NYT getting pessimistic about reconciliation

posted at 10:41 am on February 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

While Democrats insist that they can push ObamaCare through Congress using reconciliation, their media allies seem unconvinced.  The New York Times offers a rather glum view of the chances of getting either the Senate or the House to pass the bills necessary to make the strategy work.  Without the Stupak language to give them cover on the abortion issue, dozens of Ayes on the original bill will turn to Nays, and the rapidly-approaching midterms may convince even more to jump ship:

Under the Democrats’ tentative plans, the House would pass the health care bill approved in December by the Senate, and both chambers would approve a separate package of changes using a parliamentary device known as budget reconciliation.

The tactic is intended to avoid a Republican filibuster, but in the Senate, the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, faces challenges if he tries to use it. He is having trouble persuading a majority of his caucus to go along.

In the House, lawmakers like Mr. Kratovil, Mr. Cardoza and other swing Democrats will come under increasing scrutiny from leadership as a vote draws near. Of the 219 Democrats who initially voted in favor of the House measure, roughly 40 did so in part because it contained the so-called Stupak amendment, intended to discourage insurers from covering abortion.

Some, notably Representative Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat for whom the amendment is named, will almost certainly switch their yes votes to no because the new version being pushed by Mr. Obama would strip out the House bill’s abortion restrictions in favor of Senate language that many of them consider unacceptable.

An additional 39, like Mr. Kratovil, are fiscal conservatives who voted no the first time around. Ms. Pelosi is hoping that she can get some to switch those no votes to yes in favor of Mr. Obama’s less expensive measure.

But persuading Democrats who are already on record as opposing a health overhaul to do a turnabout will not be an easy task, especially during a midterm election year in which Democrats’ political prospects already look bleak. Of the 39 Democrats who voted against the House measure, 31, including Mr. Kratovil, represent districts that were won in 2008 by Senator John McCain of Arizona, Mr. Obama’s Republican rival. Fourteen, including Mr. Kratovil, are freshmen, who are generally considered more politically vulnerable than more senior lawmakers.

The first House version passed by five votes, but that included some stage management by Nancy Pelosi to give a few Democrats the opportunity to vote no to save their political skins.  That, however, was almost four months ago, when the midterms were a full year away.  Now, some of these Democrats have to start planning primary campaigns in traditionally center-right districts.

How many votes did Pelosi really have as a buffer on that vote?  No one is quite sure, but two things are certain.  She doesn’t have nearly as many this time around, and those Representatives that got to vote no the first time to save their skins won’t vote yes this time around.  If they reverse themselves now while the bill becomes even less popular with voters, they may as well skip the re-election campaigns and sell their Beltway condos now.

As for the kamikaze strategy, the Times makes a short but trenchant point:

But politicians do not want to be martyrs. They want to hold onto their seats.

Pelosi has another problem in pushing the House end of the bargain.  If the House passes the Senate version, all it takes to become law is Obama’s signature — and that means no public option, a tax on union health-care plans, and no surcharge on the rich.  Progressives in the House have to trust that the Senate will actually pass a reconciliation package fixing all the problems in their current version to the satisfaction of the House progressive caucus.  They won’t pass the Senate version without it, even if all of the above conditions get met.

Can Harry Reid pass a reconciliation bill?  Probably not, although it’s not impossible.  Democrats up for re-election this year will have great reluctance in enabling such a strategy to pass such an unpopular bill.  Also, Republicans plan to offer an infinite number of amendments — which reconciliation allows them to do — to create a filibuster by other means.  The more this becomes clear, the less likely the House will ever pass the Senate bill at all.

As the midterms approach, the electoral pressure will force many Democrats into obstructing reconciliation.  If Reid and Pelosi can’t get it done in the next couple of weeks, it probably won’t happen.

Update: No sooner do I post this than I see that my friend Dafydd ab Hugh wrote a great analysis of the same Times article in the Green Room.  Be sure to read it!


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Kill it dead. And then kill it again.

Mason on February 28, 2010 at 10:45 AM

What’s that sound — is the fat lady warming up?

stefanite on February 28, 2010 at 10:45 AM

These scum couldn’t pass this disgrace of a bill with a 60 vote majority. Now they claim to be using reconciliation to avoid a filibuster? BS! They are using reconciliation to bypass their own party!!! WHY IN THE F**K doesn’t anyone frame the debate that way?!

