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January 27, 2010

CNBC Breaking: Pelosi Has the Votes to Pass ObamaCare?
Key Caveat: Assuming, Hypoethetically, Changes to the Senate Bill
Retract: Pelosi Says She Didn't Say That

Retracted By Pelosi? This isn't my correction per se -- but I may have passed on trumped-up, bullshit reportage.

EddieBear tweets that Karent Tumulty of Time reports Pelosi is denying she said this in the first place.


They've claimed and claimed this, and have only been telling the truth a couple of times. Granted -- those were important times.

I have nothing on this. Got it from Allah on Twitter, and he has nothing on it, either -- CNBC is just teasing it at the moment.

Sidecar? I think, based on what Allah saw on TV, that Spending Bitch Pelosi is talking about the "sidecar" option of reconciliation, which I understand not at all (or I would have blogged about it three or four days ago).

What would “Sidecar” Reconciliation look like?

Jon Walker sketched it out:

Passing the Senate bill first, and then fixing it with reconciliation, could also create strong political and policy pressure for reviving the public option or Medicare buy-in. Probably the only way they could jam the Senate bill “as is” through the House would be to get labor on board. To get labor, you need to promise to fix the excise tax, and probably the only way to do that is by using reconciliation. The unions agreed to a “fix” of the excise tax that would cost $60 billion. That money needs to be recouped through other tax increases or cost-cutting measures. Even a weak, “level playing field” public option would save $25 billion, and increasing Medicaid from 133% to 150% FPL should save another several billion.

The steps to get through “sidecar” reconciliation:

House passes the Senate bill
House and Senate pass a “fix” to the excise tax that they’ve negotiated
Find a way to pay for the “fix,” which costs $60 billion. The best way to pay for it without raising taxes means putting in a public option, expanding Medicare, passing Dorgan’s drug reimportation amendment, or some combination of the above.
House and Senate then pass the “fix” through reconciliation, which requires a simple majority. 51 Senators have said they’d vote for Schumer’s “level playing field” public option, while 51 voted for Dorgan’s drug reimportation amendment.

Other liberals seem to believe this is impossible:

Bloggers at Firedog Lake quickly picked up on his statement, and, in particular, Jon Walker and Jane Hamsher have written about the idea of “sidecar reconciliation,” or having the House pass the Senate's bill as it is now written, while getting a commitment from the President, and the Leadership of both Houses that measures favored by the House to “fix the problems” with the Senate Bill would be passed in the Spring using reconciliation. In this way, the excise tax might be modified or repealed, subsidies might be increased to make mandatory insurance more affordable, and even a Public Option like the one in the House bill might be passed. Is this idea of sidecar reconciliation feasible?

Just this evening, Lawrence O'Donnell, the well-known pundit with long Washington and White House experience provided some immediate objections. First, while reconciliation removes the need for 60 votes at the end of the legislative process, it can't get around the need for 60 votes to get past various parliamentary maneuvers which opponents can introduce during the reconciliation process. O'Donnell says that these situations occur even a few times per day during the legislative process, and that if the opponents are determined to tie up the reconciliation process in the Senate they can certainly do so.

But note what is impossible, and what is quite possible. It seems impossible to "fix" the bill to the liberals' content through this process -- but it still remains possible to pass the Senate bill without fixes.

The set-up here might be that House liberals pretend the bill can be "fixed" to be more liberal, knowing that it can't. So they pass the Senate bill -- just to "win" on something -- while promising the nutroots changes that are impossible and will never happen.

In this scenario, however, the Senate bill passes.

Karl Explains: In the Green Room.

My current fear, though, is that this "sidecar reconciliation" is pure BS PR for the nutroots. They know they can't do anything to change the senate bill this way -- but they'll pass it anyway, with empty promises to the lefties of future changes they know won't happen.

But we'll still end up with Nelson's Abortion.

CRITICAL CAVEAT: She can pass the bill, she says... "with Senate changes."

Ay, that's the rub.

And if I had some ham, I could have some ham and eggs for breakfast, if I had some eggs.

Karl says on Twitter -- nothing new, she's been saying that for days. Of course she could pass the Senate bill if it were the House bill.

Well, even that's not an "of course" anymore.

It seems this is in fact Spending Bitch Nancy just blabbering on as usual.


Requiem for ObamaCare: Maybe "Requiem" is premature. From the guys at Verum Serum, who did, I think, more than anyone to stop this abomination (or... pause it)...

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