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View Full Version : U.S. Issues Dems moving to panic mode...


petegz28
08-20-2009, 06:43 AM
The White House and Senate Democratic leaders, seeing little chance of bipartisan support for their health-care overhaul, are considering a strategy shift that would break the legislation into two parts and pass the most expensive provisions solely with Democratic votes.

The idea is the latest effort by Democrats to escape the morass caused by delays in Congress, as well as voter discontent crystallized in angry town-hall meetings. Polls suggest the overhaul plans are losing public support, giving Republicans less incentive to go along.

Democrats hope a split-the-bill plan would speed up a vote and help President Barack Obama meet his goal of getting a final measure by year's end.

Senators on the Finance Committee are pushing ahead with talks on a bipartisan bill. Democratic leaders say they hope those talks succeed but increasingly are preparing for the possibility that they do not.

Most legislation in the Senate requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, but certain budget-related measures can pass with 51 votes through a parliamentary maneuver called reconciliation.

In recent days, Democratic leaders have concluded they can pack more of their health overhaul plans under this procedure, congressional aides said. They might even be able to include a public insurance plan to compete with private insurers, a key demand of the party's liberal wing, but that remains uncertain.

Other parts of the Democratic plan would be put to a separate vote in the Senate, including most of the insurance regulations that have been central to Mr. Obama's health-care message.

That bill would likely set new rules for insurers, such as requiring they accept anyone, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions. This portion of the health-care overhaul has already drawn some Republican support and wouldn't involve new spending, leading Democratic leaders to believe they could clear the 60-vote hurdle.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the key decision-maker on whether to use the tactic, but several congressional aides said White House officials are being kept abreast of the talks.

"We will not make a decision to pursue reconciliation until we have exhausted efforts to produce a bipartisan bill," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid. "However, patience is not unlimited, and we are determined to get something done this year by any legislative means necessary."

Privately, those involved in the talks now say there is a 60% chance the split-bill tactic will be used. Mr. Obama is huddling with aides next week, and Senate leaders are likely to review their options when Congress reconvenes after Labor Day.

The likelihood of a strategy shift has grown after the negative response of Republicans to overtures of compromise.

On Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said a public plan, strongly opposed by Republicans, wasn't the "essential element" of a comprehensive bill.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs continued to insist Wednesday that Ms. Sebelius didn't mean to signal the White House was abandoning the public plan. A senior Democratic congressional leadership aide said weekend statements were calculated to test Republican

Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona said Tuesday nonprofit insurance cooperatives, which centrist Democrats have suggested as an alternative to a public plan, were nothing but a "Trojan horse" that would lead to excessive government control of health care.

"It's fair to say the steam is going out of these bipartisan negotiations," the Democratic aide said.

House committees have passed bills that include a public option and new programs that would make insurance available to most Americans who lack it. If the Senate passes its own bill, the two chambers must hash out a compromise that could go to the president for signing. The public option could be the biggest point of contention between House and Senate.

Senate Finance Committee members working on a bipartisan bill are scheduled to talk Thursday on a conference call. "The Finance Committee is on track to reach a bipartisan agreement on comprehensive health-care reform that can pass the Senate," Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee, said in a statement.

But other senators noted privately that several factors are working against any deal. Many Democrats now believe it's a long shot. Mr. Baucus has set a deadline of Sept. 15 to reach agreement.

Several softer deadlines have already come and gone without a deal. One Republican senator, Orrin Hatch of Utah, has dropped out of the talks. The remaining Republicans have suggested they would only support something that had the backing of many GOP colleagues.

Still, the three Republicans negotiating with Sen. Baucus said Wednesday they believed a deal could be reached. "I'm hopeful," Sen. Olympia Snowe (R., Maine) said. "It's not without challenges, because of the complexity and the costs associated with it. We recognize that. And that's why it has consumed the amount of time that it has."

Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.) said the Democrats would be making a mistake by forging ahead on their own. "We need to get a bill that 75 or 80 senators can support," he said. "If the Democrats choose to shut out Republicans and moderate Democrats, their plan will fail because the American people will have no confidence in it."

Democrats also must deal with intraparty differences. They can't agree whether a public-insurance option is essential, as liberals say, a "preferred option" -- the White House stance -- or a bad idea, as some on the Finance Committee believe.

If a deal is not reached by mid-September, Mr. Baucus plans to present a bill that is likely to have little if any Republican support. At that point, Democrats will have to decide whether to proceed under the reconciliation process, which allows legislation to pass with a filibuster-proof 51 votes.

The idea of using reconciliation angers even such moderate Republicans as Ms. Snowe. "At a time when we need to bolster the public's confidence in whatever we do with health care, I don't think the reconciliation process will serve the purpose of providing affordable health security for all Americans," she said.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125072573848144647.html

petegz28
08-20-2009, 06:46 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but there are 60 Dems in the Senate. Why do they need to go to reconciliation to only need 51 votes if this is all the problem caused by Repubs?


So now our health care plans is going to be pawned off on us under the guise of budget legislation?

LMAO

I bet there are some people out there that think 2+2= 5 because Reid and Pelosi say so...

HonestChieffan
08-20-2009, 07:40 AM
This is why people are so mad, pure anger, at these politicos who have no regard for the people or the peoples opinions and needs.

blaise
08-20-2009, 07:45 AM
With the health care plan Obama reminds me of Jerry Lundegard in Fargo. The scene where he desperately wants his father in law to fund some business plan he came up with and he keeps saying, "This is my deal. This is my deal." and he's in a panic because he needs it to go through in a hurry, and the more people keep asking questions the worse it seems to keep getting.

HonestChieffan
08-20-2009, 07:51 AM
Ill fax you the info ok? jeeze im working with ya here, you know?

blaise
08-20-2009, 07:57 AM
You just gotta have that True Coat.

BucEyedPea
08-20-2009, 08:06 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but there are 60 Dems in the Senate. Why do they need to go to reconciliation to only need 51 votes if this is all the problem caused by Repubs?
I actually watched some CNN, last night and saw their talking heads painting the Rs are obstructionist. What a bunch of con men.

HonestChieffan
08-20-2009, 09:16 AM
I actually watched some CNN, last night and saw their talking heads painting the Rs are obstructionist. What a bunch of con men.


Don't do that. Its a vulcan mind suck and you come away diminished.

KC Dan
08-20-2009, 09:17 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but there are 60 Dems in the Senate. Why do they need to go to reconciliation to only need 51 votes if this is all the problem caused by Repubs?


So now our health care plans is going to be pawned off on us under the guise of budget legislation?

LMAO

I bet there are some people out there that think 2+2= 5 because Reid and Pelosi say so...Actually there are only 58 Dem senators. With Teddy and "KKK" Byrd out dying, they have to go the reconciliation route or get Repubs to go along. That 2nd method doesn't look fruitful at this point.

petegz28
08-20-2009, 09:27 AM
Actually there are only 58 Dem senators. With Teddy and "KKK" Byrd out dying, they have to go the reconciliation route or get Repubs to go along. That 2nd method doesn't look fruitful at this point.

Oh they'll wheel their dead carcus into the Senate to vote, just like they did with the stimu-less bill when they flew the one guy in straight from his mother's funeral.

RINGLEADER
08-20-2009, 09:53 AM
Yeah, the Dems aren't playing politics with this issue at all... :rolleyes:

I found this particular provision interesting:

That bill would likely set new rules for insurers, such as requiring they accept anyone, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.

That won't make private insurance costs skyrocket at all, will it?

KC Dan
08-20-2009, 10:42 AM
Funny how now that Teddy knows that he is going to visit his brother that they should now ignore the LAW that he and his cronies got passed when Romney was Governor for a replacement special election instead of a Gov appointed replacment. They truly are hypocrits. All of them...Both sides...


