Dem sources: Senate “fix” for ObamaCare could add another $300 billion to price tag; Update: Dems ready for reconciliation, says Kyl

posted at 7:33 pm on January 28, 2010 by Allahpundit

The bill in its original form was projected as costing $849 billion over 10 years. Slap on another $300 billion in programs added via reconciliation to placate Pelosi and you’re now talking about a bill in excess of the magical $1 trillion mark.

Of course, that’s only if you use ReidMath. If you use real-world math, where you start counting when the bill finally kicks in instead of five years before that, the original cost is … $2.5 trillion.

And really now. When you look at it that way, what’s another 300 bil on top of that?

ABC News’ Rick Klein and Jonathan Karl report: The renewed optimism voiced by some Democrats over the prospects of passing a health care bill may be just a little premature.

Though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is saying she thinks she can pass the Senate version of the health care bill if the House and Senate can agree on changes by using the budget process, the price tag for those changes could approach $300 billion, Democratic sources tell ABC News. That’s a figure that’s likely to give moderate Democrats sticker shock.

Speaking of reconciliation, Hugh Hewitt’s been teasing an interview with Jon Kyl where apparently he’ll say that the Senate has finally decided to pull the trigger and go for it. I tried waiting for the transcript, but who knows when it’ll be up. Hewitt’s teaser sounds pretty certain, though. Headline: “The Zombie Health Care Bill Is Out Of Its Grave.”

Senator Jon Kyl relays reports –very reliable reports according to Kyl– that Congressional Democrats have indeed decided to use reconciliation to resurrect the remains of Obamacare, despite Massachusetts, despite the public’s continuing and still growing dislike of the bill, and despite the jam-down ultra-partisanship such a naked power play and perversion of Senate rules that such an approach entails. I will interview Kyl in the second hour, and a transcript will be posted shortly thereafter.

What’s odd about this is that both Landrieu and Mark Pryor made it sound this morning like the bill was in coma and on the verge of death. Any reason to believe them instead of Kyl? Well, Kyl’s claim could simply be a feint aimed at goosing conservatives into launching a hopefully final salvo against the bill and finishing it off. But Pelosi sounded a bit more confident than usual last night. Who’s lying? And who are the lucky 50 who are going to have to swallow hard and vote for a bill that’s likely to be hundreds of billions of dollars more expensive than the public was told?

Exit quotation: “There wasn’t much discussion about the implications if the thing went the other way.”

Update: Here’s the Hewitt transcript. Sounds serious this time.

HH: It’s remarkable, but let’s get to the news of the day. There is some talk that the Democrats are going to try reconciliation, a jam down of their bitterly divisive, and almost certainly wrong-headed health care plan. What can you tell us about this?

JK: This is kind of breaking news. As you say, we’re just hearing it. We haven’t been formally advised, but we have it on relatively good authority. And this would be what they call the nuclear option. This would be we can’t do it with 60 votes, because now we have a new Senator from Massachusetts, so we’ll do it with 51. Now it’s called the nuclear option, because it really upsets all of the tradition and precedent within the Senate which on a really big bill on the magnitude of health care, would always have strong bipartisan support, and therefore the 60 vote requirement really doesn’t matter. But here, using an arcane part of the budget that ordinarily relates to tax cuts or tax increases, it doesn’t relate to comprehensive bills with a lot of substantive provisions in them, but just changes in the tax code, usually. They’re going to try to rewrite this bill to, where it would only need 51 votes, and still accomplish most of what the bill will accomplish. Now what this will do is let the Blanche Lincolns and Ben Nelsons and Evan Bayhs and other to say oh, I can’t go along with this now. And of course, that’s exactly what their constituents want to hear. But it doesn’t matter, because their votes in effect at this point don’t count. They don’t matter. All it takes is 51 Democrats to vote for it, and it becomes law. It remains to be seen how long the process will take, and whether, and how much of the provisions of the comprehensive health care reform that we’ve been looking at can be scooped up into this legislation. But it now appears the Democrats are going to try that.


