly missing the point. No serious person is against legitimate health care reform. We are just against the monstrosity being pushed by the dems that not only doesn’t hold down costs, it will raise them. There is much more wrong with this bill but that is a major point.

Bill R. on January 26, 2010 at 11:19 PM

There’s no rush? But I thought this was a crisis situation?

The rats are scurrying off the ship indeed. Fun times.

NoLeftTurn on January 26, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Hey there Grow Fins see you crawled out from under your slime covered rock. Are you really dumb enough to believe the “health care refom” is about health care?

Aviator on January 26, 2010 at 11:36 PM

Perhaps they’ve come to the conclusion that their best position is to push straight ahead and declare defeat as soon as possible? That way, they’ve saved the maximum amount of time to the next election (giving the voters the maximum amount of time to forget why they are mad at them) and they’ll generate new villains (those Democrats who put this bill out of its misery). It may be the least costly answer to the corner they’ve worked themselves into.

Fred 2 on January 26, 2010 at 11:45 PM

Breaking from NYT: Dems “slam the brakes” on ObamaCare

[Jethro and Cousin Pearl are driving in the truck to Jed's place]
Cousin Pearl: Jethro, did you take care of those old brakes like I told you to?
Jethro: Yes, Ma, I pulled them off the truck yesterday. The new brakes should be coming in the mail next week.

MB4 on January 26, 2010 at 11:52 PM

Dear Red Sox Fans:

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Signed:

A Yankees Fan

hadsil on January 26, 2010 at 11:56 PM

This was never about health care just like taxing the banks is not about jobs.

The banking deal is about controlling the nation just like health care would have. It is like Rush said some time back about the Fairness Doctrine not being brought back to life, but instead they would seek control of the banks and their lending practices so talk radio and places like HA would be killed off.

No advertisers, no investors, no loans, no country.

There is a lot of sinister behind this banking B.S., and health care will come back via a backdoor. Was not the last plan a way to do this via expanded Medicaid and Medicare? Or something like that?

freeus on January 26, 2010 at 11:59 PM

They did it because the One blamed them for the backroom deals as if he had nothing to do with it. They just sent it right back at him.

I’m sure there’s some more holes in the walls of the White House after today.

Next thing you know, they’ll be bringing up how many times he golfed compared to Bush.

Punditpawn on January 27, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Hmmmmm. White Cheddar Powder…….

portlandon on January 26, 2010 at 7:52 PM

RAAACCCISSST !!

Heh heh, beat me to it.

misterdregs on January 27, 2010 at 12:05 AM

this is when the people against the bill should be ramping up their phone calls, their emails, and for those companies and Pac’s against it their ads.

Keep hammering the dems on this. Remind votes that the dems wanted to fine and imprison you if you didn’t buy health insurances, talk about the unconsitutional power grab the dems tried to make. Remind voters do they really want to worry about their freedoms on a daily basis by reelecting these people. hammer them do not let the dems hide who they are or what they tried to do,. Remind people everyday until Nov election that the dems when given the chance to govern this country decided to take us down the pathway of communism and socialism instead of honoring their oath to defend the consitution.

unseen on January 27, 2010 at 1:10 AM

Put in an amendment to nullify the bill.

JellyToast on January 26, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Good idea; one that could only be amended by 2/3 vote. Wait, do I see an opening to parody every shady trick the Dems have tried to pull? Exempt AZ forever from Medicare- payments (the “Ben Nelson Free-Medicaid Forever” amendment; the “Louisiana Purchase National Disaster Recovery Amendment”…It would be an extensive list.

Barnestormer on January 27, 2010 at 3:38 AM

Dems “slam the brakes” on ObamaCare

good morning!

cmsinaz on January 27, 2010 at 6:53 AM

Dear Red Sox Fans:

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Signed:

A Yankees Fan

That makes our accomplishment here in the Commonwealth even
SWEETER. You are most welcome, Yankees Fan!! Glad we could be of service in saving the Republic. Now let’s keep it going!

4Freedom on January 27, 2010 at 7:03 AM

Ah, with healthcare dead, you free marketeers get to crack open up a beer and once more laugh at those without.

What childish nonsense. I am so sick of the pro-Obamacare crowd accusing us of not wanting to do something for those without insurance.

This is not an either-or/neither-nor issue.

