Village Math On The Health Bill

218 (temporarily 217.) It's an important number in Washington, D.C. Apparently the Villagers do not understand it. Take Jon Chait, please:

The Senate doesn't need 60 votes again to pass health care reform. It just needs 50. The excuse that reconciliation is nasty and controversial is just incredibly lame. At the same time, the real decision-maker here is the House of Representatives. We could have comprehensive reform enacted next week if the House just passes the Senate bill. The House's reluctance to pass the bill first and then patch it through reconciliation is one of the major obstacles here. [. . . T]he House is where the action is at.

(Emphasis supplied.) Actually, the House is where there is not a snowball's chance in hell of passing the Senate Stand Alone bill. That number, 217, stands in the way. There needs to be a reconciliation fix in place for the House to pass the Senate Stand Alone bill. Holding your breath until you turn blue is not a strategy that will work for the Villagers. They need to get their Senate buddies in line. Or there will be no Senate health bill. They may be surprised to discover how few people will mourn its death.

Speaking for me only

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  • Display: Sort:
    Do you have an idea of the (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:06:37 AM EST
    vote count for the Senate Bill, if it goes to the House with no changes or sidecar reconciliation?

    None (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:08:42 AM EST
    The reason why is the people who want the Senate bill passed are not doing in whip counts. They think like Chait that they can bully the house into passing it.

    I assume the plan is to wait for the lame duck session after the elections and then bribe enough losing candidates to vote for the Senate bill.

    That plan too will fail imo.


    Yup, that was my prediction (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:24:02 AM EST
    How is that supposed to work---just (none / 0) (#5)
    by observed on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:31:45 AM EST
    stop talking about the bill, then pass it next January?! Just in time to line the coffers for 2012, I guess.

    <= 255 (none / 0) (#3)
    by NealB on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:12:01 AM EST
    None of the 178 Republicans will vote for the Republcian Senate bill.

    I think the message is getting through (none / 0) (#6)
    by RickTaylor on Sat Feb 13, 2010 at 05:49:07 AM EST
    Steven Benen wrote that having the house pass the senate bill while the senate passes through changes in reconciliation is "the only credible choice" for passing health care reform. I think the message has gotten through to most.


    Only the House can force the action (none / 0) (#7)
    by urban legend on Sat Feb 13, 2010 at 11:29:36 PM EST
    The House should be forcing the action here: passing the Senate bill, which upon signature will become law, while simultaneously passing the amendments the House majority, including the progressives, wants the Senate to adopt by a majority reconciliation vote. The amendments will have greater public support than the Senate bill, and, accordingly, passage in the House will put all the pressure on non-Blue Dog Senators and the President to stand by their public statements. Meanwhile, the Representatives will be on record for what they want in a complete bill. In the end, both Houses will have to reach agreement on amendments; why should the House not decide to strike the first blow?

    Waiting for Obama to hold their hand or for the Senate Democrats to make a formal commitment has all the appearance of deliberately avoiding making a commitment. It is weakness, and it comes across as weakness. Want to get re-elected, Dems? Be bold, and just get it done.

    If Nancy Pelosi cannot do this, then she has failed miserably as Speaker of the House. Anytime she says "she can't get the votes," she has failed. It's her job to get the votes -- no excuses, no explanations, just get it done. If she can't get it done, then have the decency to step down.

    Of course, this is not to absolve the Obama team and the Senators from their failures. Their collective weakness has been truly stunning to behold -- enough to cause a lifelong Democrat to ponder never supporting or even voting for another Democrat again as a matter of principle. But at this point, the House is sitting in the catbird seat, and should be forcing the action.