Saturday, January 30, 2010

Prognosis

Ezra is nervous with Rahm Emanuel slowing down health care reform, and I am too. The fact that our ability to use reconciliation expires relatively soon, with the passage of the next budget, is something I wasn't aware of before. Also the issue about how key personnel will be out campaigning later in the year. (On the upside, I'm somewhat encouraged by the fact that Obama spent a fair bit of time talking health care with GOP congressmen. Not because it'll win them over or anything, but because it suggests that he's not running away from it.)

I'm quite attracted to Jonathan Bernstein's view of the whole situation: the House should just step up and pass the Senate bill as well as a reconciliation vehicle, before the Senate acts or gives them any guarantees. Since the reconciliation vehicle is full of goodies, there will be considerable appeal to getting it through the Senate as well. Bernstein argues convincingly that the situation with respect to the reconciliation bill is quite different from climate change legislation and a bunch of other tough votes Democrats have had to make, as the reconciliation vehicle will be sweet rather than bitter. I really hope they can work out their Senate abuse trauma issues in time to see reason and do this, though, and I can't be very optimistic on that front.

3 comments:

Nicholas Beaudrot said...

I can't believe they're doing this. What's the cost to the DNC and associated candidates of a front page post on DailyKos saying "I'm not lifting a finger for any Senator or Congressman. Time to focus on state Houses"? $10M? $20M? That can't be a good idea.

Neil Sinhababu said...

If things fail, it's going to be because of a whole bunch of things I would've never believed.

BruceMcF said...

The question is not whether the Senate will vote for it, but whether the Senate will vote for it unamended.

There is always a risk that it will be amended, since Speaker of the Senate does not exist, and in order to hold the line on the changes, there has to be the threat that the House will simply be unable to pass the whole thing unless the Senate lets them keep "enough of their stuff".

And the maximum political cover for the Representatives on voting for the Senate bill is if the pair of bills go straight to the President's desk for signature, with the big news of the signing leading to broad overviews of what's in the bill and complaints about individual pieces passed into law for only the length of time it takes the President to pass the reconciliation bill will not have time to get going.