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Well, if those idiots want to pass a tax raise now, with screwing up the health care system 5 years off, I’m perfectly happy having President Palin sworn in in 2013 with a 63 seat majority in the Senate, and a 60 seat majority in the House.

Go, Dems, Go!

Greg Q on January 29, 2010 at 4:46 AM

They won’t take it on now, this is just noise – but I do believe they have a plan. After they lose big in November – They will try to pass it in the lame duck Congress. At that point the losers have nothing to lose.

Done That on January 29, 2010 at 5:27 AM

At that point the losers have nothing to lose.

Done That on January 29, 2010 at 5:27 AM

Except maybe being tarred, feathered, and run out of town on rails when they get back home.

Rod on January 29, 2010 at 7:59 AM

Governing against the will of the governed… not unwittingly but defiantly!

petefrt on January 29, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Okay now Mr. Reid & Ms Pelosi, I loaded the gun for you. Now, go ahead and point it at your foot. Now, do you see the little thing at the bottom of the gun? When you’re ready, I want you to pull it back.

Pcoop on January 29, 2010 at 8:05 AM

I don’t think they can get 51 votes any longer. I’d bet on that.

NRA Lifer on January 29, 2010 at 8:09 AM

Wow..did you actually cut and paste this from the Scott Brown election night thread or do you have some kind of macro for pointless, dog$hit posts??

BigWyo on January 28, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Shut your filthy trap you foul mouthed fool. You may not like my post but you best stop cursing at me on everyone of your responses. You call yourself a conservative with these expletive laden responses? Only a McCain “conservative” would respond as you do.

I was using “prepare to be disappointed” to show my skepticism that the people of Massachusetts would vote Brown in. I’m thank The Lord that I was wrong. I’m using it now to show that while everyone here thinks that the healthcare issue is dead I believe they will try to figure a way to force it through, so PREPARE TO BE DISAPPOINTED! Get it?

True_King on January 29, 2010 at 8:15 AM

Your somber, yet insightful political analysis is truly astounding.

BigWyo on January 29, 2010 at 8:33 AM

Obama’s SOTU has really changed everyone’s mind. Everything said at the Town Halls and the Tea Party gatherings has been discredited by Obama’s outstanding performance, and the same people who were campaigning against Govt Health Care now want it, and the bigger and costlier the better. People now realize that the obstructionists and the naysayers are just partisan troublemakers and should no longer be paid any mind. And all this just from one speech. Gotta hand it to Obama, he has some kinda magic about him.

jay12 on January 29, 2010 at 8:34 AM

If the bill increases the deficit and it is passed with reconcilliation, then it automatically expires in 5 years. Beyond that, any bill passed via reconcilliation needs on 51 votes to repeal.

MarkTheGreat on January 29, 2010 at 8:34 AM

Actually Omaha, to qoute Obama verbatim when moronic statement he said “..I’ve been to what…57 states, and 2 to go.

That would make it 58.

Archimedes on January 28, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Isn’t 57 plus 2, 59?

MarkTheGreat on January 29, 2010 at 8:36 AM

If they could do this through reconciliation, they would have done it already. Like Matthews said the other day, reconciliation is only for modifying EXISTING law, and even then it only applies to increases/decreases in taxation/spending so long as said increase/decrease does not increase the deficit (a low hurdle to be sure with Dem-numbers). The only way for this to happen is for the House to pass the Senate bill, Obama signs it at which point it becomes law and can then be modified in a financial sense via reconciliation. You can’t change anything but the numbers so any substantive changes are out. I still say that even if they do try it, it’s just to play to the base in order to shore up the “we tried” but “Republicans killed it” meme.

volnation on January 29, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Listen folks, can we stop with thinking the Dems aren’t going to do this?

Can we stop trying to impart reason and rational thought on the Dems? Can we stop thinking through the myriad way the “will never happen”?

The question is, “Why wouldn’t the Dems do this?”

Obviously then don’t care about public backlash. Dems are ‘retiring’ so they don’t have to face their constituents in November – free votes. And even if some Dems take it on the chin, overall, they know that if/when the republicans take back control, they won’t have the power, and probably not the inclination to repeal this.

