March 1st, 2010
07:16 PM ET
8 years ago

Dems face health care hurdles amid reconciliation talk

Washington (CNN) - While Democrats have recently threatened to use a parliamentary procedure to pass the health care reform bill, it is unclear whether their caucus will even have enough votes to take the first step.

Congressional negotiators have been working toward melding both chambers' bills - which passed last year - so the legislation can move forward. It stalled when Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate with the upset victory of Republican Scott Brown in the Massachusetts special election.

Democrats have been weighing the use of budgetary reconciliation. It's a parliamentary procedure that allows a measure to pass on a simple majority vote of 51, rather than the 60 needed to break a filibuster.

But Republicans have warned that use of the procedure or any other tactics to get health care reform passed will have consequences for Democrats come November. Fearing a backlash over using reconciliation, Democratic leaders and the White House have noted Republicans used reconciliation many times for their legislation.

Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing forward - but running into some hurdles.

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Filed under: Democrats • Health care • Senate
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    For Pete's sake, GET IT TOGETHER! The American people want health reform!

    A bill passed in the House; a bill passed in the Senate; use reconciliation to do the final fixing and


    March 1, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    If there's one thing the Democratic leadership has learned in their health care negotiations so far, it's that Democratic politicians can be bought. The end justifies whatever means they need to use, right? I mean, isn't that what we are seeing now that they are all back warming up to using reconciliation to cram this through? How could they even think that continuing to push this unsavory compromise of a bill had any bipartisan aspect to it at all?

    Actually, what they should have learned is to not overestimate the stupidity of the American public. They should have learned this on January 19th, but perhaps their political advisors have been successful convincing them that MA voters were just kidding when they sent a Republican to fill the traditionally Democratic Senate seat on that day.

    March 1, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. D.H

    Dem's, the longer they wait, the more vote they are going to loose.

    March 1, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. j

    Somebody really should revisit the rule books and find the simple way to get this done. There's got to be one.

    March 1, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. joe m

    it is a big problem when democrats can't even convince members of their own party that the bill being considered is a good idea. if this bill passes, but it then becomes viewed as being based on a liberal agenda, rather than a desire to actually fix the problem, it will not take long for it to be repealed or ammended upon that changes it dramatically. at the end of the day, most americans actually believe that the system needs to be fixed, but are not convinced that the measure being considered is the best way to go about it.

    March 1, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  6. chris

    It will be interesting to see if the House Democrats can find unity in passing a bill similar to the Senate the version? With unexpected retirements some moderate Democrats this year, I wonder if they will change their votes and help the House avoid an unneccisary debate about abortion in the healthcare package.

    March 1, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. liz

    Yes, there will be consequences in November, people will see that the Democrats grew a pair, installed spines, and got something done to benefit the American people in the face of intractible opposition from the party of 'i've got mine, the hell with you!' I hope the Democrats do whatever they need to pass all the bills they can. they are working to heal the wounds this country suffered under the Bush debacle. they are on the side of the little guy. the more the rethuglicans try to stop them, the more the people with at least a half a brain cell working will see whose side they're really on, the big corporations and polluters. this country can't stand any more republican't rule!

    March 1, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. Sean

    As far as I'm concerned, if the Republican's tactic is going to continue being to oppose Obama on everything he supports, then Democrats should absolutely use reconciliation to get this initial legislation through. Republicans used it to pass their tax breaks during the Bush administration among other examples, so they can just deal with it.

    March 1, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. A keen observer

    Go for it; screw the Republican obstructionists.

    March 1, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  10. Linda L

    It really is time for the Democrats to step up to the plate and get their healthcare bill done. They have to quit living in fear and vote their conscience. Republicans are spinning quite a story but the fact of the matter is there are a number of Republican ideas in the bill. But, since it's an election year, it's obstruct, obstruct, obstruct!. Come on Dems, get some spine. Go for reconciliation! Or does the majority only rule when Republicans are in power?

    March 1, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  11. Betty in Arizona

    The Dems need to understand, do nothing and it will cost you at the polls anyway. That's called between a rock and hard place. Dems party has always stood for the middle class and working Americans. Get this bill passed and all others that need to be done. Grow a spine, get the job done. Time for talking is over. Show us some action.

    March 1, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  12. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    I just hope that most Dems have more sense, a stronger political survival instinct. and less interest in being tyrants, than Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

    March 1, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. Keith A. Sillsbury in NC

    OK dems, it's time to stop being so timid. Stop worrying about your life long careers in politics and start thinking of the people who voted you in. We need healthcare and extentions on our unemployement benifits because the republicans helped wall st move our jobs out of the country so they could get slave labor and import their products tax free for huge profits while we American lose our houses and cars. it's time to stop it all and return America to Glory. Tax the rich NOW. we don't want all of their money, just make them pay the same percentage as the rest of us. I pay 36%, make them pay 36% instead of 22% which they are now. Pass healthcare NOW, Don't worry what the GOstoPo will say. We'll be voting them out come November. They're not part of the solution so that makes them the problem. They have no ideas about healthcare as they have shown. Their solution is don't get sick and if you do die quickly. Dems, Grow a set and put this all to rest. We'll back you if you just do it. And lastly tax imports so it cost the same if you build it here or elsewhere, we'll see jobs coming back if you do.

    March 1, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. valwayne

    Even Warren Buffet is advising Obama to scrap the corrupt monstrosity he's put together and start over working with the Republicans! Please listen to him Mr. President before this corrupt mess destroys our economy for generations!!!!

    March 1, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  15. Repugnants are Taliban

    I am ready for a one party system, NO REPUGLIBANS, how about you?

    March 1, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  16. Repugnants are Taliban

    If there were one Repugliban with a brain it would be something to marvel at. They say no to extending unemployment benefits, no to health care reform for average Americans but do not get caught in the elephant stampede if a banker bail out bill comes up for a vote or a measure to protect insurance companies, now those are Repugliban type of people, people with deep pockets filled with cash for Repugliban campaigns

    March 1, 2010 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |