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January 26, 2010

Blanche Lincoln: I Will Oppose Attempts to Pass Health Care Through Reconcilliation

They need 51 of 59 votes (well, 50, if Sheriff Joe plays the tie-breaker).

One down.

We can guess that Nelson, Lieberman, and Bayh will bail on this too.

I still think they will end up being able to cobble together their 51, but the reconciliation process, as I understand it, is there only for deficit-reduction. You can raise taxes and you can cut spending and that is it.

So reconciliation, if I understand it properly, cannot be used to pass the Cadillac Tax exemption for Obama's political allies. (Think how brazen that is -- Obama is setting up a system where his allies pay less in taxes and his opponents pay more in taxes. )

Because doing so -- cutting taxes -- is not permitted.

Now, I think maybe they could try to wrap this provision up with another provision to cut spending, so that on net, the two together supposedly reduce the deficit; but I don't know if provisions can be so combined.

Cite: My sketchy understanding of reconciliation comes lately from this Chris Matthews demolition of Grayson. Grayson keeps asserting that the whole bill can be passed through this process; Matthews tells him he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about, and all you can do via this process is raise taxes or cut spending.

Harry Reid: "No Rush" on Health Care. No rush? Really?

Apparently so.

Even though I'm posting about reconciliation and stuff, I have to be honest, I think health care is dead. I think this crap about reconciliation is just holding out hope for the nutroots/cultists. Sometimes you have to let them down slowly.

And when I say "I have to be honest," I guess I mean I could pretend that I think this is some kind of big threat to drum up drama and hits.

But I don't. I think this is over.

Correction: Drew sends me this digest of what can and can't be done in reconciliation. Apparently I'm wrong -- you can past tax cuts in reconciliation.

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posted by Ace at 02:49 PM

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