Monday, November 9, 2009

Onward to the Senate

As is the case with all legislation, expect the healthcare bill that emerges from the Senate for a vote to be different from what was voted out by the House late Saturday night. There will be a lot of changes, including, one hopes, the excision of the malodorous Stupak amendment that puts more restrictions on a woman’s right to choose than ever before; it out-Hydes the Hyde Amendment.

Now the hard part will be getting it past the Republicans and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), two elements that are not mutually exclusive. The maddeningly annoying Mr. Lieberman is threatening to join the Republican filibuster, even though he is on the record as having opposed the idea of filibustering, even going so far as to say the tactic should be abolished.

[People] are fed up — frustrated and fed up and angry about the way in which our government does not work, about the way in which we come down here and get into a lot of political games and seem to — partisan tugs of war and forget why we’re here, which is to serve the American people. And I think the filibuster has become not only in reality an obstacle to accomplishment here, but it also a symbol of a lot that ails Washington today.

The question is, was he full of it then, or is he full of it now?

The President seems to think that the bill he supports will make it through the Senate.

Now it falls on the United States Senate to take the baton and bring this effort to the finish line on behalf of the American people. And I’m absolutely confident that they will. I’m equally convinced that on the day that we gather here at the White House and I sign comprehensive health insurance reform legislation into law, they’ll be able to join their House colleagues and say that this was their finest moment in public service — the moment we delivered change we promised to the American people and did something to leave this country stronger than we found it.

From his mouth to the Senate’s ears, and while you’re at it, Mr. President, why not appoint Sen. Lieberman to be the ambassador to The Most Serene Republic of San Marino.