Yeah, I’m being negative. But damn, how many weeks have we been hearing the “bill is dead” and it’s still shuffling around the graveyard?

The Dems have nothing to lose in doing this. they don’t care about losing some Congressional seats, they don’t care about any ‘backlash’. It’s a “historical moment”, purely idealogical – which is driving them.

catmman on January 29, 2010 at 9:00 AM

These Dem pols have become our version of the Politburo. Is there nothing that can be done to stop them? And..Obama is behind this, he’s the driving force and hasn’t the guts to stand up and make that plain. He wants to ‘win’, isn’t that the primary goal here. He attempts to mask this by making more promises that he doesn’t plan to keep. What have we done to deserve this guy? Must be something awful.

jeanie on January 29, 2010 at 9:08 AM

catmman on January 29, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Also San Frannie Nannie said something this morning like:
“If we can’t get it through the door, we’ll go over the wall. If we can’t go over the wall, we’ll parachute in.”
I agree, these people will stop at nothing.
The good news is, I think it will be litagated out of existence.

Chewy the Lab on January 29, 2010 at 9:33 AM

catmman is absolutely correct. This will become law and even though you would only need 51 votes to PASS IT OUT of the senate later on, you’d still need to get past the inevitable veto.

Which means the republicans would not only have to take and keep those 51 seats (RINOs notwithstanding) until after 2012, they would have to elect someone to the white house that would go along with it, and still maintain enough of a majority in the house (again, RINOs would plague this).

Seriously, even with the Mass miracle, do any of you see this happening? Consider the amount of pure hatred and vitriol that would be directed at the GOP between now and then by the leftists and media (but I repeat myself). And don’t EVEN try to tell me about some farcical “lost influence”. I would merely remind you that the 2008 election was less than 2 years ago.

runawayyyy on January 29, 2010 at 9:36 AM

WHAT is wrong with them? It is no longer the health care bill as far as I’m concerned, it is the the pols on the hill. Health care is rapidly becoming secondary to the horror of what our Federal legislators have become.

jeanie on January 29, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Chewy the Lab on January 29, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Good point; I just read that story over at Drudge.

catmman on January 29, 2010 at 9:41 AM

jeanie on January 29, 2010 at 9:39 AM

It never WAS about ‘health care’ to begin with – it was ALWAYS about increasing government power, period.

If this were ‘simply’ about health care, the Dems and any other pol would have no problem doing this the right way.

Understand your ‘enemy’…

catmman on January 29, 2010 at 9:45 AM

They don’t have the votes! YET!

Or they would have done it by now.

Why the Hell is Kirk still voting in the Senate? Why was he allowed to vote on the debt increase? Where are the REPUBLICANS?

Vote all the Bastrids out! I’m writing, calling and emailing Grassley! Someone needs to demand the duely elected Senator Brown be sworn in and seated. This is not a good precedent to set!

Find your balls gentlemen or we’ll send in the women!

dhunter on January 29, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Why the Hell is Kirk still voting in the Senate? Why was he allowed to vote on the debt increase? Where are the REPUBLICANS?

This is outrageous. I was wondering what this guy is still doing here and why nobody is fighting this legally! He was supposed to be gone on election night.

Rollover repubs.

Old eagle on January 29, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Maybe the Repubs wanted the dems ALL of them to go on record voting for the debt increase, and all Repubs against?
Thus it goes to the House and they have to go on record also?

May be strategy to get the Dems on record on a bill the Repubs could not block?

BLOCK it!
That would bring real press or demand the vote not count as Kirk is ineligible to vote,… for real presstitute coverage.

I wrote my Senator demanding answers!

dhunter on January 29, 2010 at 10:24 AM

I e mailed Sen McConnell and blasted him for allowing Paul Kirk to vote for the debt limit increase. I known that I am just p@@sing in the wind but at least I got to voice my opinion of him. MA law explicitely states that when the people of MA elected Scott Brown he is deemed qualified, and Paul Kirk is no longer our senator. The vote should have been 59/40 and the fillibuster would have held. I read a lot of condemnations of Scott Brown but we in Massachusetts understand he did not get elected just to be another rubber stamp for the GOP. However, he is a fiscal conservative. strong on defense and opposes Obamacare. What else do you freakin idiots want?

