Friday, March 12, 2010

End game

approaches, with some much needed clarity coming to bear. As Pelosi says, the choice has to be made.

The House has to pass the Senate bill and the President sign it before a reconciliation with tweaks can be begin per the Senate parliamentarian. And once they are taking up a reconciliation bill after (if) the House passes the Senate bill, the question of the overall bill will be mute. It already got 60 votes in the Senate, and if it gets a majority in the House the President will sign it immediately. At that point, trying to stop the reconciliation bill in the Senate will mean trying to maintain the Nebraska deal, for example, so I expect the reconciliation bill could turn out to be a bit of a whimper in the end. If the House had used a rule that only 'passed' the Senate bill if the Senate adopted Stupak-like abortion language in a reconciliation bill, the Senate could have still blocked the entire thing by managing to defeat or delay forever the reconciliation bill. But, the Senate parlimentarian's ruling along with the decision that any Stupak-like abortion language can't be included in a reconciliation bill, has rendered the Senate largely irrelevant for the last act. These two decisions may make it harder for the House to pass the Senate bill, but they have also made things much simpler and clearer.

Time for everyone in the House to stand up and be counted.

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