YOU KNEW Nancy’s crew wouldn’t be able to stop their march toward control of us and our descendants using health care. These are Progressives, and now Sen. Conrad (D-ND) is pushing the idea of reconciliation.
The Senate Budget Committee Chairman said Wednesday he’s willing to use special rules to force a final healthcare bill through with a simple majority vote.
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) made clear his openness to applying budget reconciliation to healthcare, a position he opposed prior to this week’s special election in Massachusetts, is contingent on the content of the bill.
His comments lend weight to speculation that congressional Democratic leaders plan to have the House pass the Senate healthcare reform without changes, then pass a second bill with changes hashed out between the two chambers’ leaders and the White House.
“If the House passed the Senate bill, could reconciliation, that process, be used to fix things that might be improved upon? Yes,” Conrad said. “Would I support it? I can’t know that without knowing what would be included in the package.”
You and I both know this bill could get even worse, and now it looks like that reality may be coming true. What is this bill going to look like after key components are dropped because reconciliation doesn’t apply to them?
Some of the key compromises that were tentatively made between House and Senate Democratic leaders and the White House last week, however, could fall under the rubric of a budget reconciliation bill, such as changes to the taxes that would finance the healthcare bill. Conrad noted, however, that resolving disputes over issues like abortion funding and immigration would be much harder to accomplish through reconciliation.
Liberals in and out of Congress strongly favored using reconciliation from the start as a way of avoiding concessions to Republicans and centrist Democrats on proposals such as the government-run public option insurance programs but Senate Democratic leaders never embraced that approach.