Big Nicholas on January 29, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Dems demanding reconcilliation?

Grab the K-Y.

seejanemom on January 29, 2010 at 10:29 AM

We do not need control of the House to stop or change abhorrent legislation, we only need to break their total hold on things. The way things are going I would not be surprised to see GOP strength there multiply substantially…enough to be able to tip the balance of power. The nasty and all to clear picture the Dems there have painted of themselves is a huge turn off–so big that not even a turn in the economy can off set it. This is the first time in my long life that I can recall such unapologetic indifference to the will of the People. It’s not lost on the voters.

jeanie on January 29, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Is it too late to declare the vote illegal over the Kirk thing?

jeanie on January 29, 2010 at 10:36 AM

I e mailed Sen McConnell and blasted him for allowing Paul Kirk to vote for the debt limit increase. I known that I am just p@@sing in the wind but at least I got to voice my opinion of him. MA law explicitely states that when the people of MA elected Scott Brown he is deemed qualified, and Paul Kirk is no longer our senator. The vote should have been 59/40 and the fillibuster would have held. I read a lot of condemnations of Scott Brown but we in Massachusetts understand he did not get elected just to be another rubber stamp for the GOP. However, he is a fiscal conservative. strong on defense and opposes Obamacare. What else do you freakin idiots want?

I’m curious as to why no GOP bloggers seem concerned about this. I thought Michelle would have kittens hearing that this guy voted for the debt increase.

No one seems to care.

Old eagle on January 29, 2010 at 10:38 AM

I thought that he was able to vote until Brown was seated, but according to the above, he’s not. If this is the law, he should not have voted. ?????

jeanie on January 29, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Big Nicholas on January 29, 2010 at 10:28 AM

I, for one, have not criticised him and I know many here like his stands on a great many issues. Please do not judge us all on the opinions of a few.

jeanie on January 29, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Considering the number of Democrats up for election in 2012 and 2014, we might be looking at a Republican majority of over 60 in the Senate…

Hmmm… a true conservative candidate in 2012 for President.

Someone who will actually cut government, consolidate and reduce the bureaucracy, and appoint conservative judges…

Definitely rules out Huckabee. Romney is more conservative then most here will admit, but in light of this he does drop in favor with me. I’d want someone a bit more daring and uncompromising- while persuasive as well.

Crap. Why did Mark Sanford have to implode in a immoral adulterous mid-life crisis… Why?!! Oh what I wouldn’t give for Ronald Reagan to reappear.

Mike Pence? Jeb Bush? Jindal would be pretty good, but I think he wants to stay in Louisiana- and he probably should too.

Maybe Sarah Palin is the best choice after all- and here I was thinking she’d be better off waiting until 2016 or 2020.

Sackett on January 29, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Someone will emerge. I personally like Sarah very much but tend to agree with those who say that, for now, she is not electable. Not sure she wants the job either–I would guess that if she is not sure(within her own mind) by now, she really doesn’t. After a few years in the Senate to prove who he really is or is not, perhaps Scott Brown?

jeanie on January 29, 2010 at 10:52 AM

I thought that he was able to vote until Brown was seated, but according to the above, he’s not. If this is the law, he should not have voted. ?????

Everything I’ve read about Mass law says that this guys service stopped on election night. All brown had to be is qualified. (certain age, US citizen)Qualification and certification are two different things. This guy should not be voting on anything and Republicans, as usual are just rolling over and playing “dead dog”
As long as he is still voting why not ram through HCR in the next 13 days, since they still have a supermajority.
I don’t get this. Something stinks.

