February 25th, 2010
06:32 PM ET
4 years ago

Now what? Democratic plans tomorrow same as yesterday

Democrats are 'actively looking into' using reconciliation.
Democrats are 'actively looking into' using reconciliation.

Washington (CNN) – Although the Democrats' public stance will be to let the dust from Thursday's bipartisan health care summit, several senior congressional Democratic sources concede to CNN that their plans moving forward on health care are not likely to be much different tomorrow than they were yesterday.

Democrats are actively looking into using the parliamentary shortcut known as reconciliation to get a health care bill to the President's desk. They are specifically exploring two issues: The ins-and-outs of how the complicated process could work, and whether the votes are there in the Senate and House to execute such a strategy.

On the process, Democratic aides told CNN they are consulting with the parliamentarians in both the House and the Senate on what is possible. The general idea is for the House to pass the Senate bill, and for a package of changes that mirror the President's plan to be passed through both chambers under reconciliation rules, which would only need 51 votes in the Senate.

One question for the parliamentarians is whether it's possible to pass the changes before the House votes on the Senate bill. Many House Democrats said that's the only way they would agree to the complicated scenario, because they don't like the Senate bill, and do not trust the Senate to follow through with a promise to pass the compromise package. House Democrats would likely require an iron clad commitment from Senate Democrats and the President before agreeing to pass the changes first.

Another question Democrats have for the parliamentarians is more fundamental: What can they actually pass through the reconciliation process? The maneuver is only supposed to be used for legislation that affects taxes and the deficit.

Then there is the challenge of whether Democrats even have enough votes to pull off the complicated game plan. Democratic sources told CNN they still aren't completely sure there would even be a 51-vote simple majority in the Senate to finalize health care with the parliamentary short cut.

Although Democratic leaders are already reminding the public that Republicans used reconciliation many times for their legislation, some Democrats may be concerned about a public backlash in the face of GOP accusations that they short-circuited the process.

The House may be even tougher. House Democrats passed their version of health care with a slim majority and will be missing several votes this time around because of vacancies. The lone Republican who voted for the House bill, Louisiana Rep. Joseph Cao, already said he will be a "No" next time around. There may also be some vulnerable Democrats facing tough races this year who decide to change their yes vote to no.

But the biggest obstacle to passing the Senate's health bill in the House and getting it to the president's desk may be abortion. By some estimates, close to a dozen Democrats opposed to abortion rights may vote against the bill because they say it's not strict enough in making sure taxpayer dollars are not spent on the procedure.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Now what? Democratic plans tomorrow same as yesterday

    Now what? Republikkkand plans tomorrow same as yesterday

    Ho Hum

    February 25, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. Mike

    If the dems do this, it will be political suicide.

    February 25, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Reds, show me where it states in the Constitution, you must have 60 votes to overcome a filibuster in the Senate?

    This is a democracy after all. Cloture vote of 60 is something the Senate designed. It used to be 67 and was later changed to 60. I am for doing away with it altogether, a simple majority should be sufficient, just as in the House. However, if not abandoned, then do not whine when it is used to pass deadlocked bills since the cons have used it approximately 17 times since 1981. It is not something just introduced for this bill. You Reds used it for the tax breaks, that got us in this economic hole.

    You cons have every right to lobby for 9 Dems to join you in defeating the bill, if done through reconciliation. If it is that bad, then finding 9 more Senator is not insurmountable.

    So starting lobbying and for God's sake quit whining!!!

    February 25, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. Hardcore GOP

    Dems do not have the nerve to use reconciliation,would be political suicide.Use it,go ahead & MAKE MY DAY-then good riddance.

    February 25, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. Andy

    Make a deal dems get rid of Pelosi and the Tea Party get rid of Palin,everyone would win.

    February 25, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. Janice

    Go ahead dems and use reconciliation,dare you,double dog dare you,even you are not that stupid-you would help the GOP by doing it-you would be gone,like bye bye.

    February 25, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. Douglas F. Estes

    After watching yesterday's debate and vote on revoking health insurance companies anti-trust exemption, and today's health care summit , I say full speed ahead Democrats. The republicans have again shown themselves to be in the pocket of big insurance.

