It's Still All About the SenateJanuary 27, 2010 - by Donny Shaw
Some misleading reporting this afternnon from MSNBC on the state of health care reform in Congress. This is not “breaking” news that deserved interrupting the whole program:
The report created quite a stir on Twitter. But what MSNBC reported here as breaking news at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday was reported by other outlets last night, and even that wasn’t all that substantial. Here’s Congress Daily for example:
House Democratic leaders believe they can muster the votes to pass the Senate healthcare overhaul bill through the House if changes were made to the measure, but Senate Democratic leaders do not know whether they can deliver assurances their members will fall in line.
“We could get the votes in the House to pass the bill … if fixes to the Senate stuff can be done,” House Majority Whip Clyburn said Tuesday afternoon entering a bicameral leadership meeting in Senate Majority Leader Reid’s office.
When asked whether she agreed, House Speaker Pelosi said, “[It] depends what the fixes are.”
Those fixes must include changes to the excise tax, exclusion of sweetheart state-specific deals and inclusion of a national exchange, a Clyburn spokeswoman said. Whether the exchange provision can be considered under the budget reconciliation process is unclear.
So, it’s still all about the Senate. Can they pass the fixes that the House needs or not? Still no answer on that.