Kitchen sink: GOP claims Senate parliamentarian will throw out House reconciliation bill

I won’t pretend to have an opinion on the merits of the argument. Like Ace says, the claim seems to be that you can’t use reconciliation to touch Social Security, and since the Dems are crowing about O-Care raising SS revenues, they’re supposedly pinched by their own admission. Hmmmm:

Senate Republicans say they can get the whole package of reconciliation fixes – the fix-its that make the Senate plan palatable to House Democrats – thrown out with a trump card procedural motion. And they say Democrats are slow-walking a decision from the parliamentarian until the House passes the Senate bill…

This afternoon Senate Republicans say Democrats won’t meet with them and the parliamentarian – a charge Democratic staffers call “absurd”…

For an appetizer, take a look at Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Judd Gregg’s statement tonight.

“Immediately after receiving the final reconciliation bill language, Senate Republican staff was ready and willing to meet with Senate Democratic staff and the Senate Parliamentarian to discuss the fact that the House reconciliation bill may be brought down by the 310(g) point of order in the Senate. Senate Democrats are mysteriously unavailable until after the House votes on the health care bill tonight. The Senate Democrats appear to be pushing off this meeting so that House Democrats will remain in the dark about what is likely to happen to the reconciliation bill on which many have staked their careers in Congress. House Democrats should be alarmed by this latest development, since the survival of the reconciliation bill is clearly at risk in the Senate.”

The fact that this story has been red-fonted at Drudge for the past several hours has cured the “in the dark” problem, I’d imagine. The point of this move, of course, isn’t actually to derail the reconciliation bill in the Senate, it’s to frighten House Dems into believing that they might end up with Reid’s bill without a fix and therefore they should rethink their vote while they still have time. But look: If this was something other than a hail mary, wouldn’t the GOP have floated it yesterday or the day before, when waverers hadn’t yet tied their own hands by publicly committing to yes? It feels desperate, even if there’s something to it, and no one wants to run away from an enemy who they know is desperate. Which is another way of saying don’t count on any Stupakers getting cold feet over this.

Exit observation: Let the lawsuits begin!

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