Kennedy, looking ahead, urges that Senate seat be filled quickly

Seeks law change for interim post

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, in a poignant acknowledgment of his mortality at a critical time in the national health care debate, has privately asked the governor and legislative leaders to change the succession law to guarantee that Massachusetts will not lack a Senate vote when his seat becomes vacant.

In a personal, sometimes wistful letter sent Tuesday to Governor Deval L. Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, Kennedy asks that Patrick be given authority to appoint someone to the seat temporarily before voters choose a new senator in a special election.

Although Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, does not specifically mention his illness or the health care debate raging in Washington, the implication of his letter is clear: He is trying to make sure that the leading cause in his life, better health coverage for all, advances in the event of his death.


In his letter, which was obtained by the Globe, Kennedy said that he backs the current succession law, enacted in 2004, which gives voters the power to fill a US Senate vacancy. But he said the state and country need two Massachusetts senators.


“I strongly support that law and the principle that the people should elect their senator,’’ Kennedy wrote. “I also believe it is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens and two votes in the Senate during the approximately five months between a vacancy and an election.’’


Under the 2004 law, if Kennedy were to die or step down, voters would select his successor in a special election to be held within five months of the vacancy. But the law makes no provisions for Massachusetts to be represented in the Senate in the interim. In the meantime, President Obama’s plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system, the fate of which may hinge on one or two votes, could come before Congress.


Patrick said in a statement: “It’s typical of Ted Kennedy to be thinking ahead and about the people of Massachusetts, when the rest of us are thinking about him. Diane and I continue to pray for the restoration of the senator’s health and the comfort of his family.’’ SO big of him.....



http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/08/20/kennedy_looking_ahead_urges_a_quick_filling_of_senate_seat/

patteeu
08-20-2009, 12:07 PM
Post-partisan "Change"!

Chiefshrink
08-20-2009, 12:17 PM
Dick Morris called this move about a month ago and said this is more than likely what Obama will do. I posted this awhile back.


Obama to forego trying to get the 60.....



required to pass the healthcare legislation and go for the reconciliation procedure(only used for budget bills)which only requires 50 votes.


URGENT ACTION NEEDED ON HEALTH CARE

By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann 07.17.2009 In two weeks, Obama’s health care plan is likely to become law, ending medicine as we know it in the United States! Unless we can stop him, our own personal access to medical care will be attenuated (no matter if we can pay for it ourselves) and we will all be subject to bureaucratic rationing.

Seeing his popularity draining away rapidly, President Obama has cynically decided to ram through the complex health care legislation in two weeks, without debate or amendment. He is going to give up the attempt to win sixty votes in the Senate and will use the budget reconciliation procedure - which is only used for budget bills - to push it through with fifty votes.

***SPRAYER
09-05-2009, 05:59 AM
Paw me a double chivas. ERRRRRAH.

BucEyedPea
09-05-2009, 10:47 AM
The idea of using reconciliation angers even such moderate Republicans as Ms. Snowe. "At a time when we need to bolster the public's confidence in whatever we do with health care, I don't think the reconciliation process will serve the purpose of providing affordable health security for all Americans," she said.

Unbelievable that this is considered moderate in America these days. She's a socialist Republican, what pat calls a pragmatist. What a sell-out! It's this attitude that has lead to health insurance costing so much because it's treated like a "security" right govt should provide.

patteeu
09-05-2009, 11:01 AM
Unbelievable that this is considered moderate in America these days. She's a socialist Republican, what pat calls a pragmatist. What a sell-out! It's this attitude that has lead to health insurance costing so much because it's treated like a "security" right govt should provide.

I distinguish between liberal Republicans like Olympia Snowe and pragmatic conservatives like every conservative Republican in the US Congress, including Ron Paul. Of course, some are more pragmatic (or conversely, ideological) than others.