    February 25, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. ww

    Push it through!!! If there is a majority then majority rules!

    February 25, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  9. FRANK, LAS VEGAS

    The democrats should pass it by reconciliation and include a public option at the same time. The GOP showed everyone that they are not interested in solving and problems nor do they have any plans or ideas. Leave them behind and pass a good bill for the American people.

    February 25, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  10. Dawn Ada, Oh

    That's right Nancy Back to the Fight!! Push it through. The American Public does want a public option and the ones who don't will get used to it or buck up for their expensive insurance. I for one can't afford any other insurance except what I am offered at work and that is horrible. I started out with 100% paid 15 years ago, now I have a $4000 deductible for each person in my family and a wonderful health savings account that I can't afford to put money into. PUSH< PUSH PUSH!!

    February 25, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. BeverlySC

    Well well big bad dumocraps/NObama could not steam roll the GOP.Now what is your next socialist move morons?Man up and use reconciliation so I will be rid of you jerks.What,not enough nerve?OK go to the blame it on Bush routine.See you Nov Big & Bad dems.

    February 25, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  12. We the People....

    Did anyone really think this was going to make a difference.... ?

    February 25, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  13. Tune in to FOX for news

    McCain, Cantor, et., al, made Obama look like a FOOL today. Obama is a selfish, arrogant man.

    February 25, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. John; PA

    Let the Democrats force this bill thur Congress. You will see what happens in the 2010 November election. The Demcorats will be GONE baby GONE ! We the people are going to VOTE THEM OUT! You can kiss them GOODBYE.

    February 25, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. Old Farmboy

    "The Breaking of America" seems to be the theme of this administration. This one sided democracy is really starting to leave a bad taste. The waste of time bipartisan meeting today was the punchline of a bad joke and the headline of this article rubs salt into the wound. To be honest, I hope the Democrats end up bypassing the Republican party and passing this bill and all of you that think this farce is going to pave the way to a better tomorrow choke on it. This "What Obama wants Obama gets" mentality is wrong and we, the people are paying dearly for it. Wake up, people! Pelosi and Reid's days are numbered... Only a fool would vote for them and what they are doing to this country.

    February 25, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  16. PKZ

    Now what? Same as always... more spending, more government control, less freedom, fewer jobs.

    February 25, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  17. Right Leaning Independent

    How stupid are these Dems?? The majority of Americans are against the current plan and yet they insist on forcing it through! The arrogance of these folks is unbelievable! You were elected to represent the people's will and yet you believe you know better than us. I will be glad to see you all go away in November.

    February 25, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  18. Dean

    If the Dems use reconciliation to pass health care they will be history for at least two decades....Maybe longer when the true cost is passed to the taxpayers.

    February 25, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  19. leonardofru

    When the Republicans take control in November I hope they haul these Obamist/Dem/Progressives to the gallows and swing them by their ass holes until they scream for mercy.

    February 25, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    If this government trys to ramrod this bill through again without knowing what is says or how much it will cost. The people will be taking it to the streets.
    Our republic has no business in being everyone's health care insurer.

    February 25, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  21. bob

    No surprise here,President Obama and the dems had their sham summit trying to convince the American people they were open to suggestions. Now that this is over they go back to trying to pass the legislation that the majority of Americans are against. Not only that but they will try to circumvent normal rules to do it.(that is if they can even get enough of their own party senators and representatives to vote for it)

    February 25, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. leonardofru

    Looks like Nasty Nan has missed her daily dose of meth today. God she is a disgusting excuse for a human being. A turd for sure, but not a human being.

    February 25, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. bennie new york

    Two words: EPIC FAIL! Health care reform is dead. The only real option is reconciliation of a bill with a public option, but the Democrats won't do it.

    February 25, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. sp4musi

    There are few people in Congress who can identify with the common man. Obama came from a single parent home. He has more insight into the needs of the common man. I Know he is closer than John McCain, coming from a military family.

    February 25, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  25. Perusing-through

    NOW WHAT?

    Straight to Reconciliation, , , , of course! Yea!!!

    February 25, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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