House Democrats are between a rock and a hard place on the health care vote. President Obama and Speaker Pelosi are asking the House Democratic Caucus to blindly vote to pass the Senate bill then trust the Senate to pass “fixes” to the bill they favored and passed in a marathon session over Christmas.
The Senate is not and cannot be procedurally obliged to “fix” anything. No matter how many things they commit to in writing or whether or not House Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) gives his word. He gave his word to Rep. Jim Bunning (R-Okla.) just last week on an up or down vote and reneged. Oops, so sorry!
Once the Senate bill is passed by the House and signed into law by Obama, it’s over. The Senate doesn’t have to do anything.
And why should they? They’ll get what they want; their bill becomes law.
“What the President is really asking House Democrats to do is hold hands, jump off a cliff and hope Harry Reid catches them,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference said. “And, Harry Reid will have no incentive to catch them because by the time he gets to the reconciliation bill, the President will have already signed the health care bill into law.”
“If that should happen, I’m absolutely convinced there will be an instant effort in this country to repeal the health care bill that will go until November and define every Congressional race,” Alexander added.
Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) was set to resign from Congress next week. He’s running for governor in the GOP primary in Georgia. Deal has postponed his resignation until March 31st so he’ll be on hand to vote “no” on the bill. Every single vote will be needed to defeat the bill.
“As I listened to President Obama’s aggressive push for a quick vote on ‘Obamacare, it was clear that I must stay in Congress and continue to fight against the most liberal health care agenda ever proposed,” Deal said. “Just two days after I announced my intentions to leave Congress, the majority party stepped up the schedule for the proposed health care bill. Having been deeply involved in all health care legislation for the past decade, I knew it was important to stay and vote down this bill.”
What better way to run for governor than to fight the budget-busting mandates this leviathan government takeover of health care will force on states?
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) appears to be holding firm in his stand against the federal funding of abortion included in the Senate bill. Politico reports House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he’s in negotiations with Stupak to attempt to resolve the abortion funding issue. Hoyer is said to be suggesting a separate bill to deal with the abortion funding ban.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has said, however, that there is no conversation about a cleanup bill in the Senate to ban funding of abortion to “fix” Stupak’s grievances.
The Senate on the whole is pro-abortion. It is unlikely they would pass any ban on federal funding of abortion, especially post-House passage of the Senate healthcare bill. DOA.
So, House Democrats, do you trust the Senate? Harry Reid? Does Reid care if you’re the ones with egg on your face? Or unemployed in December?
Even former DNC Chairman Howard Dean is warning Dems. He told The Hill newspaper today that the Senate bill hangs out to dry every Democrat who’s running for office this year.
Frightening, isn’t it? Even Howard Dean has this pegged.