This is news, I guess, but just barely. Getting the Senate to “fix” its own bill to the House’s liking by using reconciliation has always been an absolute condition of passing Reid’s bill in the House, but according to yesterday’s NYT, things had now deteriorated to the point that Pelosi wasn’t sure they’d pass it even with the fix. Looks like that’s changed — or has it? Behold the new eleventh-hour desperate strategy: A two-track bill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday floated the idea of a two-track plan for health care reform — with Congress pursuing easier-to-pass incremental changes now and comprehensive reform later.
“We believe that it’s possible to have comprehensive health care reform as we go forward, but at the same time, it can be on another track where some things can just be passed outside of that legislation, and we’ll be doing both,” Pelosi said in an interview with POLITICO…
“We have to get it done,” the speaker said. “What the process is doesn’t matter. The outcome is what is important, and what it means to working families in America.”
The sticking point, seems to be that each chamber wants the other to go first, which is complicated by (a) the fact that that might not be procedurally possible in the Senate and (b) the ridiculous sniping happening between top House Dems like Hoyer and Clyburn and top Senate Dems like Reid. Last night Politico claimed to have found eight Senate Democrats (Lieberman included) who were iffy on reconciliation, but one of the eight was Ben Nelson — and he doesn’t sound so iffy today. Twenty-four hours ago this thing was dead, and now suddenly we’re being haunted by the Ghost of ObamaCare? Hold me.