Paul Ryan tells NRO: The Dems are going to try reconciliation

I feel like Count Rugen: “Good heavens. Are you still trying to win?”

Which is a bad example, actually, because right after he said that he got stabbed in the chest.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, tells National Review Online that House Democrats are planning to use of the budget-reconciliation process in order to pass Obamacare. “They’re meeting with each other this weekend to pursue it,” says Ryan. “I’ve spoken with many Democrats and the message is this: They’re not ready to give up. They’ve waited their entire adult lives for this moment and they aren’t ready to let 100,000 pesky votes in Massachusetts get in the way of fulfilling their destiny. They’ll look at every option and spend the next four or five days figuring it out.”

If the Democrats pass a health-care bill through reconciliation, it means they would need only 51 votes in the Senate for final passage. To start the process, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) would need to bring a new health-care bill to the House budget committee with reconciliation instructions, with the Senate doing the same. “They’d have to go back to the beginning of the process,” says Ryan. “They’d need to affix reconciliation instructions to a new bill.” Doing so, he says, wouldn’t be too hard. “There’s nothing we can do to stop this from a technical standpoint, since all they need is a simple majority vote and our ratio on the committee is terrible. What we can do in the budget committee is pass resolutions for the Rules committee to insist on certain changes in the bill and create a ‘vote-a-rama’ atmosphere.”

Even so, he’s not sure they have the votes to do it given the horrendously awful optics this will have for Blue Dogs. Boehner seemed to know this was coming earlier today, when he warned Pelosi not to ignore the lessons of Massachusetts even though she’d already held her presser saying she didn’t have the votes. But if Ryan’s right that it’s full speed ahead on reconciliation over the weekend, how to square it with this AP story that hit the wires just an hour or so ago?

Though reeling from a political body blow, House Democrats rejected the quickest fix to their health care dilemma Thursday and signaled that any agreement on President Barack Obama’s signature issue will come slowly, if at all

Democrats’ hopes of settling on a strategy by the weekend seemed to fade, as lawmakers struggled to comprehend the drawbacks of every option…

Some lawmakers said it will take time for congressional Democrats, who huddled repeatedly Thursday, to realize how limited their options are. “People are at various levels of the seven stages of grief,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding what the AP means by “slowly,” but in any event, Ryan seems to think Pelosi and the caucus have settled on the reconciliation path while the AP’s sources seem to think they’re still undecided. Meanwhile, Gibbs told the media today that Obama wants to “let the dust settle” and move health care to the back burner for awhile while Pelosi and Reid figure out what to do, which is as mystifying to me as it is to Josh Marshall. Quote: “Time is not on their side. I think the everyone moment that goes by, demoralization and panic sinks in further, and action becomes less likely.” Precisely. Why give Blue Dogs more time to think about it, knowing that every day that ticks by gets them closer to the midterms? Earl Pomeroy said publicly over the weekend that he might as well retire if this drags on much longer. How do you think he feels about it now dragging on for weeks more with reconciliation and culminating in a de facto nuking of the newly elected Massachusetts veto?