Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Plan B: We Will If They Will

From TPM, it appears that the House will go forward with passing the Senate’s healthcare bill if the Senate will use reconciliation.

“I thought we could get the votes in the House to pass the [Senate] bill if fixes to the Senate bill can be done,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) told reporters today.

“That would be a good option as far as I’m concerned,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), leader of the House progressives’ health care task force. “I could support it. Reconciliation. Majority rule.”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA)–one of the key architect’s of the House health care bill–gives it the high sign. “I think reconciliation’s an appropriate way to proceed on reconciling the budget requirements,” he said. “It’s available to us. That was very specifically handled that way when we passed the budget.”

The hang up, they now say, is not on their end, but that they first need a high sign from the Senate that the two chambers can work in lockstep.

“We have to wait to see what they think they can pass,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). “The sense they give us is that Reid doesn’t know from issue to issue what they can get votes for.”

But, he adds, it’s the only path forward that makes any real sense. “It’s the only practical way. Everyone’s in the same place–we want to get as much as we can get.

Hope springs eternal… not just that they pass the damn bill but that the House and the Senate Democrats can actually get their act together.