Cmon Ed and Allah!!!! Lets call it what it is!

csdeven on February 28, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Even Ron Paul is fealing the heat

William Amos on February 28, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Is Nancy going to rip Harry’s heart out while it is still beating and then eat it?

Mr. Joe on February 28, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Well that will resolve any embarassment of Harry losing his seat in Nevada.

Mr. Joe on February 28, 2010 at 10:48 AM

I’ve been reading a guy at RedState (Dan Perrin) that has me pretty convinced this bill will never pass, but it still has me very worried.

I think the democrats are just blustering for their nutroots and this bill is already dead. They just won’t ever admit it.

The House already got burned twice by the Senate on Cap and Trade and Obamacare(they stripped out Stupak amendment)so I doubt there is much willingness to walk the plank yet again and end up getting stabbed in the back by the Senate.

Mord on February 28, 2010 at 10:51 AM

I think Nanzi is teaching Dingy Harry how to give Blue Dogs the Vulcan Death Grip. We need to caption that image. I know I could suggest something a lot worse, but this is a family web site (snort).

Philly on February 28, 2010 at 10:51 AM

There is only 2 options… total defeat and reconciliation are not one of them…

1. A plan B which was bantered about earlier…
2. Pass the Senate Bill as it was… and buy off the pro-life democrats with some kind of anti-abortion fund or program or something… keep planned parenthood out of it though… doubtful that would happen…

ninjapirate on February 28, 2010 at 10:53 AM

They have to convince the Dems that the only way out is through the pain.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 10:56 AM

I’ll believe it when I see it.
The notion that Democrats just simply wouldn’t do something because it doesn’t make sense or they may lose their jobs is an illusion on the scale of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster.
They’re whole short term political history is a long list of example after example of them doing just that. Defying the voter.
High ranking powerful Democrats will follow Obama off the cliff but they don’t see it that way.
If they pass this bill somehow they will be thrilled and the short term political losses are merely the price to be paid.
In the end they will put their ideology first.

NeoKong on February 28, 2010 at 10:56 AM

BTW folks, even if this passes look how far we’ve come… there is no chance of a public option that would have evolved into the single payer only option…

ninjapirate on February 28, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Kill the bill and start over.

yoda on February 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

She doesn’t have nearly as many this time around, and those Representatives that got to vote no the first time to save their skins won’t vote yes this time around. If they reverse themselves now while the bill becomes even less popular with voters, they may as well skip the re-election campaigns and sell their Beltway condos now.

She doesn’t have the votes.

ladyingray on February 28, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Reconciliation ain’t gonna happen. ObamaCare as the Democrats know it IS DOA. Nancy and Harry can spin all they want. They don’t have the votes. If we’re lucky, perhaps Madame Speaker will atone for her inability to pass this crap piece of legislation by committing seppuku in front of the entire Congress.

GarandFan on February 28, 2010 at 11:00 AM

I am disappointed not to see or hear any Republican arguments based on two compelling issues:
1. The Obamacare bills create hundreds of new boards and commissions. There is no chance they can work efficiently. Compare this with the New York ground-zero rebuilding disaster, which involves less money and fewer government agencies, and cannot get anything done.
2. The Obamacare bills exclude congress from the new health care rules that they want to impose on the ordinary American citizens. This is outrageous, and Americans hate it. Are our Republican representatives in favor of saving for themselves the benefits of our current excellent medical system?

GaltBlvnAtty on February 28, 2010 at 11:01 AM

If Dan Perrin’s story is correct and Sen. DeMint’s objection is not “override-able,” then all this is much ado about nothing. Without starting over, there will be no bill. I wish someone (Ed?) would look into the parliamentary issues and the various combinations of events Perrin puts forth. If the dems are as hamstrung as his article suggests, Ocare is gone.

n0doz on February 28, 2010 at 11:02 AM

BTW folks, even if this passes look how far we’ve come… there is no chance of a public option that would have evolved into the single payer only option…

ninjapirate on February 28, 2010 at 10:57 AM

The only thing wrong with that is: Obamacare is pretty much designed to bankrupt the insurance industry. Once they go under because of over-regulation and over-taxation the public option will be the only option.

Mord on February 28, 2010 at 11:02 AM

I have a niggling feeling that there will be a veiled threat (or maybe an outright threat) that if they don’t walk the plank for this that “other forces” will make sure they lose their reelections anyway.

