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View Full Version : U.S. Issues White House Plan Unfolds -- Push House To Accept Senate Bill


RINGLEADER
01-17-2010, 04:28 PM
BOSTON (AP) - A panicky White House and Democratic allies scrambled Sunday for a plan to salvage their hard-fought health care package in case a Republican wins Tuesday's Senate race in Massachusetts, which would enable the GOP to block further Senate action.
The likeliest scenario would require House Democrats to accept a bill the Senate passed last month, despite their objections to several parts.

Aides worked frantically Sunday amid fears that Republican Scott Brown will defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to fill the late Edward M. Kennedy's seat. A Brown win would give the GOP 41 Senate votes, enough to filibuster and block final passage of the House-Senate compromise on health care now being crafted.

House Democrats, especially liberals, viewed those compromises as vital because they view the Senate-passed version as doing too little to help working families. The House passed its own version last year, and members assumed it would be reconciled with the Senate bill and then sent back to both chambers for final approval by the narrowest of margins.

A GOP win in Massachusetts on Tuesday would likely kill that plan, because Republicans could block Senate action on the reconciled bill.

<B>The newly discussed fallback would require House Democrats to swallow hard and approve the Senate-passed bill without changes. President Barack Obama could sign it into law without another Senate vote needed. </B>

House leaders would urge the Senate to make some changes later under a complex plan requiring only a simple majority, but it's unclear whether that could happen.

The plan is problematic. House liberals already are bristling over changes the Senate forced upon them earlier, and some may conclude that no bill is better than the Senate bill. Meanwhile, some moderate Democrats may abandon the health bill altogether after seeing a Republican win Kennedy's seat in strongly Democratic Massachusetts.

Still, "the simplest way is the House route," a White House aide said Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because Democrats have not conceded the race to Brown.

If Coakley wins, final passage of a House-Senate compromise is not guaranteed but seems likely.

But even as Obama campaigned for Coakley in Boston Sunday, top aides furiously weighed options if she loses. They include:

_Acting before Brown is sworn in. Congressional and White House negoatiators could try to reconcile the House and Senate bills quickly and pass them before Brown takes office. A firestorm of criticism would follow, but some Democrats say it would be better than having no bill.

_Seeking a Republican to cast the crucial 60th Senate vote. Some Democrats hope Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, might do this, but others seriously doubt it.

_Start over and pass a new, scaled back health bill using a complicated process that requires a simple majority of 51 Senate votes. Several Senate aides said this was unlikely.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9D9OC7O0&show_article=1

RINGLEADER
01-17-2010, 04:31 PM
Not sure that this approach will work honestly but who knows. The Dems have seemed willing to commit collective suicide up to this point so why stop now? Remember the bill in the House with all the goodies they lobbied for passed by 3 votes (really 2 since the GOP vote only came after it had passed). Whether they can get the chamber to approve many of the things that they specifically shot down and/or can get members to vote for certain provisions (like abortion) that were shot down in the Senate remains to be seen.

petegz28
01-17-2010, 04:58 PM
I don't think the House will go for this. If they do you will need 4 hands to count how many seats just got handed over the Pubs on that alone.