Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Reconciliation is the magician's distraction

There's a lot of noise and hand-wringing about whether the Democrats are going to try to force a health-care bill through the Senate via reconciliation. But the fact is, they don't need to. For all the talk and noise about the Senate, the situation right now is that they've already passed a bill. The only thing standing between a health care reform bill and the President's signature is the House of Representatives. The Senate becomes an issue if, and only if, the House doesn't approve the Senate bill, as passed.

There are many that thought there was no way that the House would approve of the Senate bill, but with sufficient arm twisting and promises of "fixes" that the Senate would pass through reconciliation later, they may at some point get to the 216 votes they need to get it through the house. At which point, reconciliation is irrelevant. They've got a bill, it's been passed by both houses of Congress, all it needs is the President's signature to become law. And he'll sign it before the ink is dry.

So it's the House of Representatives where the pressure needs to be applied right now.

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