The key word being “Nearly” of course. Here’s Jennifer Rubin on where the procedural shell games currently stand:
For a week or so now, Republicans and the conservative media have been hammering away on a procedural point, which is, in fact, vital to the whole reconcilition gambit being pushed by the Obama-Reid-Pelosi troika: the president will have a bill to sign once the House passes the Senate version, making any reconciliation process irrelevant and potentially moot if the Democrats then declare “victory” and end the process. Today the senate parliamentarian agreed:
The Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that President Barack Obama must sign Congress’ original health care reform bill before the Senate can act on a companion reconciliation package, senior GOP sources said Thursday.The Senate Parliamentarian’s Office was responding to questions posed by the Republican leadership. The answers were provided verbally, sources said.
So there you have it, House Democrats. Once you vote for the Senate bill, Obama will sign it, the Left will declare victory, and who knows if reconcilliation will ever happen. This confirms that the Democratic leadership has once again been hiding the ball and not leveling with either their own members or with the public about the procedural aspects of the bill. It will certainly not help to calm the nerves of House Democrats, who already suspect the “fix” is in and that they are being trapped into voting for the noxious Senate bill — Cornhusker Kickback and all.
Update: “They don’t have the votes right now, but they’re creating the vehicle so that they can airdrop in whatever changes they want.”
Update: “Democratic leaders should be asking themselves just how they have gotten to the point that their strategy is to amend a law that doesn’t exist yet by passing a bill without voting on it. Surely it’s time to start over.”