Posted on | March 15, 2010 | 28 Comments
Shortly before midnight on Sunday, Democrats released a 2,309 page health care bill that will start the process of reconciliation — but don’t let that fool you, it’s not the actual reconciliation bill with all the changes you’ve been reading about. Instead, as Rep. Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican member on the Budget Committee, explained to me last week, this is just the “shell” bill — the vehicle that Democrats need to get moving on health care. Once the bill gets approved (likely Monday), Democrats will send this phantom bill over to the Rules Committee, where it will be stripped, and then they’ll insert in all of the actual changes that they’ve negotiated. . . .
Got that? Here’s more:
The House Budget Committee on Sunday evening released text that will serve as the base legislation for the changes the House will seek to the Senate bill this week. . . . The measure posted online does not include the substantive changes to the Senate healthcare bill that House Democrats will seek. Those changes will be offered during the markups in the Budget and Rules committees, which the budget panel hopes to begin on Monday afternoon.
More at Michelle Malkin, Riehl World View, Da Tech Guy, Fire Andrea Mitchell, Another Black Conservative, Red State, Doug Ross, Sundries Shack, Melissa Clouthier and Memeorandum. Also see Paul Ryan’s op-ed column proposing a different vision of health-care reform.
This whole Pelosi procedure is nothing but a thumb in the eye of the Constitution. The House could merely have an up-or-down vote on the Senate version of the bill, but Pelosi doesn’t have enough votes to do that — she’d lose the votes of several Democrats who have principled objections to various measures in the Senate version — and so instead they’re going through this bizarre kabuki dance.
Nucking futz, and all of it, BTW, is because Scott Brown got elected in Massachusetts. Before Brown’s election, the Democrats had enough votes in the Senate to get cloture, so that a House-Senate conference committee could resolve the differences and the resulting final bill would be approved in both chambers.
But then Brown got elected as the “41st vote,” the Senate Democrats can’t get cloture now, and what we’ve seen for the past two months has been a desperate effort by Obama and Pelosi to escape the consequences of that election — essentially bypassing the Senate.
Anybody who thinks the Democrats are going to get away with this has got another think coming.
UPDATE: David Axelrod boasts:
“I am absolutely confident we are going to be successful,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
And Axelrod, who was a top strategist on Obama’s 2008 campaign, said he relished the prospect of Republicans campaigning on a repeal of the legislation in 2010. . . .
“Let’s have that fight,” he said. “Make my day.”
Mr. Axelrod: The fight is not between you and the GOP. It is between you and the American people.
(P.S.: Don’t compare this procedure to making sausage — that’s an insult to the fine sausage at Romano’s Market.)