February 28, 2010

Chair of Senate Budget Committee Declares Reconciliation Can't Be Used for Health Care
— Ace

Just one Democratic vote, and they can afford to lose up to nine. But it's more important than that, as the legislation would, apparently, have to be passed out of his committee first. And it's more important than even that, because to do this at all, the House needs to act first, and pass the Senate bill, and they only want to do that with the assurance the Senate will be passing a budget-busting reconciliation measure shortly thereafter -- and Conrad seems to be sowing a lot of doubt that will happen.

Vid at the link, but here's the transcript:

“…reconciliation cannot be used to pass comprehensive health care reform. It won’t work. It won’t work because it was never designed for that kind of significant legislation. It was designed for deficit reduction… The major package of health care reform cannot move through the reconciliation process. It will not work… It will not work because of the Byrd rule which says anything that doesn’t score for budget purposes has to be eliminated. That would eliminate all the delivery system reform, all the insurance market reform, all of those things the experts tell us are really the most important parts of this bill. The only possible role that I can see for reconciliation would be make modest changes in the major package to improve affordability, to deal with what share of Medicaid expansion the federal government pays, those kinds of issues, which is the traditional role for reconciliation in health care.”

If the Democrats are looking for an exit strategy (and note, when it comes to big expansions of government, the Democrats do not shy away from declaring as Bush did in Iraq that the exit strategy is "victory"), then this will do as well as any other. Liberals can crow that they tried their hearts out, but this one Senator from South Dakota sold them out.

And that even works for Kent Conrad, because, hailing from South Dakota, being the guy who tanked the reconciliation route should be a small net positive.

Posted by: Ace at 07:53 AM | Comments (60)
Post contains 368 words, total size 2 kb.

1

Too good to be true. They'll Rahm it through.

Posted by: Tinian at February 28, 2010 07:57 AM (7+pP9)

2 Awesome.

Let's hope they use this as an exit strategy and not another reason to double down on the stupid again.

Posted by: Original Mikey at February 28, 2010 07:58 AM (TJoID)

3 There must be a way to jam it through even with this opinion. As much as a I doubt the intellectual ability of the Democrats I can't believe they would not have known this. Why have Pelosi cajoling her members to put party before self? Maybe it's all theater but I doubt it.

Posted by: Locus Ceruleus at February 28, 2010 07:58 AM (tzcjs)

4 They sure look like they are inching their way out of the minefield they blundered into last year. Not all of them will make it.

Posted by: eman at February 28, 2010 07:59 AM (D7/BU)

5 Welcome back, Kotter!

Posted by: Horschak at February 28, 2010 08:04 AM (Kn9r7)

6 There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Posted by: eman at February 28, 2010 08:04 AM (D7/BU)

7 My balls hover tentatively over the pudding...

Posted by: Purple Avenger at February 28, 2010 08:05 AM (n4CPD)

8 Ummm.......Conrad is from ND

Posted by: eddiebear at February 28, 2010 08:06 AM (cqb3F)

9 From his mouth to God's ear.

Hopefully.

Posted by: shibumi at February 28, 2010 08:06 AM (OKZrE)

10 So the rumors of your demise were premature.  Welcome back!

Posted by: conscious and happy to see Ace return at February 28, 2010 08:09 AM (Vu6sl)

11
There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Posted by: eman at February 28, 2010 01:04 PM (D7/BU)




I'm looking forward to the wails of grief from the left and the lament of their women children. I slake my thirst with their salty tears.

Posted by: Blazer at February 28, 2010 08:09 AM (t72+4)

12 The final splat of the ObamaCare monstrosity will need a flaming skull, cowbells, cheerleaders, Turk dancing, and Jim Kirk ass-kicking a Klingon.

Posted by: eman at February 28, 2010 08:09 AM (D7/BU)

13 Their wailing and lamentations are music to my ears!

Posted by: GarandFan at February 28, 2010 08:11 AM (6mwMs)

14

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to back a major overhaul of U.S. healthcare even if it threatens their political careers, a call to arms that underscores the issue's massive role in this election year.

Lawmakers sometimes must enact policies that, even if unpopular at the moment, will help the public, Pelosi said in an interview being broadcast Sunday the ABC News program "This Week."

 

Posted by: conscious and saying Nancy Pelosi is Fn senile at February 28, 2010 08:11 AM (Vu6sl)

15 Not that I don't believe them or anything but, I don't.


Posted by: Barbarian at February 28, 2010 08:12 AM (EL+OC)

16 12 The final splat of the ObamaCare monstrosity will need a flaming skull, cowbells, cheerleaders, Turk dancing, and Jim Kirk ass-kicking a Klingon.

