Conrad: Health Bills Are Dead If House Does Not Pass Senate Bill

Given this pronouncement by Kent Conrad, I expect that WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs will pronounce the health bills initiative over. After all, as Brian Beutler reports:

"The only way this works is for the House to pass the Senate bill and then, depending on what the package is, the reconciliation provision that moves first through the House and then comes here," said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND). "That's the only way that works." I pointed out that House leadership has repeatedly said they won't take a flier on a reconciliation package--that they will only pass the Senate bill after the smaller side-car reconciliation bill has been all wrapped up.

"Fine, then it's dead," Conrad said.

(Emphasis supplied.) Apparently, in the words of Gibbs (when explaining why the Obama Administration opposes the public option now), "there isn't enough political support in a majority to get this through," so that's that. I mean it's not like the Obama Administration is willing to fight for anything here so what is there left to talk about. By Gibbs' reasoning, the health bills initiative is over. Better luck next time.

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    Good (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:33:06 AM EST
    Scrap it and start over. But not now--wait until we have a new president in office, which can't happen any time too soon. Let this go down in the books as Obama's Waterloo--oh wait, isn't that just what his bipartisan buddies predicted? Too bad he had to play along, as the song says, "That's the thanks I get, for loving you."

    Stunning thing for him to have said (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:40:01 AM EST
    But I think we're at the beginning of the (very unhappy) end. The next 18 months are going to suck.

    There is a small part of me (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by CST on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:44:07 AM EST
    that thinks they can't be stupid enough to waste a year on this and then quit over semantics.

    But then I remember, yes they are.


    The next 18 months? (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:42:20 AM EST
    The previous 18 didn't suck?

    It's the United States Govt...sucking for, at the very least, 360 consecutive months.


    Come on man... (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 12:42:59 PM EST
    Why stop at Obama Bush? Shouldn't we include Asprin Factory Destroyer Clinton?



    360 months... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 01:00:42 PM EST
    thats taking it back to thru Ray-gun pal...30 years.

    By all means, we could take it even further back than that.

    It's a sucky business...as if we didn't know:)


    This seems like a classic case (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:03:35 AM EST
    of "getting to yes" actually getting you to no.

    "Jerk" is not a strong enough word... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by magster on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:15:17 AM EST
    There's blood on Conrad's hubris from all the people since last summer who have been left uninsured by the Senate's tactics.  

    The father of the mentally ill shooter at the middle school in Littleton said the son didn't get treatment because they couldn't afford it.  Had there been public insurance, that shooter gets meds and therapy available to him.

    Sorry but that dog does not hunt (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 12:50:13 PM EST
    Free mental health professionals are available in the counties around that school.

    Now, if the father wants to argue he made too much money to qualify for the free but couldn't pay for private and had no insurance and couldn't pay for insurance then that is something else.

    Perfect example of why we need a single payer system that covers everyone and that everyone pays for through a national sales tax!


    Forget the national sales tax (none / 0) (#26)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 01:49:33 PM EST
    part of that.

    That dog definitely don't hunt.

    Raise the marginal income tax rate on incomes over $250,000, over $500,000, over $1,000,000 and over $10,000,000.

    Raise capital gains to 25%, put dividends back into the regular income stream.  

    Withhold FICA and Medicare from capital gains and dividends.

    That would be a good start, but, only a start.


    Hey look! Jobs! (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:31:46 AM EST
    They did pass a job bill, and it's mostly just really useless tax cuts, but it's bipartisan so that's all that matters! Yay!

    The legislation is the first element of what Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has said will be a multipart "jobs agenda." The measure includes a new program that would give companies a break from paying Social Security taxes on new employees for the remainder of 2010. It also carries a one-year extension of the Highway Trust Fund, an expansion of the Build America Bonds program and a provision to allow companies to write off equipment purchases.

    The whole WaPo article is really worth a read for the unbelievably cringing, cowardly "please-don't-hit-us" quotes from Dem senators about how wonderfully bipartisan it all was and how much they kissed Republican behind, while the quotes from the Puggies just show the same intransigence and bullying we've come to know and love.


    So tired of Democratic hissy fits (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:35:39 AM EST
    Conrad, like Bayh, is just another tantrum thrower. Against all evidence to the contrary, I keep hoping the Dems will behave like responsible adults. How could I have forgotten? The pols think health care is all about THEM, while I've been thinking it's really about US.

    Silly me.

    Maybe Conrad will throw his final tantrum and quit, like his buddy Bayh.

    "Loathe" is the word that comes to mind when I think of these a$$holes who pretend to represent us.