Old eagle on January 29, 2010 at 10:56 AM

If it passes:
cease paying income taxes
stock up on food and ammo
join a militia

Onager on January 29, 2010 at 11:52 AM

What have we done to deserve this guy? Must be something awful.

jeanie on January 29, 2010 at 9:08 AM

We have exactly what we deserve. Half the population of this country doesn’t vote and more than half of the people who voted in 2008 were stupid enough to vote for Obama and the clowns in congress. And you HAVE to be stupid to vote for these people, there was more than ample evidence to know what they are. Yes, we have what we deserve, in a sensible world there shouldn’t be more than 10% of the population voting for the Dems.

neuquenguy on January 29, 2010 at 12:01 PM

I’m curious as to why no GOP bloggers seem concerned about this. I thought Michelle would have kittens hearing that this guy voted for the debt increase.

No one seems to care.

Old eagle on January 29, 2010 at 10:38 AM

My guess is that there is some kind of gentlemen’s agreement going on. The GOP wanted the dems to own the hike to the debt. They couldn’t have that if Brown was sworn in, and Mitch’s agreement with Reid for the Christmas Eve vote on Obamacare called for a seperate vote on raising the debt.

So the GOP likely turned a blind eye to Brown’s slow walk to his Senate seat, and didn’t raise a point of order over Kirk’s vote so that they could claim the dems raised the debt ceiling without a GOP vote.

The sad part is that if the GOP was forced to, they would have raised the debt ceiling also. They’re fighting over the optics, not the substance. Breathless condemnation from GOP pundits decrying the raise in the debt ceiling are almost certainly hypocritical.

Revenant on January 29, 2010 at 12:07 PM

I’m sick of the whole shiteree. These libs are totally out of control and getting worse. They think they have the “Iron Triangle” of the House, Senate, and Executive coupled with the second iron triangle of ABC, CBS, and NBC.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall, and these Iron Triangles will prove not to be “Too Big to Fail”

I can’t wait for all these morons to be gone.

saiga on January 29, 2010 at 12:20 PM

If it passes:
cease paying income taxes
stock up on food and ammo
join a militia

Onager on January 29, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Yea, and go to jail. The first shot you squeeze will be at the mailman when he delivers your certified IRS letter. Then the ATF. I just don’t see an armed revolution against “The Man” in this day and age. Everything is too fractured.

saiga on January 29, 2010 at 12:24 PM

If it passes:
cease paying income taxes
stock up on food and ammo
join a militia

Onager on January 29, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Yea, the mailman will deliver your certified IRS letter followed by a visit from the ATF. I just don’t see it in this fractured enviornment. Remember, there are millions of morons that love massive government because they are too stupid to take care of themselves.

saiga on January 29, 2010 at 12:27 PM

I’m going nuts listening to the President on TV and yelling at him.

He says he isn’t responsible for job losses in January and February last year. Well fine.

However, the uncertainty he introduced starting with his election the November before certainly provided the climate for a deeper down turn than would have happened if someone who knew how to talk without discouraging business was elected!

Obama made it clear that he hates capitalism and that he would raise taxes and let taxes expire etc.

Every job lost from November 2008 is at least in part because of his ineptness at dealing with the realities of the business community.

Obama hates profit. He considers profit something to be stamped out. His attitudes made this economic down turn much much much much much worse than it had to be.

This economy is squarely on his shoulders!

It is Obama’s fault if you lost your job!

He is such a liar!

Thank you that is all.

petunia on January 29, 2010 at 12:39 PM

I have a hard time proof-reading when I’m not upset… so read my mind please. Thank you.

petunia on January 29, 2010 at 12:40 PM

I don’t know that the Dems can get 51 votes.

If they do this, they will be ceding likely control of the House and the Senate, leaving their 1-term President in quite a lurch for the 2 lame duck years of his term.

And I even more seriously question (or dispute) that they can muster 218 votes in the House.

molonlabe28 on January 29, 2010 at 5:46 PM

If it passes:
cease paying income taxes
stock up on food and ammo
join a militia

Onager on January 29, 2010 at 11:52 AM

HEY ALLAHLIB did you threaten this guy with expulsion? Just askin. By the way, did anybody know that Obama is black? Well partly anyhow. I guess in Allahpunditland, it’s racist to point out the obvious.

Mr. Grump on January 30, 2010 at 8:06 AM

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