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February 12, 2010

Harkin: We're Going Ahead With Reconciliation

As I always say, I don't know if this is real or just kabuki for the nutroots who desperately want to "win," no matter what "winning" might look like.

Hopefully the latter.

If it's the former -- again, it's my understanding that there are a lot of procedural votes that take place before the reconciliation vote, and those votes take 60 for closure.

Senate Democrats may go into the bipartisan health care reform summit later this month holding a legislative gun to Republicans' heads.

Some Democrats are readying a health care reform "Plan B" in case negotiations at the half-day televised forum on Feb. 25 go nowhere. The plan would involve passing part of the imperiled health care bill using reconciliation, a controversial procedural maneuver that would allow the package to pass with 51 votes, as opposed to the usual 60 required to overcome a filibuster.

"I think a decision has just been made we're just going to go ahead" with a reconciliation bill, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told reporters.

A senior Democratic Senate aide clarified that Democrats are heading in that direction, though they are waiting to see what happens on Feb. 25 before making a decision.

Under the Plan B, the House would pass the version of the health care reform the Senate passed on Christmas Eve. From there, the Senate would use reconciliation to pass certain changes to the health care bill to keep it more in line with House Democrats' wishes. Finally, Congress would tackle other non-budgetary issues, like abortion funding, that cannot be addressed in the reconciliation process.

Ben Nelson has already threatened this crap, saying, basically, "Pass this the easy way by just voting for us or we'll go the hard way with this reconciliation."

To which I can only say, along with Ryan from the Office: I think I'm going to need you to go ahead and do it the hard way.

Dwight Schrute: Okay, I'm gonna need to search your car. Give me your keys.

Ryan Howard: I am not giving you my keys.

Dwight Schrute: Don't make me do this the hard way.

Ryan Howard: What's the hard way?

Dwight Schrute: I go down to the police station on my lunch break. I tell a police officer - I know several - what I suspect you may have in your car. He requests a hearing from a judge and obtains a search warrant. Once he has said warrant, he will drive over here, and make you give him the keys to your car, and you will have to obey him.

Ryan Howard: Yeah, let's do it that way.



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posted by Ace at 04:33 PM

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