Tinfoil hat time. I just don’t trust these b@st@rds.

tru2tx on February 28, 2010 at 11:03 AM

. The Obamacare bills create hundreds of new boards and commissions. There is no chance they can work efficiently. Compare this with the New York ground-zero rebuilding disaster, which involves less money and fewer government agencies, and cannot get anything done.
2. The Obamacare bills exclude congress from the new health care rules that they want to impose on the ordinary American citizens. This is outrageous, and Americans hate it. Are our Republican representatives in favor of saving for themselves the benefits of our current excellent medical system?

GaltBlvnAtty on February 28, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Those are very good points.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:04 AM

BTW, the Dems are trying to tout this as a plan that has had significant Republican input… the Republicans may be(would have been) smart to actually tout a “compromise” plan that wasn’t an ideal…

ninjapirate on February 28, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Nice to see you give Dafydd credit where credit is due Ed. This man (and so many others in the GR including my good friend Rovin) are deserving of such high fives. Dafydd is a must go to site for me on a daily basis.

The GR is loaded up with talent. I’m really glad to see these authors getting the attention they deserve here in recent weeks.

Keemo on February 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

I have a niggling feeling that there will be a veiled threat (or maybe an outright threat) that if they don’t walk the plank for this that “other forces” will make sure they lose their reelections anyway.

Tinfoil hat time. I just don’t trust these b@st@rds.

tru2tx on February 28, 2010 at 11:03 AM

They don’t have much leverage in that regard. The money these people receive from the dnc is peanuts, unless there’s some huge wave of national attention.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

The only thing wrong with that is: Obamacare is pretty much designed to bankrupt the insurance industry. Once they go under because of over-regulation and over-taxation the public option will be the only option.

Mord on February 28, 2010 at 11:02 AM

There, I diverge. The industry messed itself up. This bill is actually, in my opinion, a bail-out.

And for that reason I dislike it.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Question–if, God forbid, this stinking mess passes–could it not be rescinded by the next Congress?

I know it’s not how things typically work and that the history of this happening is limited, but it has happened i.e. prohibition.

I’m not as well read on this as I should be and I’d appreciate feedback from those who are more knowledgeable about the possible likelihood or unlikelihood of this possibility.

Thanks!

Niere on February 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM

There, I diverge. The industry messed itself up. This bill is actually, in my opinion, a bail-out.

And for that reason I dislike it.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Please explain how this bill is a bail-out.

ladyingray on February 28, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Please explain how this bill is a bail-out.

ladyingray on February 28, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Don’t get her started.

thomasaur on February 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Peloser and Reid exhibit their total incompetence by requesting that the demonrats commit political suicide by passing a health reform bill that the vast majority of Americans do not want. If the lemmings in their party are as incompetent as they are, so be it. It will be dealt with accordingly by the American electorate. Ignorance on this level will be flushed.

volsense on February 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I thought there was a hard pivot to jobs, jobs, jobs. Nah, healthcare, that’s the ticket. Barry said so.

Pass it morons ….. you lose.
Don’t pass it morons …… you lose.

Only Democrats are “smart” enough to put on their own straightjacket.

fogw on February 28, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Don’t get her started.
thomasaur on February 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Too late.

kingsjester on February 28, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Niere on February 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Prohibition was passed by a Constitutional amendment and thus could only be overturned by another Constitutional amendment.

Apples and oranges.

ladyingray on February 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM

The mandate and the deals made?

Bailout.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Reid, Pelosi and PBHO don’t give two shats about the price to be paid by the lower-level dems, this bill is going to be forced and no cost is too great. When defeat is staring you in the face, why not throw everything you have left at the enemy?

Bishop on February 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM

The President will try to incorporate some of the Republican points for health reform in his Plan B, so he can say he tried to work with the other side. The Republicans need to stick to their guns and to start over on this bill and get rid of all of the “good ol’ boy pork” and all of the the other items in this scam that will bankrupt our country.

yoda on February 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM

I’ve been reading a guy at RedState (Dan Perrin) that has me pretty convinced this bill will never pass, but it still has me very worried.

Perrin’s article is the best written so far about the current state of HC reconciliation. The House has to pass the Senate bill as-is, or everything stops.

joejm65 on February 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Don’t get her started.

thomasaur on February 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

You aren’t the boss of me! *LOL

I want her to explain that asinine comment.

ladyingray on February 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Read this part again.

The tactic is intended to avoid a Republican filibuster, but in the Senate, the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, faces challenges if he tries to use it. He is having trouble persuading a majority of his caucus to go along.

