Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The don't have to trust the Senate...

For those not keeping score at home, the Democrats have a plan to push through health care reform without having to worry about Senate filibusters. There are currently two health care bills that have passed one chamber of Congress. One is a House bill and one is a Senate bill. (Both are labeled as House bills for a procedural reason that made sense when I read the reasoning, but I do not recall the resoning.) The idea as it stands is to get the House to pass the Senate bill, use reconciliation to alter the Senate bill to add things the House wants in the bill (and to bypass the required 60 votes for cloture), and then the President will sign it all as one big package.

There are some wranglings and restrictions on reconciliation that make this approach problematic. But I think this FoxNews piece is right about a lack of trust being a major roadblock. The House doesn't trust that the Senate will pass the reconciliation bill. But the House trusting the Senate isn't a roadblock at all.

From the FoxNews arcitle:
But what if the Senate never passes a second bill?


Now that's really the kicker. Because under the pitched scenario, no reconciliation to go along with the Senate bill would mean the President doesn't sign both. The House doesn't really need to trust the Senate. The House just needs to trust Obama not to stab them in the back if things get hairy in the Senate.

But let's be realistic. Suppose health care reform is sitting on the President's desk. There's no reconciliation package to go with it. Obama is a signature away from achieving his goal. He doesn't care what the > 50% of Americans who oppose this bill think. Do you really think he's concerned with double-crossing a couple hundred Representatives to get it done? And that is the main trust issue. The House doesn't trust the Senate but they don't have to. The House does have to trust the President. The lack of trust between the House and Obama is what is threatening this plan.

1 comment:

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

I'm sure the House experiences a great deal of internal trust as well.

They're the ones who laid the foundation for this cluster in the first place, let them stew in it.

My original position on this bill's chances still stand.