Health Care EndgameFebruary 10, 2010 - by Donny Shaw
An aide to Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] outlined an endgame for health care reform to reporters for subscription-only Congress Daily. Politico has posted a significant chunk of the article online.
The plan is to use reconciliation to pass a package of conference report-style compromises, than pass the Senate health care and have it signed into law. It’ exactly how I explained it a couple weeks ago:
1) House passes a package of changes to the Senate’s health care bill using a budget reconciliation bill. The AP is reporting that Rep. Charles Rangel [D, NY] has already started writing the reconciliation bill for this purpose.
2) Senate passes the same package of changes to its health care bill that the House passed (budget reconciliation can’t be filibustered and only requires 50 votes to pass, plus VP Biden casting the tie-breaking vote). At this point, Congress is done with the reconciliation bill, but it is not signed into law yet. Bills have a maximum 10 day waiting period between being finished by Congress and either becoming law or being vetoed.
3) Within 10 days, the House votes to pass the Senate’s health care bill (H.R. 3590).
4) The President signs the Senate health care bill into law.
5) Finally, the President signs into law the budget reconciliation bill containing the changes to the Senate health care bill.
Qusetion 1: do they have the votes?
Question 2: How does this plan tie in with Obama’s suggestion that it’s back to the drawing board for a new negotiations with Republicans?