That’s not the majority of the Senate mind you, that’s a majority of the Democrats. Not to get to cocky but that doesn’t sound very good for Reid.

lowandslow on February 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Are our Republican representatives in favor of saving for themselves the benefits of our current excellent medical system?
GaltBlvnAtty on February 28, 2010 at 11:01 AM

I don’t doubt it. And don’t hold your breath for slashing or devastating truths about the poisonous madness of this majority from anybody in the GOP. They’re not fighters. They’re bookkeepers and head-counters. Very polite people, articulate too. Gentlemen and ladies all. “With all due respect, Mr. President…”

Bullshite. This is madness. And we need warriors to say so. Warriors for sanity and freedom. That “summit” made me vomit in my mouth.

rrpjr on February 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Need to post list of “progressive” caucus and work against all of them. Dems don’t like bulls eyes on their backs.

tim c on February 28, 2010 at 11:19 AM

The mandate and the deals made?

Bailout.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM

How in the hell is the “mandate” a bailout for the insurance companies when the government will dictate the coverage an insurance company must provide as well as the premiums that company can charge?

I bet you think the fox guarding the hen house is doing it for the protection of the chickens, don’t you?

ladyingray on February 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Peloser and Reid are demonstrating total incompetence by asking the demonrats to commit political suicide by voting for a bill that the vast majority of Americans do not want. Their lemmings can be assured they will be dealt with by the American elctorate. Ignorance on this level must be flushed before it can damage the future of our nation. Thanks to Reid and Pefor making it so obvious to see.

volsense on February 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM

ladyingray on February 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Okay–so is there no way to repeal a law once it’s passed by Congress other than to find it unconstitutional via the Supreme Court?

Niere on February 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM

If the Senate Republicans have to “filibuster” the health care bill via endless amendments, the best suggestion I’ve heard is that the first 10 amendments offered should be the wish-list of the NRA. Force the Democrats to vote against gunowners again, and again, and again…

capricorn on February 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM

I want her to explain that asinine comment.

ladyingray on February 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Really? Do you really expect to get a reasoned response?

thomasaur on February 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM

The mandate and the deals made?

Bailout.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM

ladyingray didn’t ask you to restate your claim, she asked you to explain it. Maybe you can even do it without a single ‘I think’ or ‘in my opinion’, you know, stick to the facts.

AsianGirlInTights on February 28, 2010 at 11:23 AM

How in the hell is the “mandate” a bailout for the insurance companies when the government will dictate the coverage an insurance company must provide as well as the premiums that company can charge?

I bet you think the fox guarding the hen house is doing it for the protection of the chickens, don’t you?

ladyingray on February 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM

The industry practices have changed drastically, shocking the public. Since when did you pay premiums and then get told insurance won’t cover it due to extremely ridiculous reasons?

Insurance is based on confidence. Nobody in their right mind will trust the industry with these practices.

Solution? Mandated insurance by the gov.

Frankly, that’s a flipping bailout.

I’d recommend to anyone having to buy one of those schlocky policies? Don’t bother. Need care? Just show up at the emergency room.

I’m serious. It’s absurd how they have ruined their reputation with Americans.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Niere on February 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Any Congress can repeal any law that is passed by a preceding Congress by passing a new law to repeal. SCOTUS doesn’t have to be involved.

ladyingray on February 28, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Can’t breathe easily until they KILL it.

petefrt on February 28, 2010 at 11:27 AM

In addition, Obama cut deals with Pharm. My family is right now, getting care across the border at 1/3 of the cost.

Terrific service. The doctors are excellent. My family member is very happy with what transpired.

This business of cutting deals is pure baloney.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Nancy Pelosi has problems with hair on them.

http://www.redstate.com/dan_perrin/2010/02/25/sen-conrad-the-house-goes-first-or-obamacare-dies-thank-you-senator-demint/

Now, the Speaker finds herself in the position of having to pass a bill she says she does not have the votes to pass.

Without passing the Senate bill she can’t pass, the Speaker can’t do reconciliation. (See Sen. Conrad, above.)

OK. Now, this next part is really, really important.

The Speaker and the White House find themselves in this position because of Senator DeMint (R-SC). He insisted that Senator McConnell object to the appointment of the House-Senate Conferees, thus preventing a Conference on the bill.