Those of us who pay attention, who do not trust the government to run so much as a hot dog stand efficiently see the very real, very serious, very costly, and often deadly results of socialized medicine. There is a reason the survival rates of cancer are, on average, much higher in the US than in Europe (where socialized systems abound). Those are systems mired in bureaucracy, where special interest groups can lobby for preferential treatment for their cause, no matter how medically unnecessary the treatment may be. Like abortion, or sex changes. Watch this video, borne of Canada’s health care system, where a woman who needs a simple bladder procedure is denied because the quota for that procedure is met, yet someone wanting to go from one gender to the other is able to get that surgery right away. The woman with the bladder problems ended up losing her bladder.

If you really took the time to pay attention to what we are saying here, you’d realize that there are many reforms that would, actually, work and NOT involve the government takeover of a significant portion of our economy and the government intrusion in our medical decisions and lives.

Tort reform. Repealing mandates. Repealing laws prohibiting the sale of insurance across state lines. Giving tax breaks to those who purchase insurance independent of an employer.

Medicare is bankrupt. So is Social Security. These two government attempts at managing medicine and finances, respectively, are prime examples of why doing MORE will only get us – even the have-nots – LESS in the long run. Less personal income. Less medical care. Less personal freedom.

Meanwhile, the free market you so readily decry works. It is the free market that gives us high-end grocery stores like Sendiks, middle of the road stores like Pick-n-Save, and bargain stores like Aldis. This way, people of varying incomes can USE the free market to pay for food without needing government assistance.

What government mandates in health insurance have done is taken every store, ordered it to be a Sendiks, then took money from the “rich” so the poor could afford to buy food somewhere.

I guarantee you that those four simple suggestions above would work WONDERS in addressing some of the biggest concerns in health care. Without putting the minions of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in your doctor’s office.

englishqueen01 on January 27, 2010 at 7:31 AM

And apologies to those who aren’t from my area, who would maybe not get the grocery store references. Here are links to Sendiks (a great store), Pick-n-Save, and Aldis.

Continuing that vein, when a Woodmans opened up in the area, it forced Pick-n-Save (which was the dominant chain) and other stores to lower prices and compete for shoppers. It works, and we’ve saved quite a bit by shopping around with sales ads.

englishqueen01 on January 27, 2010 at 7:36 AM

It’s not over. If the Republicans push a smaller version it will have the same long term effect. The foundation will have been set.

True_King on January 27, 2010 at 7:51 AM

Big mistake -announce it -don’t keep it private. You’re on the side of the people so demand they stop playing games trying to force gov’t controlled healthcare on the voters who said time and again that they don’t want it. Fight that, speak to cap and trade as being wealth transfer and hurting the environment because it focuses on a hoax instead of pollution, and then demand we get tough on terroists. You’ll win -win -win -!!!

Leave Obama alone -he’s toast anyway -and attack the de4ms for being anti-constitution and freedom of speech etc.

Don L on January 27, 2010 at 7:52 AM

No rush?

But Olby said 100,000 people are dying every nanosecond because they don’t have health insurance.

angryed on January 27, 2010 at 8:33 AM

You’re truly missing the point. No serious person is against legitimate health care reform. We are just against the monstrosity being pushed by the dems that not only doesn’t hold down costs, it will raise them. There is much more wrong with this bill but that is a major point.

Bill R. on January 26, 2010 at 11:19 PM

I am serious. I am against health care reform. We are enjoying the best health care known to man. IF you would like to talk about certain aspects and specific situations then address those in INDIVIDUAL bills, but only in terms of what is allowable under the CONSTITUTION .
 
One blanket, sweeping, corrupt bill is EXACTLY the wrong thing to do. Also, Bill, stop helping the dhimmicraps! THIS is NOT about health care. THIS has always been about one thing and one thing only. . .
 
FREEDOM!

Blacksmith8 on January 27, 2010 at 8:41 AM

Look at obituaries. I suspect most of the deaths had insurance. It will not change except for rationing.

seven on January 27, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Sounds like the GOP might just have a pair wobbling around down there.

spmat on January 27, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Dear Red Sox Fans:

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Signed:

A Yankees Fan

hadsil on January 26, 2010 at 11:56 PM

All right, Curt Schilling’s on HA now!

Del Dolemonte on January 27, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Ah, with healthcare dead, you free marketeers get to crack open up a beer and once more laugh at those without. Well done, and God Bless Sarah Palin.

Grow Fins on January 26, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Back from your vacation, I see. How was Fidel, and did you bring me back any cigars?