Posted by: eman at February 28, 2010 01:09 PM (D7/BU)

and hawt chicks in string bikinis...

Posted by: conscious and saying give me a bikini or give me death at February 28, 2010 08:13 AM (Vu6sl)

17 Nancy also wants to join the TEA Party. Sure, Nan, just leave your Botox needles outside the meeting room.

Posted by: eman at February 28, 2010 08:14 AM (D7/BU)

18 I just wonder how much the threats Rahmbo made to wavering Dems about being "primaried" or losing funding if they voted no resonate at this moment. I also wonder if the handful of rumored wavering Dems Pelosi allowed to vote "no" to avoid blowback back home once she knew she had the votes are willing to flip, knowing Obamacare is even less popular now than it was in November.

Posted by: eddiebear at February 28, 2010 08:14 AM (cqb3F)

19 17: also, remember that hawt pole vaulting chick?

If Salem tells Allah he can no longer use Humpbot, can we claim rights to it over here?

Posted by: eddiebear at February 28, 2010 08:16 AM (cqb3F)

20 I'm not going anywhere while democrats are in charge.

Taaaaxxxxxeeessss!

Posted by: Zombie Health Care Reform Bill at February 28, 2010 08:18 AM (tTj19)

21 Liberals, progressives, whatever the hell we should call them are in meltdown mode regarding Obamacare.  Even if they should somehow pass some form of Obamacare, the liberal base has been mortally fractured.  They are split between hard core single payer, public option, exemptions for unions, you name it.  At least half of them will be completely pissed no matter what is passed, and if nothing is passed, they'll all be pissed off at Obama.

Posted by: conscious and saying Obama is in deep shit at February 28, 2010 08:20 AM (Vu6sl)

22
You boobs just don't get it, do you?

You don't want this thing to die. Not until September, anyway.

Posted by: This is Carlton, the doorman at February 28, 2010 08:22 AM (uHQ39)

23

Nothing warms the chambers of my cold, hard heart than thinking about scumbag Congresspeople having to worry about their superannuated sinecure.

I hope they're all ........

Posted by: solitary knight at February 28, 2010 08:25 AM (A+DQh)

24

Thanks for posting that.

Posted by: rdbrewer at February 28, 2010 08:27 AM (KikoJ)

25 We will have healthcare reform.

Posted by: Nancy Pelosi at February 28, 2010 08:28 AM (KikoJ)

26 So are they all just trying to fool the House into passing the Senate bill so it can go to Obama's desk a few weeks later with an "oh well, we gave it the ol' college try on the reconciliation thing"?

Posted by: The Mega Independent at February 28, 2010 08:29 AM (5I0Yr)

27 There will be a bill.

Posted by: Nancy Pelosi at February 28, 2010 08:29 AM (KikoJ)

28 27 We will have healthcare reform.

Posted by: Nancy Pelosi at February 28, 2010 01:28 PM (KikoJ)

and that'll be about the same time you win the Miss American pageant!

 

Posted by: conscious and aware that Nancy is skank at February 28, 2010 08:30 AM (Vu6sl)

29
Me explain. You learn.

The people hate Congress/govt/Washington, right now. But they really don't see much of a difference between Republicans and Democrats. The longer the Democrats keep pushing this bill, the more people will see a difference between the two parties.

We need a HUGE number of wins to get back the House. We can't do that unless people have a reason to VOTE OUT the Democrats. We must have stark differences between the Republicans and the Democrats. That means we want the Democrats to keep acting like Democrats for as long as possible. Because as soon as the Democrats start acting more moderate, and they will, the more 'electable' they become in November.


Posted by: This is Carlton, the doorman at February 28, 2010 08:30 AM (uHQ39)

30 Whether I have to parachute in.  Whether I have to pole vault in.  Whether I have to sneak up on a glass of water.

Posted by: Nancy Pelosi at February 28, 2010 08:31 AM (KikoJ)

31 We had it all! We could have done anything we wanted! That Idiot Obama just let go of the steering wheel and closed his eyes after the Stimulus bill passed. Now the knuckle-dragging republicans are tearing down all of the institutions we hold so dear and worked for 50 years to build.

THE HORROR!

Posted by: Democrats in 2011 at February 28, 2010 08:31 AM (tTj19)

32 Olympia? Hello?

Posted by: History at February 28, 2010 08:31 AM (5I0Yr)

33 Olympia? Hello?

Posted by: History at February 28, 2010 01:31

Heheh.