The inability of the Dems to have a House-Senate Conference then forced the Speaker to have a House floor vote on the Senate bill, which she can’t pass. And there the process has been stuck. Has not moved an inch since Sen. DeMint’s objection. It can’t, she does not have the votes.

Dr Evil on February 28, 2010 at 11:28 AM

The GOP needs to answer a couple of obvious questions. If you don’t offer an entitlement program that expands coverage, then we continue to pay the bill through the ER rooms.

Isn’t that part of the real problem?

The Dems need to answer a lot of obvious questions. How do you pretend to expand coverage and NOT cut back coverage for others? That’s just silly thinking.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:30 AM

And nobody, in my opinion, is addressing some of the real issues, which is the flood of illegal immigrants into the current system.

That is definitely unsunstainable, at least for the Western states.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Okay–so is there no way to repeal a law once it’s passed by Congress other than to find it unconstitutional via the Supreme Court?
Niere on February 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM

I believe there is also a method to kill it through starvation: refuse to fund it or override the tax basis on which it would rest.

There are also the states themselves, many of whom I believe are already looking into ways to resist a federal mandate which will kill their state budgets. I don’t know the fine details and I’m the last guy to ask, but I’ve seen it mentioned that states can work against this fairly vigorously.

Bishop on February 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM

The R’s need to hold this stinking bill under water at least until July. That’s when the focus will change for all those running in November. They will be spending more spin time in their own districts and governing takes a back seat.

Kissmygrits on February 28, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Laura Ingraham was on Imus in the Morning and she was saying that this health care bill is going to have to be stabbed, acid poured on it a refrigerator dropped on it…the bill that just won’t die.

Dr Evil on February 28, 2010 at 11:34 AM

The industry practices have changed drastically, shocking the public. Since when did you pay premiums and then get told insurance won’t cover it due to extremely ridiculous reasons?

That has never happened to me nor anyone I know. Well, not with private insurance. It happens all the time with Medicare and Medicaid.

Insurance is based on confidence. Nobody in their right mind will trust the industry with these practices.

So, you’re saying here that you don’t have any health insurance.

Solution? Mandated insurance by the gov.

Frankly, that’s a flipping bailout.

It’s not a bailout, oh dim one, it’s a slow bleeding to drive them out of business.

I’d recommend to anyone having to buy one of those schlocky policies? Don’t bother. Need care? Just show up at the emergency room.

The government is going to dictate the coverage required. You were (and still are) for a public option – how is that now “schlocky”?

I’m serious. It’s absurd how they have ruined their reputation with Americans.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:26 AM

They haven’t ruined their reputation with Americans. Any damage to the reputation of the health insuarnce industry as been caused by the demonization of the Democrats, the liberal media, and liberal gasbags such as yourself.

ladyingray on February 28, 2010 at 11:35 AM

The industry practices have changed drastically, shocking the public. Since when did you pay premiums and then get told insurance won’t cover it due to extremely ridiculous reasons?

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Wow – anecdotal without even using an actual anecdote – you’re an expert at BS Ann

AsianGirlInTights on February 28, 2010 at 11:35 AM

And nobody, in my opinion, is addressing some of the real issues, which is the flood of illegal immigrants into the current system.

That is definitely unsunstainable, at least for the Western states.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 11:31 AM

AnninCa

Look at the supporting organizations for the Progressive Congressional Caucus. They are not going to do anything about illegal immigration in any form.

Dr Evil on February 28, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Ann – On behalf of Independent Health Insurance Agents everywhere working for commission only in a bad economy trying to provide for our families, we appreciate your support. ////

kingsjester on February 28, 2010 at 11:38 AM

I also read somewhere (it might have been a commenter on this site, for all I can remember) that anything passed by reconciliation has to be re-affirmed every 5 years.

The Bush Tax cuts are going to expire this year for that exact reason. The democrats are going to raise taxes by simply doing nothing. The same will happen to this bill if they go with the nuke option.

They still have to pass the senate bill in the house as DR EVIL points out before they can do reconciliation.

Mord on February 28, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Heh.. am I the only Star Wars geek here who caught Ed’s hat tip? ;-)

If the Dems go through with the Nuclear option, I suspect that they will forever rue the day.

itzWicks on February 28, 2010 at 11:40 AM

that picture NEVER fails to crack me up!

Nancy’s problem is that her Jedi mind tricks work so easily on Harry she assumes they work that well on everybody else!