Del Dolemonte on January 27, 2010 at 9:38 AM

This is a head fake, just a ploy to get the pressure off for the SOTU…Don’t believe it for a second! These people have spent their lives trying to nationalize health care so why would they quit at a time where the President needs a “win” most?

Tony253 on January 27, 2010 at 9:42 AM

“It’s a timeout,” Mrs. Feinstein said. “The leadership is re-evaluating. They asked us to keep our powder dry.”

When the “leadership” has finished re-evaluating, they’ll cook up another scheme to jam SOMETHING through Congress that 58% of the public doesn’t want, per CNN.

ObamaCare is like the Lockerbie terrorist released to Libya because he was “terminally ill”, then he slipped out the back door. ObamaCare could still blow up in our faces.

Steve Z on January 27, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Tony253 on January 27, 2010 at 9:42 AM

They might not have the votes now with the Brown election.

technopeasant on January 27, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Ah, with healthcare dead, you free marketeers get to crack open up a beer and once more laugh at those without.
Grow Fins on January 26, 2010 at 8:17 PM

But it is not dead…the GOP has the answer to healthcare.
With across state line competition (which you liberals have never explained why that is bad), and containing attorney fees (which you guys have never explained why that was bad), and allowing true market competition (which you guys have never explained why that is bad), and not fining people by forcing them to buy gov. insurance or go to jail (which you guys have never explained why throwing someone in jail is okay for not buying a gov. product).
So here is the answer…buy into the Republican plan, and know that it is much better, it is constitutional, and more in line what the public wants, and less in line what your politicians want.

right2bright on January 27, 2010 at 10:24 AM

I propose an amendment to require all candidates for POTUS to have their original birth certificate put on display at the National Archives during the campaign and their term of office.

J_Crater on January 27, 2010 at 10:30 AM

There is no rush

But but but but… just a while ago it was the most urgent issue in the whole world! The universe! Disneyland!!

Or maybe he meant to say, “There is no Rush” and it was wishful thinking.

Daggett on January 27, 2010 at 10:59 AM

The State of the Union “Rescue,Restore, Rebuild. Mr Spock makes his move.

“When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go”

Dr Evil on January 27, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Sporting a bandaged head, a black and blue eye and an optimistic thumbs up signal, Senator Arlen Specter left a Philadelphia hospital yesterday with his wife, Joan. He had a benign tumor removed from the his brain on Monday. Doctors expect he will be fully recovered by the end of August. (Reuters)

The bad news .. he never recovered.

J_Crater on January 27, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Ah, with healthcare dead, you free marketeers get to crack open up a beer and once more laugh at those without.
Grow Fins

As opposed to what…crying over those going without because they choose to spend hundreds each month on cigarettes instead of buying health insurance? Sorry, not gonna happen from my end. Choices have consequences. If you choose to be irresponsible, that’s on you.

xblade on January 27, 2010 at 11:36 AM

I think the Dems can restart this anytime they want up to a year after the bill was passed. They would probably wait until after the mid-terms (November) then if they don’t lose too many seats, they could jam the same bill thru that they have now. AND I BELIEVE THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WOULD DO.

RUReadingthis on January 27, 2010 at 11:47 AM

I don’t believe the Dems at all. They lie, have you noticed?

I bet they are meeting at a secret location and voting this minute and about the middle of November they will tell us they did it.

Not really but that is what it feels like in America 2010.

petunia on January 27, 2010 at 12:30 PM

If the GOP is invited to the table I hope they have sense enough to go. I think many in this country want and can benefit from a sensible health care re-vamping. The present bill is nothing but a swamp but surely the pols can learn from this, sit down together and hash out something worthwhile. Not only would this exercise improve health care, it might improve the bitter partisanship keeping this country from making useful progress. Start over pols, not just on health care but on all fronts.

jeanie on January 27, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Ah, with healthcare dead, you free marketeers get to crack open up a beer and once more laugh at those without.
Grow Fins on January 26, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Capitalism and the free market are far more compassionate than state-run soviet gulags and even the British ‘NICE’ board which is anything but.Read Steve Forbes “How Capitalism will save Us ” to learn something.

ntmaloney on January 27, 2010 at 8:32 PM

No rush?

But Olby said 100,000 people are dying every nanosecond because they don’t have health insurance.

angryed on January 27, 2010 at 8:33 AM

Hilarious, The libs make it seem like bodies are piling up in the streets, now they don’t care?

ntmaloney on January 27, 2010 at 8:40 PM

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