Posted by: rdbrewer at February 28, 2010 08:32 AM (KikoJ)

34 30 27 We will have healthcare reform. Posted by: Nancy Pelosi at February 28, 2010 Your 2:00 Aricept Treatment is here.

Posted by: Hope Changington, Union Administrative Assistant at February 28, 2010 08:36 AM (v/1e0)

35 It's already been noted that Conrad is from ND. It should also be noted that he's already opted to not seek reelection, so there's no self-interested motive for him to do the right thing. I'm thinking Andrew McCarthy's take over at NRO's The Corner is the right one: the damage to the Democrat brand is already done; they might as well have the transformational Leviathan government program to show for it too.

Posted by: Schreiber at February 28, 2010 08:39 AM (HUt3x)

36 That's right dems! If you declare it over right now, you might have a chance at re-election. I promise! :-}

Posted by: mikethemoose at February 28, 2010 08:40 AM (CoBtF)

37

We're doing our part to recycle.

We bought one of our daughters in law a Baby Grand Piano for her birthday and we intend to ask her to save its packing crate, 'cause my mother in law's other daughter is so fat that, when she dies, an ordinary coffin won't be big enough. Seriously.

Archeologists will be scratching their heads when they dig up that packing crate a few thousand years from now. Just think, if we had her mummified, it would blow their minds.

Posted by: Redneck at February 28, 2010 08:42 AM (ITzbJ)

38 Turning on healthcare is your ONLY hope now!  :->

Come to the dark side. We have cookies.  (And are currently polling very favorably in comparison with Obamacare)

Posted by: mikethemoose at February 28, 2010 08:42 AM (CoBtF)

39 Re: #31

They still have Cap & Tax to move on to.  Never fear they are working feverishly to keep the disinterested electorate interested in their collective large government power grabbing, wealth redistribution schemes.

Posted by: OldNuc at February 28, 2010 08:43 AM (RCSVq)

40 For the people doubting him or saying he's lying and will do it anyway.

You don't have to believe him.  The important thing is that he's saying it at all.  This is more important than a loss of one vote out of the nine Harry Reid needs.

For a guy in an important position in the Senate leadership and the reconciliation process to be saying this probably means he's speaking for more people than himself and is speaking to Obama as much as he is speaking to us.  Sure, if the support for it was there he might doubleback and try something, but he's effectively saying it isn't there.  He's saying they don't want to and probably wont back him up with this.

That's what's important in and of itself.

Posted by: AD at February 28, 2010 08:43 AM (HZ2qw)

41

It might be too much to hope for, but let us all get on our knees and thank the good Lord that these people who are simultaneously so bound and determined to foist de facto socialism on us are every bit as incompetent as they are ideological.

I am seeing a scenario where they really go balls to the wall on this... and fail! And thus will not only not get what they want.... but will pay all the downsides of doing it, as voters will remember vividly what they have tried to do to them with the power they were granted.

It'll be just like that trenchcoated elephant hiding in the basement in that Far Side cartoon.

("Remember me, Mr. Kendricks? Kenya, 1947? You shoot at an elephant, Kendricks, you better be ready to finish the job...")

One can only hope.

Posted by: Andrew X at February 28, 2010 08:44 AM (E46Ts)

42 That bastard!  I wanted to be the one to kill this thing.

Posted by: Ben Nelson (D-NE) who would just like to have some pizza at February 28, 2010 08:48 AM (Vo2Ef)

43 I won't believe this bill is dead until it is lying there with a stake through its heart and a mouthful of garlic.

Posted by: real joe at February 28, 2010 08:51 AM (WjerO)

44 I won't believe this bill is dead until it is lying there with a stake through its heart and a mouthful of garlic.

We've already tried that.  Off with it's head!!

Posted by: Peaches at February 28, 2010 08:58 AM (9Wv2j)

45 I won't believe this bill is dead until it is lying there with a stake through its heart and decapitated with a mouthful of garlic.

FIFY

Posted by: mikethemoose at February 28, 2010 08:59 AM (CoBtF)

46 Conrad hails from N. Dakota. Daschle is the S Dakota terd. Both will be doing the family enrichment dance next Nov. with Daschle alreadydoing the pathfinding.

Posted by: oil guy enriching N. Dakota at February 28, 2010 09:12 AM (6p3E9)

47 I'd like to celebrate the demise of the healthscare bill but I wont be there unless the house votes on the senate bill and fails to pass it. The senate already passed their crap bill back on dec 24th with 60 votes If the house passes the senate bill its done. No reconciliation is only a factor for telling the House that if they pass the senate bill they are stuck with that version. I'm afraid I don't have any confidence that that is enough to bring them around to not screwing the U.S.