Justrand on February 28, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Nancy Pelosi isn’t a Jedi she is

Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, Bene Gesserit schemer, the Emperor’s Truthsayer

I don’t know why people always go to the Star Trek and Star Wars “Well” when we are clearly dealing with God Emperor Dune.

Dr Evil on February 28, 2010 at 11:44 AM

So Reid and Pelosi can’t find senators and congresspeople who are willing to fall on their swords to pass Obama’s health care plan. Who did they think they were dealing with anyway? A bunch of wild-eyed party faithful who would do anything for the cause? Get real.

Now if Reid and Pelosi could find a way for their lackeys to vote and then throw their staffers under the bus, well we would have a different story altogether.

Lily on February 28, 2010 at 11:44 AM

The bad thing is that keeping this bill in limbo is only adding to the unemployment problem. This is going to be my argument to my members of Congress on my next round of emails that they ignore.

Cindy Munford on February 28, 2010 at 11:49 AM

SF Nancy doesn\’t possess the number of \’correct thinking, true believers\’ at present. Professional politicians at the Federal level get REAL comfortable with all the perks with which they claim as their rightful heritage. With the exceptions of the California, Maryland, New York and Vermont delegations, most professionals have to really think about holding on to their \’rightful heritage\’. That means their First Congressional Half play is totally different from the Second Half play – they know their subjects constituents would rather be liberal with the application of tar, feathers and hand cars.If they can\’t get this done this generation, just wait until they grow a new generation of True Believers.

SeniorD on February 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Some, notably Representative Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat for whom the amendment is named, will almost certainly switch their yes votes to no because the new version being pushed by Mr. Obama would strip out the House bill’s abortion restrictions in favor of Senate language that many of them consider unacceptable.

While Dafydd calls them Stupakers, won’t it be ironic when the murder of millions of unborn children will ultimately cause the death of a bill called health care reform.

Rovin on February 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM

The bad thing is that keeping this bill in limbo is only adding to the unemployment problem.

Cindy Munford on February 28, 2010 at 11:49 AM

It seems that is by design.

tru2tx on February 28, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Will the Senate Parliamentarian, Alan Frumin (appointed by Trent Lott) rule that reconciliation is ok in this instance? If not, will Biden overrule him? It will be interesting if Joe Biden is required to make this decision and fall on his sword for Obama.

JiangxiDad on February 28, 2010 at 11:53 AM

This needs to be stopped in the House.

If the House passes the Senate bill – even if the Senate doesn’t manage to “fix” it with reconciliation we’re still stuck with the Senate bill. Passed by both houses and signed by The One.

http://nomayo.mu.nu/the_reconciliation_trap

Stephen Macklin on February 28, 2010 at 11:57 AM

tru2tx on February 28, 2010 at 11:52 AM

I have had the same thought.

Cindy Munford on February 28, 2010 at 11:59 AM

By arrogantly ignoring the country’s PRIMARY economic problem: the critical need for saving and creating jobs for over a year, the delusional Obama Crew -and the vacuous Dems assisting his fixational folly- have wasted their only shot at getting their Obamacare Reforms passed.

Had Barry and the D bunch won some public trust and appreciation by addressing the REAL issue endangering the nation- the unemployment catastrophe still growing- then he and his honchos might have then been able to push through a Reform bill upon that good will gained.

But, you only get one chance to win the people’s trust, and they totally blew it.

And now their desperation to ram something through only makes the sleazy, backdoor effort, in the face of the skepticism of the majority of Americans, smell that much more rank and corrupt.

The bill is dead.

And, no matter what happens with the economy, even if there is a miraculous recovery, no health Big Government Care Reform Bill has a chance to be proposed for another generation.

Obama’s hubris screwed his own partisans of their goal.

Now, get working on JOBS, O’schmuck!

profitsbeard on February 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

I also read somewhere (it might have been a commenter on this site, for all I can remember) that anything passed by reconciliation has to be re-affirmed every 5 years.

The Bush Tax cuts are going to expire this year for that exact reason. The democrats are going to raise taxes by simply doing nothing. The same will happen to this bill if they go with the nuke option.

They still have to pass the senate bill in the house as DR EVIL points out before they can do reconciliation.

Mord on February 28, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Good point.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Look at the supporting organizations for the Progressive Congressional Caucus. They are not going to do anything about illegal immigration in any form.

Dr Evil on February 28, 2010 at 11:37 AM

One headache at a time, I guess.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Kill it dead. And then kill it again.

