Archive for Tuesday, March 2, 2010

9 Democrats who voted ‘no’ on health bill may reconsider

March 2, 2010


— Nine House Democrats indicated in an Associated Press survey Monday they have not ruled out switching their “no” votes to “yes” on President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, brightening the party’s hopes in the face of unyielding Republican opposition.

The White House tried to smooth the way for them, showing its own openness to changes in the landmark legislation and making a point of saying the administration is not using parliamentary tricks or loopholes to find the needed support.

Democratic leaders have strongly signaled they will use a process known as “budget reconciliation” to try to push part of the package through the Senate without allowing Republicans to talk it to death with filibusters. The road could be even more difficult in the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi is struggling to secure enough Democratic votes for approval, thus the effort to attract former foes.

The White House said Obama will outline his final “way forward” in a Washington speech Wednesday, and he is expected to embrace a handful of Republican ideas for making health care more efficient.

Few in Washington think those gestures will be enough to persuade a single House or Senate Republican to embrace the legislation. But they could give wavering Democrats political cover by showing the party has been willing to compromise, ammunition against campaign accusations this fall that they rammed the bill through Congress with no regard for other views.

The proposal would impose new restrictions on insurance companies and order health insurance coverage for as many as 30 million Americans who now lack it, among many other changes.

Persuading lawmakers to change their votes is a tough sell. Elected officials are loath to vote two ways on a controversial issue, feeling such a switch draws more resentment than support overall. Democratic leaders stress that the legislative package soon to reach the House will be less expensive than the one that passed in November and will contain no government-run insurance program to compete with private insurers.

They hope those changes will give additional cover to party moderates thinking of switching from no to yes.

In interviews with the AP, at least nine of the 39 Democrats — or their spokesmen — either declined to state their positions or said they were undecided about the revised legislation, making them likely targets for intense wooing by Pelosi and Obama. Three of them — Brian Baird of Washington, Bart Gordon of Tennessee and John Tanner of Tennessee — are not seeking re-election this fall.

The others are Rick Boucher of Virginia, Suzanne Kosmas of Florida, Frank Kratovil of Maryland, Michael McMahon of New York, Scott Murphy of New York and Glenn Nye of Virginia.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 10 months ago

The budget reconciliation process has been used something like 21 times in the last couple of decades, 18 of those times by Republicans.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 10 months ago

Dear Leader expects his minions to be ready to return to the private sector after voting for this mess.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 10 months ago

Former Senate Parliamentarian: 'I Would Never Use The Term Illegitimate With Regard To Reconciliation'

"The man who served as Senate parliamentarian on and off from 1981-2001 has news for Senate Republicans, who say the Democrats are way out on a limb using the majority-vote budget reconciliation process to amend health care legislation.

"Reconciliation has been used a lot," said Robert Dove on MSNBC this morning. "And I would never use the term illegitimate with regard to reconciliation."

"It has been used starting in 1980 for very large, major bills. And it is a way, of course, of getting around the problem of the Senate filibuster," Dove went on.

In the mid-1980s, the Senate adopted the Byrd rule, which placed restrictions on what measures can pass through reconciliation, but in recent years, it has been used to pass major entitlement and tax reforms, including multi-trillion dollar Bush tax cuts.

However, decisions about what does and does not conform to the Byrd rule is ultimately not up to the parliamentarian. The parliamentarian's job is to advise the Senate chair--a.k.a. the Vice President--who gets to make the final decision.

"Ultimately it's the Vice President of the United States...It is the decision of the Vice President whether or not to play a role here.... And I have seen Vice President play that role in other very important situations," Dove said, noting that in most cases, the veep defers to his adviser. "I will say that not since Hubert Humphrey have I seen a Vice President try to play that kind of role in the Senate.""

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 10 months ago

@ Solomon- the tax breaks for the rich, Chips, and Cobra were all passed by reconciliation. How much more massive do you need? Bozo-that's 22 times, 16 times by the Republicans, but I suppose they'll have a problem with it now.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 10 months ago

This story hand in hand with this one says a great deal. I also think this says a great deal: I almost cried when I watched it.

cowboy 7 years, 10 months ago

While the republicans may have scored some temporary points with their obstruction tactics , and mobilized the tea party nuts they have generated a response from the left that will outweigh any of their paltry gains. After this bill passes they will be viewed for what they are , the corrupt , heartless party of NO. With a complete void of any centrist leadership nationally they will be pummeled in the elections . You woke up the sleeping bear. Witness the one day fundraising for the primary challenger to Blanche Lincoln , a dem in name only , and wholly owned by the insurance industry. $500,000 in one day from pi$$ed off lefties. You are making your bed and come election day you will have to lay in it. you ever wonder why you all got kicked out last election ?

PosseComitatus 7 years, 10 months ago

I would ask one simple concession and I might consider the current proposal for health care.

All corporate executives, politicians, bureaucrats and government employees must get the exact same policy that is offered to their constituents...

Naw, just kidding. I wouldn't approve of the nationalization of anything in our current political environment.

Only fools are still falling for the 2 party game right now. Big money owns all the politicians, they hedge their bets by backing whoever they think will win. They do not care about party. The only purpose to the two party system now is to keep the common people divided and confused.

Our growth driven economy is nearly maxed out for the foreseeable future and we are witnessing a change to a social micromanagement economy through health care and carbon credits.

The only way to keep from losing total control of your life is to keep the decisions local and at a max to the state level where the common people still have some voice. A 1000 person protest carries much more influence at the state capital than it does in DC.

preebo 7 years, 10 months ago

Reconciliation is, simply put, designed to sidestep the filibuster and favors the majority party (see Republican run Congress' move on the Bush Tax cuts). First, the infamous Bush Tax Cuts were much more costly to the country than the health care bill. The Republicans in Congress decided use the parliamentary rule to sidestep the Democratic filibuster. This process has been used often and I believe to be essential to any form of functionality of the Congress. However, I would much rather the Democratic majority in Congress to force the Republican minority to stand up and actually filibuster. Make them stand up for their cause if it is the American people, as they suggest, then it should be well worth it. I, for one, would love to see a Republican filibuster on such a transcendent issue (a la Strom Thurman vs. the Civil Rights Act).

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