Posted by: paleRider at February 28, 2010 09:27 AM (+5ORu)

48 The house doesn't have 218 votes, Hoyer admitted as much. Between Murtha's death and some resignations, I think they only have 212. Besides, junior dem congresspeople whose pensions haven't vested aren't going to vote for this.

Posted by: Uncle Jed at February 28, 2010 09:42 AM (eKgqT)

49 The dems have been bluffing about the nuclear option for the past 4 months. If they actually had the votes, they would have passed it via reconciliation already. Best to keep this issue alive as long as possible because it is toxic to the dems.

Posted by: Uncle Jed at February 28, 2010 09:44 AM (eKgqT)

50 Ooops --umm, my reading comprehension was low today -- I skimmed Ace's entry really fast and didn't register that he already said that the house has to pass the senate bill and then, maybe the senate could make the bill look like what the house Dems want. So anti-reconciliation talk is good to reduce chances of the house passing the senate bill. But I'll remain nervous. UJ, the issue is toxic to the Dems but its also toxic to the U.S. economy. I would like to think conservatives can get power w/o this sword hanging over the economy's head all year but I don't know.

Posted by: paleRider at February 28, 2010 09:59 AM (+5ORu)

51

I won't believe this bill is dead until it is lying there with a stake through its heart and decapitated with a mouthful of garlic.

We also have to cut off the arms and legs, and take all of the different parts to all of the different continents so that this thing can't re-form a la the "new, improved" Terminator model from the Terminator 2 movie.....

Posted by: Teresa in Fort Worth, TX at February 28, 2010 10:01 AM (vSFKZ)

52 I like this blog because everyone seems to be smarter than me, but I'm not stupid enough to believe this is over.  Look for Conrad to either be removed from this committee or change his mind entirely.

Posted by: rudy wants to buy yez a drink at February 28, 2010 10:38 AM (p88+K)

53 Damn

Posted by: toby928 at February 28, 2010 10:40 AM (PD1tk)

54

"The dems have been bluffing about the nuclear option for the past 4 months"

Let 'em try.  The Palis & Talis have lost a lotta bomb makers, pushin' da stooopid.

Posted by: a casual observation at February 28, 2010 10:46 AM (ucq49)

55 It is Sen. Dorgan who has announced he will not seek re-election as N.D.'s junior Senator. I wish that S.D. Would claim: "I didn't know I was getting a sweat heart deal..."(as in low interest loan) but the citizen's of that fine State have more integrity than to accept a buddy of Sen.Dohd.

Posted by: Bruce at February 28, 2010 11:12 AM (WL6Kv)

56

I've said for a while liberal wonks were underestimating the collegial tradition in the Senate, and sure enough it turns out they aren't going to change all the rules in the name of rank partisanship, especially for a bill that is opposed 2:1 in some polls.

Start building a funeral celebration pyre, but keep your stakes handy.

Posted by: TallDave at February 28, 2010 11:19 AM (+3aaV)

57

"The dems have been bluffing about the nuclear option for the past 4 months"

Let 'em try.  The Palis & Talis have lost a lotta bomb makers, pushin' da stooopid.

Posted by: a casual observation at February 28, 2010 03:46 PM(ucq49)

 

Too stupid to come up with a name of your own, so you use mine, asshole?

Posted by: A Casual Observatiom at February 28, 2010 03:08 PM (ITzbJ)

58 I saw the clip live.  I've been offline all day.  But I don't think he said that reconciliation wouldn't be used.  I think he said that the House had to pass the Senate bill.

The only way that happens is if the Senate promises to change some things through reconciliation.  Reconciliation can only be used on a bill that exists.  The health care bill doesn't exist if the House doesn't pass the Senate bill.  If the House passes the Senate bill, then they will change small portions of the already passed bill through reconciliation.

He said, we aren't going to pass the whole bill through reconciliation, he meant, we already passed the bill and the only way we use reconciliation is if the House passes the current legislation.

I could be wrong.  But Conrad feels confident of something passing in this clip.

Posted by: ThackerAgency at February 28, 2010 06:41 PM (HhRUR)

59 #19:  That threat is pretty much dead.  Don Surber had a post up that Obama went to campaign for Reid and cost Reid points.  Obama is proving to be toxic, and Democrats are probably glad to have him stay away.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at March 01, 2010 11:04 AM (O9Cc8)

60

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Posted by: Vivian at September 24, 2010 04:43 AM (SgCkL)

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