Mason on February 28, 2010 at 10:45 AM

RULE # 4
Double Tap

mechkiller_k on February 28, 2010 at 12:45 PM

They can’t start over. There’s no time left before midterms. The Democrats are completely hosed.

John the Libertarian on February 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

They can’t start over. There’s no time left before midterms. The Democrats are completely hosed.

John the Libertarian on February 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

I agree. They really lost it way back in the summer.

They had no foothold, no narrative, and nothing much good was emerging from the Dems.

AnninCA on February 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM

“rapidly-approaching midterms”

Music to my ears.

Mr_Magoo on February 28, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Reconciliation is all scare no bite. Using it destroys the Senate which I doubt most Americans would approve of.

who wants the USA to turn into Venezuela.

tarpon on February 28, 2010 at 2:09 PM

who wants the USA to turn into Venezuela.

tarpon on February 28, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Given enough earthquakes and plate movements and Venezuela will be here anyway. You just have to wait another 25 million years.

Of course, Pelosi will probably still be around.

Yoop on February 28, 2010 at 3:01 PM

I also read somewhere (it might have been a commenter on this site, for all I can remember) that anything passed by reconciliation has to be re-affirmed every 5 years.

The Bush Tax cuts are going to expire this year for that exact reason. The democrats are going to raise taxes by simply doing nothing. The same will happen to this bill if they go with the nuke option.

They still have to pass the senate bill in the house as DR EVIL points out before they can do reconciliation.

Mord on February 28, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Also- reconciliation cannot create deficits after 10 years under the Byrd rule. That is probably why the 2001 Bush tax cuts expire in 2011.

Chuck Schick on February 28, 2010 at 3:20 PM

LOL at Darth Pelosi !!!!!

dissent555 on February 28, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Anybody remember the Monty Python skit about the dead parrot? Obamacare is nailed to the perch…

txmomof6 on February 28, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Is Nancy going to rip Harry’s heart out while it is still beating and then eat it?

Mr. Joe on February 28, 2010 at 10:48 AM

We really need a caption contest for that pic.

Pelosi: “And then I got mad at him and said, RAWR.. and…”

Reid: “Somebody wake me up when this story is over.”

Daggett on February 28, 2010 at 3:45 PM

This is because reconciliation comes with an epiration date IE: bush tax cuts!

sonnyspats1 on February 28, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Bets on Obama using executive privilege to mandate it, or let Sebelius mandate it, ala the EPA secretary with cap and trade?

capejasmine on February 28, 2010 at 7:19 PM

The first House version passed by five votes, but that included some stage management by Nancy Pelosi to give a few Democrats the opportunity to vote no to save their political skins. That, however, was almost four months ago, when the midterms were a full year away. Now, some of these Democrats have to start planning primary campaigns in traditionally center-right districts.

Good point. Despite the ramblings of both speaker and majority leader, I think the dynamic has changed since this past summer. Not every pol is willing to defy the will of the people for ideaology, and it is even possible (going out on a limb here) that some have actually read the bill and realize it is pure garbage.

It p1sses me off that we have to keep spending time on this POS, clearly the focus both locally and nationally should be on jobs. Real jobs, not government make work jobs. That really is a pressing issue, but continues to simmer on the back burner. Pathetic.
I’d sure like to here some positive proposals from the minority party.

JusDreamin on February 28, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Eh. The leftists have set their sights on our assets, they’ll find a way to get them in the name of “social justice” or whatever the currently fashionable term for statist stealing is.

Therefore my focus is on capital transfer for the sake of preservation. I’m happy to follow my $ btw and am seriously considering abandoning the US altogether.

It’d be sad to leave but, really, it’s no longer the country so many generations of my ancestors built. They did it for me, and us, but given the present circumstances I suspect they’d understand.

Gilda on February 28, 2010 at 9:57 PM

Despite all the media hooha about Obama and the Democrats “pivoting” to “jobs” they are fixated on reforming our health-care system and socializing as much of the economy as they can. It is astounding that the libs in the media forgot, or ignore, their own reports about the famous “pivot” and are back on the “health-care reform” march to the cliff.
Just remember, they think that Christians are more dangerous than Muslims and that only they are not driven by ideology.
These are dangerous times indeed!

shorebird on February 28, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Unless there are massive civil demonstrations, this legislation shall pass and begin the systematic dismantling of our Republic.
It’s either massive demonstrations now, or civil war later.

Cybergeezer on March 1, 2010 at 10:05 AM