    I think Conrad's just delivering (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 12:09:15 PM EST
    Obama's message: okay, you've made your little populist statement with your cute little public option, now get over yourselves and pass the Senate bill.

    The Summit is just more kabuki, of course - and do they really, really think that that isn't just apparent to us here in the blogosphere, but to people who don't even know what a blog is?

    "Loathe" is a good word to describe the way I feel about these people, but I think "loathing" is on its way to a whole new level.


    Conrad, and all the other WH shills, (none / 0) (#28)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 03:13:52 PM EST
    still think they are pulling the wool over our eyes.

    Good luck to them in November.

    And the Health Insurance Kabuki Show ratings will be worse than Jay Leno's 10 o'clock variety hour.


    Sorry to state the obvious but (none / 0) (#4)
    by Buckeye on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:46:31 AM EST
    Obama's first 2-year term has been a phenomenal failure.  Largest majority since the mid-sixties, a larger majority than the Repubs ever had since 1923 and cannot pass anything other than corporate bailouts and special interest driven stimulus spending.


    Tax cuts (none / 0) (#8)
    by waldenpond on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:06:17 AM EST
    You are forgetting the ARRA had $288 billion is tax cuts and they are passing a jobs bill that consists nearly entirely of tax cuts.  Want to bet Obama extends Bush tax cuts.

    That would be insane. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:46:50 AM EST
    The Bush tax cuts should sunset and a war tax added on to the profiteers' gleanings.

    Way past time to start paying the bills.


    Insane, yes (none / 0) (#27)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 01:55:07 PM EST
    but, like buckeye, don't take waldenpond's bet.

    Ah...I will not be taking that bet. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Buckeye on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:17:25 AM EST
    Well, a failure (none / 0) (#5)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:50:28 AM EST
    ...a failure for the American people, absolutely. For the Democratic Party, no doubt. But for Obama and his puppetmasters, it's been a brilliant success.

    It it doesn't break the rules here (none / 0) (#6)
    by BTAL on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:52:19 AM EST
    A snippet of the "Blame game, exit strategies" post from yesterday's thread.

    * Supported by outside liberals, Leader Reid points out that the House could just take up and pass the Senate-passed bill.  Legislative failure is therefore not his fault or the Senate's.

    This is Conrad doing what Hoyer did yesterday.  Reid and Pelosi are using front men to position their respective chamber's face saving efforts.

    So, relating it to your last post about (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:07:23 AM EST
    base de-mobilization, they did not fight for anything the base wanted (even though they might have thought it was also the best policy) supposedly because there were not the votes for it... and now HCR is very likely dead anyway.

    I have nothing to add. I think that speaks for itself.

    So tired of Democratic hissy fits (none / 0) (#14)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:36:24 AM EST

    Pleae delete second post title. (none / 0) (#15)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:37:03 AM EST
    Oh, I guess he can't quit -- yet (none / 0) (#17)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:43:36 AM EST
    Conrad, Baucus and Durbin have all been named to the new and shiny deficit commission!

    Don't we all feel better now, knowing these three are in charge on the Dem side?

    Sen. Conrad is a budget deficit hawk which may (none / 0) (#20)
    by jawbone on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 12:25:22 PM EST
    have something to do with his stand against real health CARE for all. Just can't afford to offer care for the people...there are so darn many of them!

    Wait until he gets to coordinate with Baucus and Repubs, plus Obama's appointees to Obama's Cut SocSec/Medicare/Medicaid Commission. Oops, that's Obama's deficit reduction commission....

    Reid released names of the Senate Dems for the commission today: Conrad, Baucus, and Durbin. Pelosi has not released House Dem reps, nor have any Congressional Repubs been named yet.

    Durbin seems to usually act as an Obama point man and is in Dem Senate leadership, but perhaps his own political future may spur him to also represent the people. Others? Gonna be very interesting to see just how stacked the commission will be with those who want to make cuts to the people's last safety nets.

    And, Obama gets four more (none / 0) (#21)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 12:32:20 PM EST
    spots of his own choosing, in addition to Simpson and Bowles.

    Some possibilities, from the Sunday WaPo:

    Republican David M. Cote, the chief executive of Honeywell International, has emerged as a top contender for a slot on President Obama's commission to bring the nation's soaring debt under control, a senior administration official said Saturday.

    The White House is also considering appointing two Democrats: Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, and Alice M. Rivlin, a budget expert and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve who recently launched a separate, independent effort to draft a bipartisan plan to stabilize government borrowing.

    He just can't stay away from those Republicans, can he?


    The Senate is currently sitting on (none / 0) (#22)
    by observed on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 12:34:12 PM EST
    290 House Bills. No mystery why they won't play ball with the "And then " crowd.